Sunshine Blind was a second-wave gothic rock band from central New Jersey. They formed in 1991 (the year that punk broke!) and released three albums before breaking up in 2003.
The music they produced was usually fast, intense, fierce, energetic and intricately crafted by the lineup, which consisted of the standard drum machine and bassist, but also two lead guitarists. Those two, Caroline Blind (née Bokman) and CWHK, were the only two members to stay with the band for its entire career. Caroline was the singer; CWHK, as mentioned, was the lead guitarist and studio producer, and also handled synth programming; the band's first album, 1995's Love The Sky To Death, also featured bassist Cousin Al and no live drummer—CWHK, again, stepped up to sequence the electronic drums.
After the release of their first album, Sunshine Blind did what they could to tour as extensively as they could. All of them also held day jobs, not having found being rock stars particularly lucrative. Nevertheless, in 1996, the album Liquid followed. During these tours, live drummers Geoff Bruce and Gregg Ziemba joined the band for live shows, but didn't play on any of the albums. Prior to this album, original bassist Cousin Al departed for whenever the Cousin Als of this world end up. He was replaced by J.T. Murphy.
After Liquid, the band became more well-known. They played the Convergence III festival in San Francisco, contributed about 15 tracks to various record label compilations, most notably Music From The Succubus Club, a soundtrack released for the tabletop RPG "Vampire: The Masquerade". They were famously booted from the bill of the Dark Harvest III festival by Sisters of Mercy front-man, notorious egotist and, incidentally, show headliner Andrew Eldritch for being "too gothic"; given the source of the quote (from a goth icon who had been rejecting the whole goth thing for years, thinking he was too good for it), much was made of this on alt.gothic and in similar net.goth circles at the time. If anything, though, this attention, negative as it was, brought the band to broader appeal and they were even interviewed on "MTV News" by Kurt Loder in a small blurb about the Dark Harvest III snub.
Bassist J.T. Murphy was also a session musician, and joined Faith and The Muse on stage for Convergence IV in 1998 as their live bassist. Unfortunately, he committed suicide about a week later. This put Sunshine Blind's plans on hold for some time, and it wasn't until 2003 that a new album would appear: I Carry You. It was largely disregarded by the music press and by fans alike and the band broke up shortly after its release. Caroline and CWHK attempted to get a new project off the ground not long after, a band called Fear Makes Perfect, but that, too, didn't last, and now Sunshine Blind exists only in memory, old articles and websites. Following a one-off reunion show in 2014 which featured William Faith of Faith and the Muse on bass guitar, they have reunited for a single show—Convergence XX in Chicago—in April 2014, but sadly, I don't expect much more than nostalgia appearances, if any further shows are announced at all.
Comparable bands include Mephisto Walz, Inkubus Sukkubus, I:Scintilla, Serpahim Shock, The Crüxshadows and maybe Helalyn Flowers, although by and large, the sound was pretty unique. Like these comparable bands, Caroline's voice is strong and forceful, and very nuanced. In my humble opinion, their best song is far and away "Regodless", from their first album. "Release" from Liquid, the only single SB ever released, is also great, although were I to name my favorite track from that album, it'd be "This Longing". Their cover of A Flock of Seagulls' "I Ran" is also not to be missed.
I can't really recommend any tracks off the final album, I Carry You, as I have not paid it much attention; probably a mistake on my part.
In conclusion, this has been another writeup about another band that most of you probably haven't heard of. As always, my goal is to get at least one reader to give them a listen. Please let me know if I've succeeded!
UPDATE! LATE 2017: Sunshine Blind has reunited with most of the original line-up and are at the time of writing planning a tour of North America, including a stop at Convergence XXIV on April 29, 2018, in Detroit.
FURTHER UPDATE! 2020: Caroline has released a solo album called The Spell Between. It contains a mixture of original songs, reworked Sunshine Blind songs and covers, including a version of SWANS' "God Damn The Sun".
Mother of Skye - Sunshine Blind
WP: Sunshine Blind
Discogs.com - Sunshine Blind
FB - Sunshine Blind
Caroline (Blind) Bokman's YouTube channel
Songkick - Sunshine Blind
Last.fm - Sunshine Blind
I've seen this band live once:
1997 - Detroit (with Switchblade Symphony)