By David F. Rooney
Anyone who thinks rock is dead is missing the Blind Spot. This band of five talented local musicians has just published a new CD, Past Lives, — recorded at Revelstoke’s Snowstorm Studios and manufactured in the Big Eddy (how local is that!) — and will be performing live at the Glacier Challenge Softball tournament this weekend.
This seven-song CD features Kaylee Knecht on lead vocals, Marty Stroo on lead guitar, Wanetta Streo on rhythm guitar, Leslie Wilkins on drums and Heidi Bender on bass guitar. The lyrics for all of the songs were written by Wanetta Stroo while the music for three of the songs — I Beg, Emerald Eyes and Thoughts of You — was composed by Bender and the music for the rest — Drink of Mine, Heavy Sigh, Unfaithful and Private Prison — was written by Marty Stroo.
This is semi-heavy rock that I found reminiscent of the 1990s band, Grant Lee Buffalo, and in a few places oddly enough, King Crimson. The lyrics are intelligent and Knecht’s voice is deep with craving, particularly in I Beg. Toss in a dash of Wolfmother and a sprinkling of Foo Fighters and you’ve got Blind Spot. Well, there’s a lot more to it than that, of course.
“We spent the first year in the basement honing our sound before we took it to the stage,” Wanetta says.
That was four years ago and since then they have been building a following. LIsten to this CD, particularly (for me at least) songs like Drink of Mine and Thoughts of You, and you’ll see why. The lyrics are smart, the vocals are throaty, with just the right touch of rawness, and the beat is steady and driving.
If you’ve never heard Blind Spot before you might be forgiven for thinking they are an all-chick band. They do have a token male, lead guitarist Marty Stroo, who is also the most experienced musician of the bunch having played on the road for several years. The rest of the band members are, judging by the sound of this CD, very competent and well-rehearsed musicians.
Jumping from playing the local bar scene to a larger venue like the Glacier Challenge Tournament, which is almost as much about music and beer as it is softball, is a big step for Blind Spot. And is is one I am sure they’ll savour. And judging by the quality of the music on Past Lives, their performance will be one people at the post-game concert at Centennial Park will really enjoy, too.