Fist City- It’s 1983 Grow Up! (Black Tent Press)
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Black Tent Press made a good call when they pressed up 500 copies of “It’s 1983 Grow Up!” by Canadian punkers Fist City. Twelve jet fueled, short and to the point pop songs clouded in a lo-fi basement show sheen is the outcome. Catchy hooks for days with the best coming from “The Creeps” with the simple but effective “you give me the creeps” becoming instantly infectious. The signature punk rock snarling guitar and riotous drumming stay burning throughout the album, If you are a fan of classic groups like the Ramones and Sex Pistols or even newcomers No age you will find something to love about Fist City. The deranged psych surf stylings of “Endless Bummer” and the fist pumping “Never Bored” are just a few of the highlights that make for and endlessly spin worthy lp.
Review: Fist City - It’s 1983, Grow Up!
By Paul Blawat
Fist City did in fact adopt their moniker from the 1968 dust-up by Loretta Lynn. That’s where the similarities begin and end for these Lethbridge (aka “Hell”), AB rebelrousers. Their latest LP It’s 1983, Grow Up! is a complicated madness.
First off: THIS IS NOT A GARAGE ROCK RECORD!* There. What Fist City presents is a rather attuned, balanced punk rock record.** Discordant lightning like opening track “Boring Kids” is an excellent example of a song that reminds me of Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s latter-era Gun Club without sounding really anything like it. It captures that out of tune yet miraculously in tune essence. “The Creeps” is not a Social Distortion cover. It is, in fact, a hook-laden dance number, somewhere along the lines of if Poly Styrene had hooked up with the Murder City Devils.***
“Caveman’s Lunch” and “Fuck” are (rather inexplicably) a (slight) return to the Touch and Go era Man or Astro-Man?**** Then, with seemingly callous disregard for what came before, Fist City channel Sister-era Sonic Youth throughout the jittery, echo chamber that is “Wet Freaks”. In fact, the entire side “B” of the LP seems rather heavily influenced by early 90’s alt-rock (you know what I mean with that stupid term, right?). Hmm. “Blow” is entering Swervedriver territory.***** I love that more than a few bands are now treading those murky musical waters of (not so) long ago. Do I detect some 80s plinky “She Sells Sanctuary” clatter on “Never Bored”? I believe I do.
What a enjoyable, wild trip It’s 1983, Grow Up! is. The culmination of Fist City’s efforts make for one of the most original “punk” LPs I’ve heard in quite some time. Get a copy from Black Tent Press while they’re still around (there’s only 500 copies).
*Really, fuck off with describing every band or album as “garage”.
** I mean that in the loosest sense possible. Attempting to review an album such as this is a similar task to adaptingBreakfast of Champions into a film.
***IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: My deepest apologies to not attending Fist City’s two most recent Winnipeg shows. I suck worse than the Lakers’ bench. Scratch that, the Blazers bench. I would’ve, in fact, danced to “The Creeps”. And I dance to nothing. Nothing I say!
****My nerdiness doth proceedeth me.
*****Fuck it. I say go for it.
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“There’s a little something for everyone here – from the circus fun house riffs of spaced-out dance party “The Creeps” to the irresistible shoe gaze/surf grab bag “Endless Summer.” Don’t even bother trying to stop yourself from shimmying along; resistance is futile. All tracks are driven skilfully by Ryan Grieve’s Go-Go caveman drumming and the straightforward but dexterous bass lines of Brittany Griffiths. The rhythm and lead guitar interplay is just plain good fun – Evan Van Reekum displays his trademark style, which comprises riffs that are understated but catchy as hell.” READ WHOLE REVIEW
Got pretty stoked on records coming out of the territory of Alberta for a bit there, and this album from Lethbridge’s Fist City is bringing me back around. Good energy, good sound, a nice flexibility to the guitars and keyboard (that’s a keyboard, right?), kinda leaning…
FIST CITY - ENDLESS BUMMER
Song by Fist City///
From LP: “It’s 1983, Grow Up!” - out on Black Tent Press, Summer 2012///
///Video by Kier Fist, 2012///
Visit BTP, listen to some songs off the new LP:::::Its 1983, Grow Up!