Sedge is a five-piece grunge rock outfit from Toronto, Ontario. Their second full-length album was recently released in January of 2018. Psychochondriac is a twelve-song album that absolutely crushes. It’s fuzzed-out and rolls with an energetic swagger. Something like if Nirvana and the Sex Pistols birthed a behaviourally challenged child that was raised in a garage. With a title like psychochondriac, that’s the ballpark what to expect.
The tone of this album is that of the grunge era; unhinged vocals, dirty blues-driven guitar, and whopping bass lines that scoops you at the knees. “Thanks For Nothing” is the second track of the album and showcases all of these elements. James Heron brings some crunchy vocals and guitar to the mix. He’s able to unhinge his voice without going into ‘screamo’ mode but still delivers a wild punch. Bassist/vocalist Brian Regan holds down those Novoselic bass lines that, alongside Mitch Heron on drums, give the album its head bobbing rhythm. To add to the guitar and vocal soundscape are Rob Coffey and Dean Crone. Together with Heron, the trio delivers a heavy wave of guitar distortion. You could expect more intricate writing with three guitars, but this isn’t an Iron Maiden show. Subtlety goes a long way. The sonic space filled by the guitars covers harmonies, rhythms, and crazy solos so that there is no unwanted emptiness. Whereas a lot of bands would have to double up on guitar tracks to get a thick sound, the guys in Sedge seemed to have taken a pretty simple and live approach to recording their sound.
“Mouth Off” is another track in that same vein. It sounds like it could be a lost track off the Nirvana boxset With the Lights Out. It’s raw, heavy, and has a ripping sporadic guitar solo delivered with that lo-fi surf/garage sound. The band are able to swing the pendulum to the other side with more laid back tracks like “Death Bed Proposal” and the melancholy epic finale to the album; “Farewell Horizontal.” Even with the tenacity rolled back a little, those songs still grab you and you’ll find your head bobbing relentlessly. As heavy as they’re able to crush, sweet melodies still seep through into the music and under your skin.
My favourite track off the album is track number eleven, “Somnolent Surrender.” The song is pure menacing groove. It has that Ty Segal/Fuzz heaviness and sounds so raw that is it probably a health hazard to consume. However, consume it you must. The video for the single “Not Ready to Die” is also available for your viewing pleasures.
Whether your ear is tuned to punk, grunge, rock, blues; you’ll surely pick out something from Psychochondriac. Listening to this album really wants to make me catch this band live. With a release like this we could hope for some touring from the band, and hope we will.
Written by Ben Cornel
*edited by Danielle Kenedy