Supercharged Southern Alberta quartet Fist City burst from basement studios onto the stage in 2009. The twin sibling duo of Kier and Brittany Griffiths — musical collaborators from the womb to the tomb — found ideal foils in frenetic guitarist/songwriter Evan Van Reekum and powerhouse drummer Ryan Grieve. A solid string of releases from labels such as L.A.’s Dead Beat, Victoria’s La Ti Da, and Transgressive have been coupled with tours at home and abroad, glowing reviews, recording with Don Pyle, a Nardwuar interview, and other thrills.
2014 marked a transitional year, including personal changes among the band members, the reissue of their debut LP It’s 1983, Grow Up! from Transgressive Records (originally issued by L.A.’s Black Tent Press in 2012) and the recording of Fist City’s sophomore salvo Everything Is A Mess. The new album, laid down with producer Ben Greenberg (The Men, Hubble, Uniform) at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, finds them primed to take the future by storm.
Everything Is A Mess seizes onto the group’s influences, both musical (The Wipers, Sonic Youth, the Flying Nun roster) and spiritual (John Waters and Divine), then sends them into overdrive. Guitars chime like bells or shred like buzzsaws, while the rhythms hit harder than ever before. Lyrics are based on the band’s immediate environments in Lethbridge and Calgary, Alberta with gutpunching reactions to murderers, cops, bigots, Rob Ford, and unrequited love. From life in a small town scene to facing the consequences of violent acts, or even the experience of sleeping in the back of a speeding van, these songs paint a vivid portrait from the minds of artists and outcasts set loose on the world.