Sage, the debut album from the Pinecones, is a blast from the past. Sonically, it’s a dense listen, bringing to mind some of the more catchy tracks that a certain Liverpool foursome wrote in India back in ’68. Yes, the Pinecones write near-perfect psychedelic pop. What makes Sage a remarkable achievement, however, is that this flowery-and-expanding record was crafted in Toronto, which isn’t exactly a haven for summery sounds, yet the Pinecones give into its inner flower child, combining swift, psychedelic choruses with deliciously meandering verses.
Opportunities arise for the Pinecones to show its blue-blooded, Neil Young-esque sound (most notably on the groovy, scorching “Ardmore Jenny”). Perhaps the Pinecones will lead the true new wave of psychedelic pop-rock. The band gets its elbows up and throw its weight around in punchy rhythms, but things never get, well, too heavy. It’s a dense, sonic balance that these four dudes ought to be proud of.