Last year, Canadian band ‘Fist City’ blew our minds with their debut album, ‘It’s 1983 Grow Up!’
It was a title fitting of the glory days of punk rock, with Endless Bummer and Boring Kids the highlights. With this new act starting to pick up traction across the border and the Atlantic, it looked as if ‘Fist City’ were about to join Nickelback and Billy Talent as the definitive “Canadian bands”. Fast forward a year and their follow-up album is the definition of diminishing returns. The same energy and rebellious attitude is there just as in the first album, but it’s beginning to become stale.
This is not, however, a criticism of Fist City’s potential as a band; opening track Fuck Cops is catchy, not to mention punchy and aggressive (as the title might suggest), but the album is stuck in an 80s funk which reads less an affectionate homage and more a band of four dads who refuse to grow up and leave their garages. The songs that follow (such as Let’s Rip, Shotgun and five separate interludes) all kind of blend into one another. They all carry the same energy, but with similar tempos, riffs and the same garbled, near-unintelligible vocals you might as well listen to Fuck Cops 10 times in a row. It’s only the final non-interlude track, The Mess, that offers anything different, a 6-minute song that has barely any vocals and better showcases the instrumental talent that Fist City possesses. For the band to improve as musicians and entertainers, they need more songs like The Mess.
So where do Fist City go from here? They need to embrace the evolution of punk and expand their horizons. Since the heyday of punk rock in the 70s and 80s, there have been acts such as Green Day, Blink-182 and The Offspring who have developed the genre and offered something different. For every Pretty Fly For a White Guy, Fist City need to record a Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? or a 21 Guns to fully showcase what they can do. It’s a shame: the talent is there, but Fist City’s follow-up album Everything is a Mess makes, well, a mess of that potential and as a result, we’re still waiting to see what they can really do.
If you’re looking for an album to stick it to the man, this might do for you, but for the rest of us it’s probably worth just sticking Fuck Cops on repeat.
‘Everything is a Mess’ is out now on Transgressive Records.
You can see ‘Fist City’ at one of the following venues…
20th October 2015 – Autumn Falls Festival w/ Girl Band, Brussels
21st October 2015 – De Kreun w/ Girl Band, Kortrijk
22nd October 2015 – ACU w/ Girl Band, Utrecht
23rd October 2015 – V11 w/ Girl Band, Rotterdam
24th October 2015 – Let’s Get Lost Festival w/ Girl Band, Zwolle
24th October 2015 – Vera w/ Girl Band, Groningen
The full track-listing for ‘Everything is a Mess’ is as follows…