Brock Lindow - Vocals
Steve Holt - Guitar/Vocals
Mick Whitney - Bass
Thomas Noonan - Drums
Alaska is about to be redefined.
As unpatriotic as it might sound, most Americans don't think twice about the non-contiguous state of Alaska, except when pondering things like moose, the tundra, permafrost, and Northern Exposure. The fledgling music scene in Alaska, the land which tour routers seem to have forgotten, benefits from its virtual anonymity in that it breeds originality and creativity in the bands that originate there. That anonymity may be about to change, thanks to Anchorage's own 36 Crazyfists. The quartet's emotionally muscular Roadrunner debut, Bitterness The Star, could easily put Alaska on the metal map much like labelmates Slipknot lent oodles of cred to Iowa.
Alaska is a place in which daylight only shows its heatless face for about six hours during the winter months. The members of 36 Crazyfists, frontman Brock Lindow, guitarist Steve Holt, bassist Mick Whitney and drummer Thomas Noonan, use their limited time wisely, choosing to craft intensely beautiful, melodic hard rock, reminiscent of the quiet-loud bipolarity of the Deftones, the post-hardcore urgency of Quicksand, and the full on soul-baring, emotional assault of Glassjaw. Lindow's quivery, anguished vocals collide head on with a barrage of colossal riffs and unforgettable melodies on Bitterness The Star.
The band formed in 1994, gigging whenever they could, being that the harsh landscape and sub-zero weather did not exactly foster opportunities to play out. Tragedy struck in 1996, when the original bassist was killed in a car accident. The Fists persevered and relocated to Portland, Oregon, where they eventually befriended thrash-groove titans Skinlab, who quickly landed their demo into the hands of A&R reps at Roadrunner. 36 Crazyfist's untouchable live stamina sealed their deal with Roadrunner and that is ultimately what will captivate fans. While retail shelves are stocked to the brim with hard rock and new metal bands, Bitterness The Star is the record to purchase for fans “looking for something a little more creative, something that's not straight up metal,” says Lindow. “We created some super honest music. I believe that.” The band have already have shared the stage with the likes of Pro-Pain, Primus, Hatebreed, Suicidal Tendencies, and (hed) pe over the years.
36 Crazyfists – they took their name from a Jackie Chan flick – create music that will grab you by the throat and take a lethal bite out of your jugular, all the while speaking with a megaphone right to that sensitive part of your heart that you might not visit very often. Lindow admits, “Every song is me yelling at me. It's about mistakes and human errors that I have made. They are about relationships I have had, fucked up and then got out of. And I'm not talking about boyfriend-girlfriend or love songs, either.”
Bitterness The Star is 45 minutes of provocative and devastating sonic exploration. Song titles like “An Agreement Called Forever,” “Slit Wrist Theory” and “8 Minutes Upside Down” only hint at the complexities that lurk within the Fists astounding fury. Producer Eddie Wohl of Scrap 60 (Dry Kill Logic, Primer 55) was able to take all of the disparate elements that comprise Bitterness the Star and blend them into one bold, coherent musical statement. Lindow's lyrics, an exorcism of sorts, swell and crash against the musical torrent of his bandmates. 36 Crazyfists is accompanied by Skinlab frontman Steev Esquivel on the track "Bury Me Where I Fall", and Carl Severson, lead singer of metal core act Nora, on "One More Word", 2 tracks which the band deems as the album's heaviest songs.
Inside every person lurks a sadomasochist, who beats him or herself up or berates oneself for the choices they've made or the things they've done wrong. In order to bleed that self loathing out of the system and to truly achieve catharsis, you need to go through the ugly process of shedding the dead skin in order to emerge cleansed, renewed, and reborn. Bitterness The Star is that cleansing process they are both the pumice that rubs one's skin raw and that which soothes it afterwards.