Fist City
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Fist City


Band Rock Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"New Canadiana ::"

New Canadiana :: Fist City // Moby Dicks – Blow b/w All The Time

The Scotch Tapes (Cas)Singles Club launches like a wrist shot straight to the top shelf where grandma keeps the peanut butter. By now, regular readers of Weird Canada should be intimately familiar with the Fist City formula, and once again the razor-wire gtr-punks keep up their sister act with heart-racing panache. After an ear-piercing, amp-squealing intro, “Blow” dissolves into double-speed Daydream Nation sprawl, while the spoken-squawked vocals ring the alarm. Side B sees Southern Alberta brother band The Moby Dicks smudge and fudge through two minutes of B.T.F.O. bad-daditude, as frontman Joel Butler barks out commands over brain-buzzing riffs. Grip it and flip it and flip it again.

New Canadiana :: Fist City – Hunting You

The gnarly, driving pop sinusoids of Lethbridge’s Fist City have finally entombed themselves in one eternal polyvinyl groove. Their catch drips in the ecstatic distortion flowing through the Southern Albertan hotbed, but it’s Hunting You‘s torrid leads and dualic vocals that make them a beacon for all things adjective-punk. Well tuned heads will be plugged into their ardent pop sensibilities and otherworldly weirdness, levitating their grey matter to the next level of pop consciousness; a B-Side burner you’ll be playing in the shower, popping on a two-wheeler, and jamming down main street throwing fists and launching space rockets. Quintessential grippage from the small library of beautiful no-field Canadiana.

New Canadiana :: Fist City // Timecopz – Split 7?

It’s like someone told both of these bands: “You only have five minutes to say everything you have planned for the next year,” and they nailed it into the ground. Fist City’s side has an amazing mix of precision and shambles, of dissonant guitar lines and totally uplifting sun-after-the-storm, muddy-voiced melodies. The trampling, mangled, spit-out warbling verses give way to trebly, simple guitar lines backing catchy-as-all-hell choruses. Timecopz keep pace with bratty, chunky, screamy garage-punk that stays away from all gimmick, giving nothing but two songs full of noisy, in-the-red energy. Group choruses and infectious verses mix punk’s past with punk’s future and give you punk rock for right now. MUST GRIP.

New Canadiana :: Fist City EP - Crimespree//Queen of the Slugs

Southern Alberta’s hilly wasteland continues to explode with Fist City’s anamorphosis from the pop spectrum. Their twin-shriek phenomenon bludgeons us with searing, distorted leads, rolling bass lines, and a bewildering catchiness that has become their harmonic core. Fist City’s debut single is a brilliant sortie from the disempowered rurality of Alberta, charging forward into instant hit and pop satisfaction. Limited to 99-copies and available to Wyrd Alberta patrons exclusively, the 7? will luckily be rereleased owing to an epic pressing flaw on the b-side. Recommended grippage.


"Fist City "Debbie Get YR Boa""

Lo-fi rock punk dudes Fist City have decided it's about time they give themselves a proper music video. And not just any vid, as this one comes fully animated with puking guitar players, six-eyed monsters, naked chicks and some seriously disturbed totem poles.

The vid is for the track "Debbie Get YR Boa," which appeared on the Lethbridge, AB band's Hunting You, an LP that recently made Exclaim!'s 10 Great Albums You May Have Missed in 2010.

The video was created by Colin Askey and it comes with a warning: "Contains weird shit!" Check it out below.

- Exclaim Magazine


By Paul Lawton

Fist City is a band that has numerous angles from which it can be approached. A band made of four individuals who each have intriguing histories, who combine to become a unified goliath of a band, top notch riot girl filtered through a combination of punk rock, new wave and shoegaze — music that is fresh and innovative, and, more than that, exciting. Each member is integral to this story, and one of the key things each band member says is how this is a band with no interchangeable pieces, that they are greater than the sum of their parts. Fist City has all the components of rock ‘n’ roll mythology in the making.

The Fist City story begins with twin sisters Brittany and Kirsten Griffiths, who grew up in Lethbridge, a town with ample opportunities to feel alienated. Between the girls being non-white and female, and with Kirsten being openly gay, they long felt different and highly visible. Kirsten says that this feeling of alienation has been a key part of their development, and that growing up in Lethbridge had many character-building moments. Lethbridge was their “mortal enemy” for a long time.

