Dope Box

A&M Records/Devil’s Weed

The first time I ever saw the words “Jack Drag” together was on a sticker a friend had sent me in the mail. I wasn’t sure whether this was an advertisement for some porno/horror flick or another clothing company that makes jeans that could house three people.

One week after I’d thrown the sticker away, the same friend told me that he saw Mike Watt play and Jack Drag opened for him. Could they be the “next big thing” in rock and roll? Was Mike Watt stoked to have them open for him? Time to find the album and give it a listen.

Ten seconds into Dope Boxyou may think you’re on a ride similar to Prodigy’s song “Firestarter”-but wait, it quickly changes and a groove begins to form on the first song “debutante.” On most of the album John Dragonetti’s singing is distorted by various electronics such as keyboards and turntables. There’s definitely a pop-rock flair in the chorus of songs like “pyscho clogs”and “best friend.The title track tightens things back up with a solid bass line from Joe Klompus and a smooth drum foundation by Jason Stutter. “where are we” is a Dope Box strong point-the calming combination of Gerri Sutyak’s cello playing and the questions that arise during a new relationship.

Anyway, never judge a band by their promo sticker. These men have potential and aren’t afraid to sing “Sha-la-la-la-la” on two different songs.

For more data log on to www.jackdrag.com or write to P.O. Box 1510, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-1510.-Shem Roose