Fist City

Everything Is a Mess

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Fist City live up to their name on their third album, Everything Is a Mess -- the album title, too. The Canadian quartet rips through the 11 songs (and six interludes), most of them like a ragged punch in the face, all of them scrappy and loose with the band holding on for dear life. The guitars are reverb-heavy and distorted, while still being light and stinging. Kier Griffiths' vocals are yelped and feverish, with bassist Brittany Griffiths chiming in now and then to add to the frenetic nature of things. The rhythm section bobs and weaves like a welterweight fighter, never settling into a groove, always pushing forward and spurring the guitars on to greater mayhem. The overall feeling the album transmits is energy -- jolting, skittering, exciting energy. Tracks like "Bad Trip" and "Fuck Cops" have the head-nodding fever of a quiet Times New Viking; the echo chamber rockers "Surf's Up" and "Rat's" have a nicely warped pop approach; and when the guitars get furious, as on "Losers Never Die," it makes for an impressive racket. It's not all trash and bash, though; a handful of slightly less rambunctious songs like "Hey Little Sister" have the twisting, brainy feel of classic Homestead bands like Salem 66 and a few have the Flying Nun influences all self-respecting noise pop bands have to display in the 2010s. Though Fist City aren't exactly doing anything new, the excavations and repackaging they do are dripping with excitement and the songs are insistently catchy enough that it doesn't really matter how innovative or not they may be. Not all bands have to reinvent the wheel; they just need to roll it with some passion and dedication. Fist City do that and more on Everything Is a Mess.

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