Music had long acted as a safe haven and a bridge to the outside world. Kirsten says that she “was always looking for queer music made by ladies, stuff like Ani DeFranco and Bikini Kill.” It was her homemade Bikini Kill t-shirt worn to an open mic night that served as an invitation into the Lethbridge underground, when the shirt prompted Lethbridge outsider musician Trevor Gemmel to introduce himself as a fellow fan of the band. This chance meeting started a long history of iconic Lethbridge bands such as the Danger Kids, the Sabretooth Tigers and Things Gametes.

In the mid 2000s, Brittany and Kirsten escaped Lethbridge to live in Scotland and Australia. This excursion was an crucial time for Kirsten to realize how intrinsic Lethbridge was to their lives: “Leaving home, we realized how much our friends meant to us, as really good friends are really hard to come by. Before I left, I couldn’t wait to go to a place where no one would recognize me, but that wore off pretty quickly.” The sisters returned home, and re-established the Danger Kids (as the New Danger Kids), which had a brief but exciting run in 2009, playing key slots in that year’s Sled Island Festival.

Brittany admits that “people tend to focus their attention on Kirsten and I, mostly, I would assume, because we are two black twin sisters playing in a band in a music scene predominantly dominated by young white men, and I suppose that sort of thing grabs one's attention in southern Alberta.” Kirsten agrees, and says that “it matters to everyone else, and I thought it would be something that would make things more difficult, but now it seems that it might actually work out in our favour, which is kind of weird.”

Fist City’s other main songwriter, guitarist and de facto band manager, Evan Van Reekum, learned how to hustle from the portion of his youth spent as a homeless, crack-addicted teenager, who beat all the odds by turning his life around. Van Reekum grew up in Calgary and spent most of his school years as the fat kid in class of whom everyone made fun. “I went through school thinking everyone hated me, and didn’t find acceptance until junior high.” It was this turning point when he fell in with the troubled kids at school, with whom Van Reekum spent his time drinking and doing hard drugs, which he paid for mainly by forging cheques on his parents’ bank account.

When he was sixteen, Van Reekum’s parents discovered the theft and drug use, and he was sent to live with a family relative in the Bahamas. It was in the Bahamas that Van Reekum spent part of a year left to his own devices, and it was this intended safe haven that provided an intense period of heavy drug use and petty crime. Once he was caught stealing from this family relative, Van Reekum was shipped back to Calgary where he ran away and became homeless, living in a cardboard hut beside the Heritage C-Train station for a few months. Lucky for him, Van Reekum’s life of crime ended after hitting rock bottom. He laughs now, saying, “My friends and I drank a two-six of R and R, and then, trying to be funny, I jumped off a four-story building and landed right on my ass. The next day, my dad said that he needed to get me to help him move some office furniture, and I literally could not walk, just limping. My dad took me to AARC (Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre) in Calgary, and though I wanted to run away, I physically couldn’t.”

Rehabilitation came slowly for Van Reekum through the support of a structured twelve-step program, influential peers and counselors at AARC. The direct result has been eight years of being clean and sober without a single relapse and he has completely left his life of drug use and crime behind him. During rehab, Van Reekum used music as a crutch, eventually playing in weird-folk bands along with other graduates of the AARC. Van Reekum became involved in CJSW while working as a peer counselor, getting his life back on track to the point where he was accepted into the New Media program at the University of Lethbridge. This move to Lethbridge was key for Van Reekum’s development as a musician, joining Endangered Ape as their third guitar player and, later, the short-lived Moby Dicks.

Fist City formed in late 2009 after Van Reekum and the Griffiths twins recruited local drumming sensation Ryan Grieve. Van Reekum notes, “Ryan is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. I love and respect him for that. I think most would agree that he is one of the best drummers in this country. I feel very lucky to be in a band with him. I have never seen somebody truly embody the 'head-down-lunch-pale-to-work' attitude quite like he does. He never complains. He is so easy.” Brittany agrees: “Ryan is easily the best drummer I have ever had the privilege of playing with in a band. He’s like the glue that keeps everything together.”

