JACK DRAG: 2018

September 5th, 2018 | Album reviews

JACK DRAG
2018
Burger

If you thought Jack Drag was dead, that’s understandable. After all, L.A.-based musician John Dragonetti hadn’t touched his old solo alias in 16 years, and he experienced lots of success in the meantime, both as a composer for film and TV and as one half of indie-rock iPhone commercial soundtrackers the Submarines. But you can bet there are some 90s bedroom-pop nerds out there who will celebrate Dragonetti’s revival of his alter ego on his new album 2018 (Burger). And with good reason. The guy has a preternatural gift for bringing together the punch (if not necessarily the power) of power pop, the approachability of folk-rock and the cool futurism of electronic music, all filtered through a lushly arranged and highly listenable lens. On 2018, Jack Drag sounds like a smarter, more ambitious Weezer (“New Number One”), showtunes from outer space (“Little Lies”), sunbaked latter-day Wilco (“I Am Not Willing”), deeply resonant psych-folk (“Spirits”) and a perfectly juicy apple fallen from the Beatles/Beach Boys family tree (“Strangers”). Don’t let all the other band names fool you, though: on 2018, Dragonetti pulls all these sounds together under his big, cohesive pop tent. Jack Drag was never dead. He was just laying low for a while. And it’s good to have him back.

—Ben Salmon

JACK DRAG’S 2018 IS OUT FRI., SEPT. 14, ON BURGER.