Video premiere: Blinder rips the night open at “May The Saints Go March in Sin”

Michi Tapes captures the sight, sound and splendor of Pittsburgh rock band Blinder’s first local gig on distorted VHS.

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Blinder

Words and Video: Eric Stevens/Michi Tapes.

Blinder, with brooding slack and style, set brains buzzing as the feedback still settled on their second ever show last month, kicking it off for Big Baby, Silver Car Crash, and The Sewerheads at Thunderbird Café and Music Hall May 27th.

The lack of gigs under their belt is no indication of inexperience. It didn’t take long to realize these were seasoned musicians, occupying current and previous roles in De Rodillas, Rchrd Prkr, Memory Wound, and Derider. 

Blinder balances atmosphere, strangeness, and polished dark grain into their musical drive. The alt. rock gloom, heavy bends, ethereal tinge casts a large crossover appeal; their music pulls high octane rockers to 90’s gazers alike. The use of a tremolo bar is inherently, physically slack, but the band comes off exact and calculated, a tightness that 90’s indie slacker acts didn’t subscribe to. The sound is a doom dive, springing into hi-gain mileage, a guitar timbre blistering with occasional choreographed limps. 

Bonding over bands like Swirlies, Unwound, My Bloody Valentine, Obituary, and Ovlov, as well as Smoking Room label bands like Toner and Hotline TNT Slowdive would be a near-center comparison, but an important sonic peripheral remains: the onslaught drive of the band’s doom-y power. Rotating vocals between guitarist Ricky Petticord, drummer Brandon O’Neill, bassist Margo Van Hoy, and guitarist Tim Brentner solidify the group’s potential, every member their own pillar of importance.   

The video of their full set is a continuous, 21-minute-long shot ran through Gijs Gieskes designed 3TrinsRGB+1c analog audio/video synthesizer and a mid-90’s Videonics MX-1 digital video mixer separately, both manipulated in one pass each. The affected video tracks were layered together in various transparency values, with the dry, original footage bridging songs à la palate cleanser. The audio was recorded on the venue’s closed-off second balcony through a VHS camera with slight digital equalizing. 

Blinder plans to write a few more songs before pairing up with Mr. Smalls Recording and Mastering Studio Engineer/Producer Nate Campisi this fall. The band will be opening up for Spirit of the Beehive with Ex Pilots at Spirit, July 18th.

Follow Blinder on Instagram. And Michi Tapes. And check out the Pittsburgh Independent’s photo coverage and review of May The Saints Go March in Sin, presented by Goodlander.