Fist City – Everything Is A Mess



Everything Is A Mess


Black Tent Press / La-Ti-Da Records / Transgressive Records




For Fans Of

Sonic Youth, The Wipers, Surfing


Fist City deliver a solid and enjoyable album that is a gem for an underground genre.


70 / 100

Canadian surf-punk quartet Fist City are slowly but surely making waves in the underground punk scene. Their latest LP ‘Everything Is A Mess‘, released by Transgressive Records (home to indie punk favourites Foals, and Australia’s own Flume), is a true-to-punk seventeen track (one intro/ five interludes), thirty-seven minute album filled with lo-fi riffs, classic punk drumming and upbeat, surfy tones.

Everything Is A Mess’ offers interesting guitars, which often chime and glisten and provide an overall ‘happy’ feel to the record, even when vocalist/guitarist Kier Fist melodically howls over the music with lyrical themes tackling anything from cops, to Canadian political figures and just the mundane life around them. Ryan Grieve thrashes the drum kit in a fast and upbeat manner providing a solid back beat for the rest of the instrumentation. The band notes influences such as The Wipers and Sonic Youth behind this album, and it is definitely noticeable. Within the full-length, it struggles to lose pace, often keeping a solid mid tempo groove to it. There are moments in which a track might start off with a slow, melancholic passage, however it is not long before the track rises into an up-tempo punk anthem. ‘Everything Is A Mess‘ also makes time to introduce an instrumental track that is legitimately called ‘Surf’s Up’ and it truly delivers on making you feel like you’re in a 1980’s coming-of-age surf movie. However, in saying this, the album has multiple interludes that are usually just sounds effects of wind howling or just silence, which detracts from the whole feel of the album and, at times, can feel rather intrusive.

Songs such as ‘Hey Little Sister’, which can be viewed as the band’s chosen single for the release, are quirky and still very charging. It should be noted that the second half of this album, from its first and only instrumental track (unless you count the record’s closer ‘The Mess’ as an instrumental?) ‘Surf’s Up’ is much more interesting musically, as it settles into deeper, more melodic driven territory as well as still providing the upbeat tones found earlier in the album. Production-wise, the full-length is nothing to marvel at; however, it’s good to keep in mind that this is a legit, underground punk release and going for the lo-fi, raw sound is what you would strive for – and Fist City certainly delivers on that, making ‘Everything Is A Mess’ sound legitimately like an early-era punk album from decades ago when the genre reigned supreme. 


‘Everything Is A Mess’ is a solid release and is good for the genre. However, it feels as though it brings nothing new to the table. In saying this, it is an interesting and fun listen. There are certain riffs that just stick into your mind. The whole feel of the record has elements similar to low-fi indie punk that one would find on your local Bandcamp releases or in the depths of triple j’s Unearthed. Fans of the underground, upbeat surf-punk scene should most definitely get excited at this release. From start to finish, ‘Everything Is A Mess’ is a tight album.


1. Intro

2. Fuck Cops

3. Let’s Rip

4. Hey Little Sister

5. Bad Trip

6. Interlude

7. Shotgun

8. Surf’s Up (Instrumental)

9. Interlude

10. Interlude

11. Rats

12. The Smell

13. End Of The Good Times

14. Losers Never Die

15. Interlude

16. The Mess

17. Interlude

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