By: Dan Brisebois

Complex arrangements and well thought-out songs comprise Sonica’s second CD, THE SOUND THAT FISH MAKE. This Edmonton-based outfit has strived to develop an authentic sound that defies “labels,” in the process developing a genuinely unique style.

Kristy Munroe on vocals and guitarist Ted Hamelin Jr. make up the group’s nucleus, and they’ve managed to come up with a formula for infectious grooves, tight hooks and strong melodies. The five track CD is 35 minutes of a young, hungry group not afraid to take chances.

The lead-off “Artemis & Apollo” gives the listener a good taste of what to expect. Progressive rhythms perflectly compliment Munroe’s sometimes haunting vocal prowess. Every track has been carefully nurtured in the studio, with the band itself overseeing production. Careful structure rings prominant in the title-track and “My Brain Hurts.” The disc relies on insightful and provocative lyrics, enveloping tight arrangements in “Sworn Off You” and “A Cold Place to Sleep.”

If there’s a bone to pick with THE SOUND THAT FISH MAKE, every song is five minutes or longer, with several over seven. Radio stations tend to shy away from material that long, regardless of how well it’s done. But for shear musicianship, it’s hard to beat the combination of the energetic vigor, complex songwriting, and simple talent Sonica possess.