36 Crazyfists Bitterness the Star

Anchorage, Alaska’s 36 Crazyfists reveal what they do with all of those hours of winter darkness on the tundra with their debut CD, Bitterness the Star. The disc is mixed so that vocalist Brock Lindow is in your face from the first note, which isn’t too bad when he roars but there is a strange quiver to his melodic singing voice that doesn’t quite fit. Also, Steve Holt’s guitar is hiding behind Lindow, so that the urgency of each song is lost. The lyrics behave like an autistic child, shining with brilliance one moment ("Lace me up/Lace me up/I’m still looking for these angels in the snow,” in "Slit Wrist Theory”) before slipping back into the darkness of inexperience ("One more piece inside these lines/Deeper harms my disguise/And everyone is different so everyone is sly/And everything’s still horrible since everyone still dies,” in "Turns to Ashes”). A little effort in the enunciation of the lyrics on "Dislocate” would have improved the quality of the track also, and possibly the entire disc. Despite their best efforts, 36 Crazyfists haven’t put Alaska on the musical map. (Universal)