If you were to take the popish feel of The Beatles, cranked up the heavy, then sprinkled a little bit of indie rock and finally dumped the entire fuzz jar in, you’d probably get something similar to Sage. Not being the biggest fan of the pop-rock aesthetic, I was surprised when listening to their self-titled album Sage. But even without the heavy fuzz (which pleased me), Sage writes excellent music. There is enough variation between songs that the fuzz didn’t get too repetitive or annoying, being that it seems to be the focal point of this band’s tone and sound.
One of the first things that I noticed about the music, which also happens to be one of my favourites things about this band, is how good the bass sounds. The mixing is on point, it’s not too loud and not too low, just smack in the middle. The music has a psychedelic flair to it, meaning the instrumental part of the sound is extremely important. Hearing that fuzzy rumble created by the talented Eric Tremblay was extremely enjoyable. His tone goes hand in hand with guitarist Marc Mercier, who adds his own fuzziness too the mix. In my opinion, he shines the most on the track “Anonymous,” which has a heavier feel to it. Probably why I like it so much.
Also, as I mentioned before, the tunes have a lot of variety. On the track “Tweed,” I was getting a Beatles feel; a sort of light-hearted melody with flowing vocals. But on the track “Nudge,” I got a grungy Nirvana vibe, with a darker atmosphere and heavier parts. You can tell these guys listen to a lot of music and get their inspiration from a lot of sources.
My two biggest problems with this album are the vocals and drums. For the first few songs, the breathy vocals work, but they soon get repetitive. Although the music itself is diverse, the vocals always seem to give the feeling your listening to the same song. The style itself is not the problem, I just feel like having a bit of more variation with the range would add more to the music. As for the drums, Eric Paquet does an excellent job of keeping the rhythm, but I got the feeling I was listening to the same beat too many times.
Sage’s self-titled album, released on June 22 of this year, is a great addition to any music collection. If you’re in the indie scene or if pop is your thing, I definitely suggest listening to these guys. And if you’re a pure headbanging, glass-chewing and gasoline peeing metal head, give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised!
Written by Johnathan Robinson
*edited by Mike Milito