The first studio offering from one of the early New York City jam bands, Bag presents God Street Wine's Steely Dan-influenced sound in first flower. Like many young jam bands, GSW has a bit of a hard time making its music work effectively in the studio. But, as one of the first of their generation of rock-based improvisers to try, how were they to know that at the time? Much of the repertoire introduced on Bag would be refined on their next two releases, the live Who's Driving? and $1.99 Romances, their major-label debut. A lot of the music on Bag sounds sluggish. That in itself is kind of odd. Most young bands have the tendency to play material too fast; GSW doesn't have that problem. Instead, they patiently highlight their complex, clean compositions (which, unfortunately, border on lite jazz at times). When Lo Faber and Aaron Maxwell's guitar lines dance and intersect, the music is interesting. For a band of men in their early twenties, though, the music is awfully tame.
AllMusic Review by Jesse Jarnow