The Pinecones’s dreamy psychedelic summer of love Sage conjures both the Beatles and the Kinks. Sage rocks and rolls with the best of them, but sometimes hits a few wrong notes. These flubs are forgivable, however, as frontman Brent Randall smooth talks and croons his way into the brain with catchy licks and groovy arrangements. The multi-part harmonies throughout the disc are very ambitious, and for the most part are on point. Check out “Tea Tonight” for a jaunty little indeclinable invitation to “Oh, for Peter’s sake, won’t you just have a bit of cake?”
Sometimes those licks hit a little too close to other things. For instance, sweet and breezy “On the Buses ‘71” is really fun, but sounds like a direct lift from the opening notes of the Beatles’ “And I Love Her”, if the Three’s Company theme song and Steely Dan’s “Only a Fool” were spliced into them. It’s easy to forgive these little blips, though, as long as songs like “5 O’Clock Shadow (Of a Moonbeam)” transport us miles away with just a hint of twang.
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