If any local band could be said to embody the rugged, industrial, classic Americana feel that permeated Pittsburgh’s character from its early days, Bindley Hardware Company would be a strong contender. This makes sense, considering their name itself stems from a Steeltown-based business owned and operated by earlier generations of lead singer Jon Bindley’s family. With this brand new music video for their just-dropped single, “All Right, Already!” those roots are on full, fantastic display. Not only is the song itself energetic, catchy, and sharply-written, but the video takes an unconventional approach—splicing together public domain footage from decades past that corresponds with the track’s instrumentation, rhythm, and subject matter. It speaks to a simpler time, that older generations remember and younger ones romanticize, but in a way that’s still fresh and engaging today.
The band consists of primary songwriter Bindley on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Christopher Putt on lead guitar, Ryan Kantner on bass, Brian Ganch on drums, Waylon Richmond on violin, and Greg Marchetti on keys and accordion.
“We call ourselves a Rust-Belt Americana band, and we’re big on tradition,” explains Bindley. “Nowadays, it seems like the ‘Americana’ brand is just anyone with an acoustic guitar and a Stetson hat. But there’s a lot more to it than that—it’s roller-coasters, it’s baseball, it’s Chuck Berry…This song is all about keeping things loose and keeping things moving, in a way that Americans do best.”
That deeper understanding of the quintessential American aesthetic certainly comes through in this video. Produced/edited by Brooklyn-based filmmaker Jamie Wright of Division Street Films, it features retro film clips of activities ranging from beauty pageants to bull-riding, county fairs to swing dancing, and weddings to water skiing. The vibe is undeniably upbeat and nostalgic. During the verses, when Bindley sings about going to places such as a casino or an airport, the footage corresponds to the subject matter. Though these clips transition rapidly (with occasional old-school film overlays to enhance the intended effect), there’s a clear logic to how they’re put together. It doesn’t feel random or careless. When people are shown dancing, they’re in tune with the rhythm; when certain instruments stand out in the song, often there’s a clip of that instrument being played. (The bit with Berry dancing is a particularly nice touch.) It’s this thoughtfulness that makes the video unique and fitting to the track. We don’t see a single member of BHC for a second, but it’s hard to imagine this belonging to anyone else.
As for the single itself, it’s rollicking and addictive. If you’ve been to a BHC show in the past several months, you’ve more than likely heard it live, and the studio version keeps that same raucous (while not rushed), genuine energy. Marchetti’s keys and Putt’s classic rock guitar shine in the instrumental parts, while Richmond’s violin is key to the fun, old-school vibe in the chorus. Bindley’s voice, with its slight twang and smooth-but-not-too-smooth tone, is what ties it all together. He shows his knack for storytelling with verses that relate his particular version of a common experience, such as: “I went to the wedding, I was on time/I gave them a present, they gave me some wine/I said, all right, already, already, all right.”
As the song progresses, the situations the speaker describes rise in unpleasantness (for example, the funeral of a friend.) This makes his recurring refrain of “all right, already, already, all right” increasingly juxtaposed. But that’s kind of the point: it’s exactly this idea of accepting your circumstances, picking yourself up, and carrying on regardless that BHC sees as American, and embodies in this track. Even the mention of the friend’s death doesn’t take itself 100% seriously—Wright opts to visualize it with a somewhat goofy skeleton which dangles and wiggles from cobwebs. There’s a definite sense of humor and lightheartedness throughout the piece, but that doesn’t preclude its thoughtfulness or its ability to make a statement.
If you’re anxious for more, don’t worry: “All Right, Already!” is just the initial glimpse of additional new, exciting material to emerge from BHC this year. “This is the first release from a full-length album that will be formally released in the fall of 2017,” reveals Bindley. “But we’ll be releasing an array of singles from the album in the interim. That’s all I can say for now!”
It’s clear that this music video and song are both promising signs of things to come. Check out the video below (or by clicking here) and download the song on BHC’s Bandcamp page. Follow along with them on Facebook to keep up to date with their future releases.