Latin Playboys' debut, a self-titled album by producers Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake and Los Lobos members David Hidalgo and Louie Perez, was a casual masterpiece noteworthy for the very indulgences that derail so many other side projects. Full of found sounds, low-fidelity recording techniques, distorted drum loops, deep-dungeon blues, fragmented guitar parts, and some gorgeous songs, the record was a quiet triumph that cried out for a sequel. Dose has been in the can for a while, and now that it's been released, it's clear that—again unlike most side projects—Latin Playboys possessed more than one album's worth of fine material. Perhaps even stranger than the first record, the cleverly titled Dose continues in a hallucinatory twilight vein. Half the songs sound like Mexican music leaking out of a boom box with weak batteries; others are dank and dingy like a post-fiesta party where the guitarists are too stoned to move their fingers fast enough. This music isn't meant to win over new fans or make millions, and that's what makes Latin Playboys so great. Froom, Blake, Hidalgo, and Perez take plenty of risks with their other projects, but Latin Playboys allows them to collectively let down their hair and compose eccentric gems so gritty, spontaneous, and strange that "compose" seems too strong a word. Songs like "Cuca's Blues," "Latin Trip," "Locoman," "Paletero," and "Lemon 'N Ice" (which features Wendy & Lisa) give Dose its cool, while rough fragments like "Nubian Priestess" and "Fiesta Erotica" give the album its edge. It's amazing that the two different sides of the band work so well with each other, and that's a credit to the sloppy genius of its participants.

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