by Jim Di Gioia

August 13, 2018

Cochrane, ON’s Sage is evidence that guitar rock is alive and kicking in the north.


Whether you’re talking about band names or seasonings, Sage is a bold and savoury choice. Peppering their eight-song, self-titled release with nineties flavours like shoegaze, slacker rock, shimmery production, and shattered pop tunes, Cochrane, ON’s Sage showcase a shrewd knowledge of recent musical history and offer up further evidence that guitar rock is alive and kicking in the north. Sage sounds full of fire, fuelled by the frustration of feeling out of place in one’s surroundings and needing an outlet. The trio of Eric Paquet (vocals, drums, and primary songwriter), Marc Mercier (guitar), and Eric Tremblay (bass) nail the bored-in-a-basement-at-9:30-on-a-Friday night vibe with songs like “Crystal Clear” and “Out of Sight”, but there’s clearly a tension running through the record that threatens to explode. The frenetic energy of the single “Fuss” and “Anonymous”, the full-on, fuzzed-out melodic pop song that closes out the record, is infectious and hopefully indicative of how Sage’s songs are evolving.

Jim Di Gioia

Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.

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