Bitter Resolve - Bows and Arrows Against the Lightning
Label: Strangelet / Ozium Records (SWE)
As I sit down for a morning burn, usually the last thing on my agenda is spanking-new music from a relatively-unknown band on a damn-CD-R-with-affixed-mailing-label-that-can-potentially-destroy-whatever-is-playing-it-by-being-off-balance. Yeah, shit like that knocks you down a peg around these parts. Yet Bitter Resolve got my attention, first by my reflexive affinity for stoner metal, and second by the titles. Their six-song debut EP is quite awesomely named Bows and Arrows Against the Lightning, and the lead track “A Day without Faeries” sounds like it will be just adorable.
Until they start playing, that is. Most of the important names will appropriately jump to mind (Sabbath, Vitus, Melvins, etc.) but they also throw some curveballs, like how “Molly Brown” instead feels cultivated from Soundgarden. I’m not as stoked about the elliptical tracks. Both “…An Arch that Spans Regret” and “We Must Build an Atomic Blaster…” feel unfinished, but could easily be expanded for a full-length release. And naturally, the production leaves something to be desired; namely, sonic separation. I usually appreciate the fuzziness, but it sounds like they’re hiding behind the wall of noise, disguising and distorting notes almost to the point of unrecognizability. This is what plagues “…An Arch” more than anything else, while “Atomic Blaster…” would benefit from a proper ending.
Let’s venture back to “Faeries”, though. They occasionally surface in heavy music, though rarely outside the realms of power metal, and perhaps least of all in the stoner fields. This first track is their longest here and actually contains the fewest words, so either they had little to write lyrically, or they’re super-confident in the tune musically; I believe the latter. It concludes with a 90-second acoustic outro that my girlfriend mistook for Opeth—nice work, guys! But it’s really on “Perfect Alignment” where the North Carolina trio hit their stride. Their most driving rhythm finds time for a slight psychedelic segue about three minutes in, then wraps up with radiant, memory-burning riffage. Bitter Resolve should be repeatedly hit until reduced to ash, and you’ll be jonesing until the next strain arrives.
Try: 1, 3, 5
01. A Day Without Faeries
02. …An Arch That Spans Regret
03. Perfect Alignment
04. We Must Build an Atomic Blaster…
05. Molly Brown
06. Large Hadron Collider