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MP3 Sandra Black - Sandra Black

Sandra Black''s self titled first album. Alternative rock from the days of young.

12 MP3 Songs in this album (36:14) !
Related styles: ROCK: Rock & Roll, ROCK: Euro-Rock

The inevitible aging experiment; how a band named Sandra Black made me act my age

by Kurt Hernon

With fall coming around like a climatic bully I was out trolling around the other day end of summer style. With the car all freshly washed and waxed up, windows down, a real hot-doggin’ pair of rose colored shades hanging from my nose - you know the groove - I was leanin’ way back in my seat, elbow out the window, stereo blastin’, and all the while laying the hard scope down on all the bitches hiking around doing their finest last days of summer strut. I was enjoying the tank tops with bellies showin’ off, nice little denim shorts, and sandals carrying toes adorned with rings that glistened in the sun.

Anyhow, I get down to the beach near my house and start to hang tight in a cruise pattern around the parking lo, like we used to do at the Elm Road McDonald’s when I was a kid. After twenty minutes or so a queer little voice breaks the silence between CD changes on my car stereo. "Hey you old pervert, get outta here." An altogether different yet piercing falsetto quickly follows the first and chimes in beating the CD to its punch. "Go back home to your wife and kids and quit acting like you’re still eighteen you creep."

I shot a coy, knowing smile at the voices and felt a rush of heat flush my face. I stole a reflective glance in my rearview mirror at the creep they were now giggling about. The rose colored lenses spoke volumes; I had become the worst sort of abysmal cliché.

I closed my eyes for a second and wondered whether I should go into a rage or just cry. Instead I just sent some of the middling age weight from my midsection rippling down my pasty legs to the gas pedal and quickly pulled out of the beach parking lot. I caught another glimpse of myself in the mirror and ripped the sunglasses from my face hurling them into traffic.

The stereo remained strangely quiet and I certainly didn’t need it to right now. I fumbled with some buttons, hit it a couple of times, and then finally realized that it was off. I flipped it on and head west on River Road waiting for some sounds to soothe the dull pain my ego was suffering. A menacingly sexy song called "Got my Kicks" told me that I’d get more than I bargained for, and I didn’t even know who the hell was singing it. Quite frankly I didn’t care.

Sandra Black isn’t a girl, at least none I know of, although it’s a pretty name for a girl. Sandra that is (I like Sandy for short). Sandra Black isn’t a guy either. Well it isn’t a guy, it’s five guys, but none named Sandra, or Black for that matter. Strangely enough Sandra Black is just a band name. I’m sure there’s some really good story behind it, but I don’t have the slightest clue what it could be. Wouldn’t it be so cool if it were something like what I wrote above? Some dudes always diggin’ this chick and she like dogs them out at one time or another, but these guys, being enterprising rockrollers and all figure they hold the Ace in this game of sexual cat and mouse and decide that they were going to take away this girls name. They’d name their band after her! When they finally hit the BIG TIME everyone would know the Sandra Black, the rockroll band Sandra Black, not some lousy bimbo named Sandra Black back in West Virginia. That is NOT the story here. I don’t know the story behind this Sandra Black band’s name, but that would be a cool story nevertheless.

Part of my story is true though. Not much, but one little detail is: West Virginia. Sandra Black is from West Virginia! Can you believe it? No one can. I mean nobody I’ve played this record for. Most folks listen for a little while and say something like, " West Virginia? No waaaay!" or, "You gott be kidding me?! West Virginia?" All variations on a theme, you know?

But it makes nothing but perfect sense because no one who has heard this thing can recall the last time they’d heard such a solid and assured alterna-rock record that didn’t flat out suck in some way or another, big or small. I mean usually you can find good musicians who are trapped with some goof who sings and writes embarrassingly dumb lyrics, or you’ll have your poet laureate types who write ghastly melodramatic tunes over sub par music, and you may stumble onto the occasional fantastic band that doesn’t have a half a song in them. There is all sort of misguided nonsense going on out there these days and everyone has owns a CD burner, so, needless to say we’ve all suffered a bit these past years. But this Sandra Black thing, it’s different. I didn’t even look to see how far along the thing was until track 11, and there are only 12 tracks! That’s quite a success. What tops it all off is that track 12, "Betty Rides Shotgun", is a good tune in and of itself! Astonishing.

What does it sound like you ask? Well, hmm, that’s sort of tough. It’s like the Smashing Pumpkins maybe, but not nearly so whiny. It’s hard assed ("Got My Kicks"), and tender as hell ("Track 3" which is exactly track number three! Uncanny!), it’s from West Virginia and makes me wish the rest of the clowns trying to even approach this kind of whirring alterna-rock and roll were too.

Driving my car three hours since the beach incident listening to the Sandra Black disc the entire time I finally shake the reality check that had earlier sent me reeling like a ponderous old fool. I find myself lured deeper and deeper into the dreamlike flow of a song called "Star City", maybe it was the references to "driving around / in Star City" (which I was…driving around that is, not in Star City or anything, but driving around yes). The September night air had gone cold and my windows were wound up, a can of Busch Beer cooled my thighs as they warmed it up, and Sandra Black wept a tune called "Tounge Tied" as another summer slowly escaped. I poured the warm beer down my throat, tossed the empty in the back seat, belched, and turned the stereo up loud.

You better fucking believe I ain’t eighteen anymore. I’m nearly twice that now and that’s just old enough to remember, and miss, what rock and roll once was to so many people. I may be too old for the teen mainstream, and I probably expect a whole lot more from my music than the acne demographic. But I am also nobody’s fool, I do realize that the kicks come along fewer and further between in an ever the younger youth driven culture, but when they do it’s usually something like Sandra Black that helps put it all back into perspective.

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