Band brings smooth blend of melodies

The cover of Sand Section’s first album, “Truth Over Harmony.”

Mixing a coastal vibe with the punk music so familiar with the greater Los Angeles area, the group Sand Section has hit the radio waves of KSLC to provide Linfield with some feel good music from their first album “Truth Over Harmony”.

The three-piece band with Jeff Nisen (guitar, vocals, harmonica), Tony Gonella (bass, vocals, percussion) and Stefan Partelow (drums, vocals) hail from Manhattan Beach, Calif., where they first played together ten years ago when they were in middle school. They officially formed Sand Section in 2008 and after college graduation in 2009, turned their full attention on music and have been working hard ever since, trying to establish themselves in the coastal Southern Californian music scene.

The group’s signature sound reveals a fusion of surf rock and reggae consistent with the beach-going culture of Manhattan Beach, while acoustic melodies supplement Sand Section’s tracks with bright tones that energize their audiences. Tracks like “Undertow” demonstrate premier vocal harmonization and reggae-style guitar that send the listener to the SoCal beaches for a few minutes.

Sand Section’s versatility musically is exemplified with songs such as “Sanya” which includes the use of bongos, harmonica, and keys to bring an uplifting sound. The track titled “Doubled Over” brings to light the range of the group’s sound, starting off with acoustic guitar and transitioning to reggae progressions before ending with a fast-paced, punk rock-inspired conclusion that leaves the audience wanting more.

Even though the group is just getting going, they have had the opportunity to share the stage with prominent surf rock/reggae groups like The Dirty Heads, Tomorrows Bad Seeds and Tribal Seeds. With inspirations from a wide-range of artists, (they have credited the likes of Eric Clapton, Slash, and Dispatch all as major influences), Sand Section looks poised to continue to grow in popularity and creativity. The band remains unsigned but that hasn’t hindered their musical progress. They recently released a second album this summer titled “Pixelated Romance.”

Listen for Sand Section’s music on KSLC with impressive vocals and excellent musical instrumentation that can send you to your own beach in an instant. You can now listen to KSLC anywhere you want with your computer. Stream it online at

James Testa/KSLC 90.3 FM
James Testa can be reached at

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