Lost Classics: Jack Drag “Dope Box”

tapem200bThey’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.

:: JACK DRAG
Dope Box // A&M, 1998

jack-drag360Jack Drag was the solo vehicle for Boston singer/songwriter John Dragonetti, who released five full-lengths under that moniker between 1996 and 2002. It was initially conceived by Dragonetti as a one-man studio project, although by the time of third album Dope Box, he’d hired a bassist and drummer. Issued on A&M, which had recently gone on an alt-rock shopping spree (remember Orbit or Pulsars?), Dope Box was a glam-slam marvel—think Love And Rockets meets Beck’s block-rocking beats—alight with shuddering synth lines, laser guitar riffs and a dub-worthy bottom end fatter than a ghetto hooker’s booty. Critics drooled; sales were marginal; A&M flinched; and Dragonetti was soon back in indieland. A song title from 2000’s Soft Songs LP: Aviating perhaps said it best: “We Could’ve Been Big.”

Catching Up: After issuing a beat-heavy electronica EP as Junior Communist Club, Dragonetti resurfaced with wife Blake Hazard as the Submarines, whose 2006 Declare A New State! documented the lovers’ breakup and eventual reconciliation. Dragonetti has penned music for Volkswagen and Hummer commercials, and the Submarines’ “You, Me, And The Bourgeoise” was recently featured in ubiquitous ads for the iPhone G3.

“Surfin’ The Charles”:
http://magnetmagazine.com/audio/SurfinTheCharles.mp3

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