RSS Feeds

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Road Trip: West Virginia

Doesn't that picture help clarify everything?

Yes, Sandra Black is not a girl. Sandra Black is a band, and a pretty good one at that. Hailing from Morgantown, West Virginia, their indie-rock-style beats accompany a vivid vocal imagery sung by very distinct tones.

Sandra Black is made up of Billy Zwiener (vocals/guitar/keys), Daniel Zwiener (drums), Jason Henry (bass), and Bryan Newruck (guitar). As usual for most bands, these guys have always had a passion for music from a young age. Billy and Daniel grew up with it; Jason and Billy went to the same high school, and the two always had the dream to become rock stars. Billy wrote and Jason supported with any instrument they could get their hands on.

Sandra Black has a talent for intertwining keyboards, drum kits, and dual layered thick vocals. They have plenty of room for instrumental moments that sort of drive into you and hit home somehow.

Their first album, creatively self-titled Sandra Black, was released in 2000. The first track, “Got My Kicks,” is the perfect rock song. It’s an attention grabber from the very start, when all we hear is Billy Zwiener’s raspy voice moaning, “’n I got my kicks, ‘n now I’m sick.” The two-note guitar riff repeats in the background, and then the song slams into full gear with Zwiener’s voice turning into a combination of whisper and scream. I can’t understand a word he’s saying, but that doesn’t matter. I have to blast this song when I play it.

Got My Kicks by Sandra Black

And even though I usually just feature one song from each artist, I was having a really hard time. That's why you also need to check out "Pushin It," a much more familiar coat made of addictive pop and catchy harmonic break downs. this song could be another radio hit, and I honestly think "Pushin It" should be a single, with its soaring chorus and killer guitar fuzz. It's a rock anthem - and it does what rock anthems do - it kind of takes over and gets stuck in your head.

Pushin It by Sandra Black

Their second full-length album The 40 Ounce Confession was released in 2005. It’s very different from their first album, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They took heir first self-titled release and evolved into a tigheter (and better produced) sound. The 40 Ounce Confession has upbeat tunes, soothing tunes, and everything in between. The music is honest, realistic, and sincere.

Sandra Black is currently working on their third full-length album. I don’t know any other information (title/date/etc.) but hopefully there will be an update soon.

Thinking of a band from West Virginia that I should know? Leave it in the comments section!