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Dos Coyotes
Dos Coyotes
Lips Records


Here at HybridMagazine.com, we live by a simple policy when it comes to writing record reviews: write about things that move you. We do our best to not waste bandwidth on things that are merely "okay". A record has the power to move you; make you feel passionate about the songs and the performance. It can move mountains or tear them down with just the push of the play button. Dos Coyotes is a record that I feel very passionate about…I had to write about it. The press information calls the Scottsdale, Arizona band’s record "Baja Surf Music". It also has been dubbed "a new slant on country music". That’s what sparked my interest…not to leave out the nifty Southwest inspired cover. I gleefully put it in the player, hoping for some fiery guitar playing mixed with a Southwestern flair or maybe some twang. But to my surprise, that’s all absent, and what’s there is, well…let me put it this way. This is the poorest record I have heard in quite some time. Not to offend the two main conspirators (Gene Smeed and Mark Tait), but it’s just so…well, poor! Here’s why.

"Mambo To Cabo" begins well enough with a mellow acoustic refrain, then the lyrics begin. They are the most banal lyrics—talking about getting away from the rat race, drinking margaritas and hanging on the beach. Now, drinkin’ and relaxin’ is all well and good, but then the chorus drops the line we can live just like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. And if that’s not bad enough, they even incorporate Life’s a beach in the verse. Musically, I applaud their attempt at blending in steel drums, but all that was accomplished with the steel drums is erased by a keyboard horn line nicked from the Paul Simon tune "Just Call Me Al". Did he just end the song singing baba-loo? We’ve heard all this before, and Jimmy Buffett this isn’t. Continuing the same theme, "Senorita" again employs cliched lyrics and kitchy Mexican references to a fairly steady, yet very un-inspiring musical accompaniment. Flashes of those keyboard horns pop back in here and there, dragging the whole number through a pot of queso so thick you need a putty knife rather than a tortilla chip to dig it up with. The "dance mix" drips the cheese on even thicker with a really forced, faux hip-hop beat and even more of the outdated keyboard horn blasts. The vocalist (not clear as to which man is singing as the credits list both of them as vocalists) does his best Bruce Springsteen for "Tejano Cowboy", but he just falls flat. This road tune (complete with the peeling out car sample at the beginning of it) continues to follow the trend of senoritas and margaritas…only this time there’s driving involved. Does anybody know if Bernie Taupin is available to lend his lyrical services to these guys? To this song’s credit, though, there are a few inspired roadhouse guitar licks thrown in here and there, but it just can’t save it…especially when they sing Let’s ride, ride, ride, yippy-yi-ky-yay. It makes me laugh…I just can’t take it seriously. I thought that there was hope for "Missing You In Houston" when a bit of Spanish guitar starts it off…but alas, it disappears as the other gentleman takes the mic. His voice is very thin without much resonance or personality at all. It is a very boring and standard country inspired ballad, without being country. No heart, no soul, and not a damn thing to keep me entertained. But there’s improvement here—this is the only song that doesn’t talk about margaritas…or did I just happen to miss it?

I usually don’t write bad record reviews…and I don’t want to call this record bad. It is just so incredibly (and I use the word again because it just seems to fit so well) poor. Yes, I’m obsessed with the poorness of the record, that’s why I wrote it up. I was hoping for something "surfy" or "new country". Hell, something "south of the border" flavored would have done me right, but it’s just not there, again proving the old tired adage: don’t judge a book by it’s cover (or it’s accompanying press sheet). My advice to Dos Coyotes is to return to the Holiday Inn bar or the "package deal Mexican resort where all the drinks are free" they escaped from and play for all the drunk middle-aged folks who will hang on their every note. Sorry guys.

-tom topkoff

Track Listing:

  1. Mambo To Cabo
  2. Senorita
  3. Tejano Cowboy
  4. Missing You In Houston
  5. Senorita (Dance Mix)

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Mike Doughty



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