Corinne Sweeney is a lion. Unfortunately, the wild, soulful, incantatory singer for Kansas City's Mythical Beast is often surrounded by housecats on her group's debut LP, Scales. The offending felines are distorted guitar and bass that should plunge and surge like ocean trawlers but instead crackle and buzz like two-stroke weed eaters. "Eyes Into Space" starts with a descending Sabbath riff and Sweeney powering to the fore like a Viking maiden — but how heavy can you get with cheaply distorted guitars and a tamborine? "Light in the Maze" suffers from riffs that were conceived as sludge metal but sound like they're being played through Pignose amps. The Beast works best when guitarist Jeremiah Orndorff Cowlin and bassist Aaron Lee Hawn (there are no drums, just sparse auxiliary percussion throughout) ditch the fuzz and turn to acoustics and synthesizers, laying down effectively moody, dismal layers under Sweeney's consistently awesome channeling of Sandy Denny and Grace Slick ("River Blindness," "Live to Live" and the genuinely terrifying "Chaos Spinner"). As soon as Mythical Beast adds some real depth and dynamics to its heavier material, then it'll be a bitch to reckon with.