Jack Brag
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Jack Brag

Belleville, New Jersey, United States | INDIE

Belleville, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Shoreworld: Horse Feathers And Animal Crackers – A Tribute To Queen – Main Main Records"

Jack Brag shines original light on “Fat Bottom Girls” substituting strings for guitar lead licks, kicking in barrel house pianos and good rhythms into the old time Jerry Reed feel, like in the movie Gator—I dug it. - The Aquarian Weekly

"Jack Brag — Fear Of Falling Overturned"

The ‘80s was a wild decade for sure. The clothes, the coke binges, the clubs and the music were off the gnarly scale. It was a period of formation for many eclectic bands and those quirky underworld sounds were the foundation of many of the music forms that we still use today. Jack Brag is a band that has upheld that murky time tunnel of mysterious Psychedelic Furs-meets-The Chameleons genre, mixing Curtis Ian-styled vocals with Peter Bucked jangling guitars and Robert Smith fringed string arrangements, all burning bright within their poppy punk wave sound and covered with a curious outer shell of deliciously dark chamber music influence. The name Jack Brag is a curious band name as well. Jack Brag is a 19th century expression meaning “a pretender who ingratiates himself with people above him.” While the term is Oliver Twist in its presentation, I think I understand what they’re trying to convey.

Jack Brag is also one of the bands that contributed to the Winter Hours project, A Few Uneven Rhymes, with their version of “Hyacinth Girl” done smartly with the talented Deena Shoshkes, formerly of The Cucumbers (to be reviewed here soon), which they worked from their original point of view to the point that its been called a born-again hit by many fans of the original Winter Hours song. The thing I like about writer Tony Donato’s composition style is his hardcore dedication to traditional ‘80s sensibilities. Whether this is intentional or not, his approach to his music is eerie in its time-zoned accuracy.

The disc starts out with “Those Days,” a Joy Division-meets-The Police number, featuring pearlescent string melodies and echoed pianos weaving in and out of shimmering chorused guitars basing their sound on the greats and offering a view into their pop rock roots as they take off into their own direction. “Mona Lisa Smile” and “Fear Of Falling” are in the same type of vein as well, done smartly in gothwave angst without sounding monotonous or predictable. Actually “Fear Of Falling” is one of my favorites and has deep remnants of Philadelphia’s Robert Hazard And The Heros with those great off-kilter doom and gloom vocals and ethereal hip “dark shadows” guitar lines.

“Truth And Lies” and the hip upbeat of “She Waits” (a tune with an excellent trippy string bridge) are yet another couple of tunes that shine bright with remnants of the Boomtown Rats melancholy-meets-the poppy rock of The Cars, thanks to the vocals of Jim Robertazzi and the writing style of Donato. Not a bad thing to be in my book as I dig this kind of quirky and adventurous stuff. I’m happy that someone can get this close to a vital style without making me vomit from remembering just how horrid that decade was.

“Interlude” is another interesting number and brings the groups description of “vaudeville and whimsy theatrics” into play. Unfortunately that is way too short and the group launches into disc finale “Black Forest,” a rock and roll number in the vein of Billy Squire or early Zeppelin that while good, strays outside the continuity zone of a band that obviously excels in the old school CBGB’s universe. Tunes like “Time Is Mine” and “What You Leave Behind” don’t seem to gel as well as others, sounding more like early twisted Sister than Bauhaus.

Jack Brag is a budding group that shows tons of creative promise in their immediate time. This latest CD sits well alongside their contribution to The Winter Hours disc as a couple of early year highlights. If you’re into that dark and velvety ‘80s thing go check out a live show and grab the disc online.

- The Aquarian Weekly

"A Few Uneven Rhymes - A Tribute to Winter Hours (mainmanrecords.com)"

...One of Winter Hours signature songs, “Hyacinth Girl,” is covered by Jack Brag with Deena Shoshkes (of the Cucumbers) and given a slight reworking, with male/female harmonies, skittering drums, flourishing guitar, and solid bass lines could make the song into an underground hit all over again! - www.jerseybeat.com

"Various Artists: A Few Uneven Rhymes: A Tribute To Winter Hours"

...The Winter Hours classic “Hyacinth Girl” is beautifully interpreted by Jack Brag with Deena Shoskes. - The Aquarian Weekly


  • Self-titled CD released December 2008.
  • Unbroken White, released March 2012."Box of Sad" features guest vocals from Deena Shoskes and John Fried performing as The Cucumbers.
  • Kiss At Midnight, releasing September 2015. "Someone To Kiss At Midnight" features brass performed by Danny Lipsitz, Benny Benack and Rob Edwards.
  • Contributions to various tribute compilations on Main Man Records:  "Thin Ice" to Cute Pieces, A Tribute to Yoko Ono, "Hyacinth Girl" to A Few Uneven Rhymes: A Tribute to Winter Hours, "Fat Bottomed Girls" to Horse Feathers & Animal Crackers, a tribute to Queen, "Praying Hands" to Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo, and "Double Life" to Just What We Needed: A Tribute to The Cars.



Jack Brag’s take on pop music is a clear departure the mainstream. By fusing orchestral cello, vaudeville piano, and catchy pop/rock hooks, Jack Brag delivers a sound that’s well beyond the expected. The phrase “energetic chamber pop” is a good way to describe the collaborative output, much of which owes itself to the orchestral-stringed undertones simmering throughout each song.  Jack Brag currently has released 3 albums and contributed to multiple tribute albums.

"Mixing heavy, hooky American bar rock with sounds right out of cabarets/vaudeville houses/chambers. Best cello-core band on the scene today!"
-- Jake Austen, Roctober Magazine on Jack Brag's 2nd album Unbroken White.

"Jack Brag is back with a brand new disc titled, Unbroken White. This disc marks the group's sophomoric rising and continued foray into their dark and symphonic flavored journey. Jack Brag's 2008 release Jack Brag was a refreshing record and that trend continues with this current disc. The band has a knack for combining the greatest vibe of the '80s with complex orchestration and compositional complexity."
-- John Pfeiffer, The Aquarian Weekly, on Jack Brag's 2nd album Unbroken White.

For more information, please visit us at www.jackbrag.com