Sonna Smile and the World Smiles With You

[Temporary Residence; 2003]

Styles: post-rock, indie rock
Others: Epic45, Paul Newman, Lanterna, 1 Mile North

Many times it is quite easy to have a bias towards something if you have a direct conflict of interest in the matter. In the job market, for instance, many opportunities of promotion and advancement are not always based off of merit and skill alone; instead favoritism, nepotism and personal connections play a larger role in the process. So you'll have to forgive my initial skepticism towards the band Sonna when the fact was revealed that indie rock guru Jeremy DeVine (owner of Temporary Residence) has a formal stake in the matter as a member of the group. I've seen it happen way too many times before with countless other labels, flocking and self-promoting the shit out of their own narcissistic art forms with little regard for quality control in the process. Fortunately, Sonna continues to prove their endurance and worth over and over again with each release making them able to stand their own amongst the crowd irregardless of DeVine's membership. 2001's We Sing Loud Sing Soft Tonight was a subtle masterpiece that incorporated various bits of unconventional off-kilter songwriting intertwined and woven into an intricate post rock tapestry. Their follow-up takes the band a bit further down the beaten path opening up a myriad of new possibilities in this usually overdone and overcooked genre. Sonna's key is in their ability to throw in out of place elements together with a degree of precision unlike those defunct non-rockers Tristeza (I've heard DeVine is not a fan) who remained so melodically balanced and together it was practically sickening. Instead Sonna's branded formula of entertaining sweet & sour harmonization makes their melodic parts stand out much more and keeps the listener’s attention. Their continued variation of tempo is also quite superb; the band is both extremely apparent in the first track “Frone Taj” and subtle as hell in the next, “Open Ended." In a period of such bland post-rock monotony and replication, Sonna has both the intelligence and skill to be able to distinguish themselves from the plethora of mediocrity that exists.

1. Frone Taj
2. Open Ended
3. One Most Memorable
4. The Right Age
5. Smile
6. And the World Smiles With You