Fist City - Everything is a Mess - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Fist City - Everything is a Mess

by Rob Taylor Rating:6 Release Date:2015-06-22

Fist City released their debut It's 1983 Grow Up! last year to good reviews. What sounded to me like tentative steps at melding indie-pop and punk has become a definite statement of intent on Everything is a Mess, released this month on Transgressive: louder guitars, faster rhythms, and a more sneering attitude.  

With an unearthly opening interlude, the band soon kicks out towards the constabulary on ‘Fuck Cops’, anger directed at those police who are racist and abuse their power. All pounding drums, shoegaze guitar, and shouting vocals in the vein of Six By Seven or The Wipers,  the track breathlessly makes heady noise from social disquiet.

If the furious invective of ‘Fuck Cops’ leaves you hypertensive, ‘Lets Rip’ maintains the vigour while using pop as a buffer. ‘Lets Rip’ appears to cameo Altered Images' ‘Happy Birthday’, whether intentionally or not. In any event, the pop tempers the punk, but not quite as much as, say, Joanna Gruesome. Still, the inclusion of female vocals ameliorates the clobbering nature of Fist City’s music.

‘Hey Little Sister’ is apparently about ex-mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, although the lyrics are indiscernible. The guitars ring out beautifully on each refrain, saving the track from being a one-dimensional rant, and sounding more like a track that even Sonic Youth would have been proud to write. The same applies to the raucous ‘Bad Trip’, where the drummer seems possessed by a need to annihilate his kit. 

Alas, all this uncompromising, short-winded dashing does get a bit tiresome by mid-album. Like a champion sprinter, it only knows one pace, and the wall-of-sound tends to shoulder charge rather than take you along for the ride. 

For those who like their punk music in short, noisy bursts and delivered with hot-tempered derision.

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