Swedish Fish is a poppish, alternative-leaning band out of Toronto. The band evolved from one of the same name created back in 1986. Dark Light, released earlier this year is the first new work in some two decades for a band with the fish name.
Martha Bouchier provides lead vocals for Swedish Fish, and she is something of an acquired taste. On the lead Summers Needing, the song comes across as rather irritating, but Bouchier does get into a better rhythm after that with All In Love and Birth of the Uncool being the second and third songs on the disk, and among the best here.
That said Swedish Fish could benefit from an added male lead vocalist to offer a counterpoint to Bouchier's voice, at least for this style of music. If they were to take the music more towards Gothic or symphonic metal I would likely be raving about this gal's voice, and you get a hint at that Birth of the Uncool and Worlds Collide.
When they ramp up the tempo, like on a cut such as Dead Easy Street, Bouchier's voice isn't quite as smooth a cut, leaving this a CD with some highs and some lows based on how her vocals fit the tempo of the song.
Swedish Fish is rounded out by Simon Bedford-James and Sue McCluskey on guitar, Kevin Croucher on bass, Todd Gemmill on drums and Martin Cooper on organ.
The best material here is quite good, but they don't hit the sweet spot of material fitting Bouchier's quite enough to rate this one higher. She has a voice that is unique, and as such needs to be particularly careful what fits that uniqueness. Here Swedish Fish misses just a bit too often.
You can check the band out at www.myspace.com/originalswedishfish
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Sept. 24, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada