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Sandy McKnight

w/ Fernando Perdomo San Fernando Blast!

Review by Gary Hill

This duo previously released a couple EPs that I reviewed. Fernando Perdomo is a frequently covered artist at MSJ. In fact, this is not the only disc reviewed in this issue that includes his work. Here they have combined the songs from those two EPs (in a different order) with three new tracks to create an album. The sound here is most often like Elvis Costello, but there are other things on display, too. Since I previously reviewed nearly all these songs on the other releases that include them, I've copied or modified the track reviews of those tunes to use here for the sake of consistency.

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Track by Track Review
There is a classic rock edge to this. It feels like something from Elvis Costello. Late 70s rock is all over it.
Pay It Any Mind
There is a bit of a psychedelic edge to this cut. It is overall a mainstream pop rocker, but it's an interesting secondary angle or flavor.
Heart in Your Hands
Imagine merging Elvis Costello with the Beatles. You are likely to have something like this.
C'mon C'mon C'mon
This makes me think of the Chicago area band Off Broadway quite a bit. I'm a big fan of their brand of power-pop, so that's a good thing coming from me.
Under the Sun
I love the bouncy rocking groove on this number. This is one of the strongest songs here. It works so well. It has all the usual reference points, but it just gels on so many levels.
Chloe's Gone
Another that has a lot of that Costello sound in the mix, this one has some rather awkward moments that make it less successful than some of the other music here. It has some charms, but is a bit of a clunker.
Any Time of Day
I like the good-time 1960s vibe on this cut. It again has plenty of that Elvis Costello thing, too.
Single Flowers
I'm very much reminded of Elvis Costello on this tune, as well. It's a classy cut that works well.
Melody Anne
An acoustic guitar based tune, this feels a bit like America as it starts. Once it turns to a more rock-based (but still not hard-edged) arrangement, I again think of Off Broadway. This is another fun pop rock number.
Why Make Promises
I can hear some Beatles influences on this number. The organ is a nice touch, and I really like the hooks on the tune. This is one of the highlights of the set. It's every bit as catchy as any of the rest, but perhaps a little meatier.
Got Me Where You Want Me
This comes in more stripped back. It works out in a very Costello-like mode. This gets more powered up as it continues. It also has some cool power pop elements on some instrumental bridges. I really dig the guitar solo on this, too.
Living On The West Side
There is such a great up-tempo, cheery pop rock vibe to this number. It has a real 70s rock sound to it.
Facing the End of the World
This song has such a cheery vibe to it, presenting a contrast to the title. This is a fun number with cool retro textures.

If there is a song to skip here, it's this one. The music isn't bad. It's not a big departure from the rest. The vocals are not anywhere near as effective, though. I think this set would be a lot better if this tune had been left off. I do really like the guitar solo, though.

Seven Words
The keyboards on this bring a bit of an 80s thing, while the song makes me think of Elvis Costello. It's another effective number on a disc with no shortage of such things.


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