Fist City recorded their first three songs and put them up on MySpace, a fateful move for the band. A few weeks later, the band got an offer to put out a full-length record with Los Angeles punk rock label Dead Beat Records, which forced them to take seriously the prospect of developing their sound and writing songs quickly.

“It definitely brought us closer together,” says Grieve, “and inspired us to become tighter and prove that the instant interest was well founded and not just a passing thing. I mean, we've all worked very hard and played in several other bands, so it is not like it wasn't earned or we just decided to be in a band and then, boom, we have an LP on a label.” Grieve believes that this offer coming so early “put the pressure on the writing and rehearsing which put us in the same room a lot more and helped us to get to know each other, and not just be a few people that occasionally got together to play music.”

Besides Dead Beat, Fist City has been flush with opportunities, putting out singles on Pop Echo (Edmonton, as part of the Wyrd Alberta Traveling Festival on which they were given key spots), Geographing (Vancouver) and a still-to-be announced deal that should put the band firmly in the “next level,” likely to blow the roof off the already white-hot Alberta underground. Additionally, Fist City has won the attention of big name supporters such as Fucked Up’s Damien Abraham, who recently wrote about Fist City in NME saying, “think a more danceable Bikini Kill doing a Desperate Bicycles-type thing. I would never have guessed that something so sonically perfect could come out of a place as small as Lethbridge, Alberta — shame on me for thinking like that. This is the best new band I have heard in a long time.”

With the combination of Fist City’s genre-pushing music, fascinating personalities and high profile supporters, we finally have a Lethbridge-area band for whom the fact that they are from Lethbridge is the least interesting thing to say about them. With the host of new releases and tours in the pipeline, Fist City is ready for the next step. - Beatroute Magazine

"A band that’s called Fist City"

On the title track of her 1968 album, Loretta Lynn advises, “You better move your feet/If you don't want to eat/A meal that's called fist city.” The country-and-western icon sounds upbeat — relaxed, even — as she strums and sings along to the jangly, tossed-off tune, yet the tension at the heart of “Fist City” is clear as day.

Now, 40 years later, an up-and-coming rock band from Lethbridge, Alta. has nicked the song title for its moniker. Musically, there’s a world of difference between Lynn’s classic C&W and Fist City’s riotous, in-the-red post-punk blitz, yet there are shared characteristics giving the group’s name choice a sideways kind of sense (on top of the fact that it simply sounds badass).

First and foremost is the powerful female factor provided by Fist City’s twin sister nucleus of Kirsten and Brittany Griffiths. Trading off speak-sing vocals in the style of Scottish art-punks Life Without Buildings, they permeate the band’s razor-edged rave-ups with an XX chromosome stream of consciousness. Second is the menace, swept under the carpet in much of Lynn’s music, but flipped directly in listeners’ faces as this southern Albertan quartet tears into its tunes like a kid on Christmas.

“Sometimes when we play live, Kirsten says we start our songs too quickly, and that she needs more space to breathe in between,” chuckles guitarist Evan van Reekum. “Personally, I have a blast. I like getting tired during shows and getting sweaty. We usually hand the set-list-making duties to our drummer, because he’s really good at it, and we’re just up for whatever.”

Like its name, the genesis of Fist City also comes with a storied history. The Griffiths girls have been playing together for years in projects such as the Sabretooth Tigers, the Danger Kids and its second incarnation, the New Danger Kids. Meanwhile, van Reekum and stick-man Ryan Grieve first teamed up as members of ever-swelling Lethbridge garage rock monster Endangered Ape, before splitting off into side-projects like Amelia Earhart, Radians and a short-lived incarnation of the Moby Dicks. Now that they’ve re-formed like Voltron, this arrangement of members blends varying approaches with years of experience to create explosive chemistry.

“A lot of it has to do with the timing,” van Reekum says. “Endangered Ape took a lot of punches with touring and played a lot of really awful shows, but eventually started to make a name for itself. Now, hearing that band’s name associated with Fist City has probably helped us out.”

“Musically, the New Danger Kids made really shoegazey pop music, while Endangered Ape was really oppressive and heavy,” he continues. “We’re kind of merging the two styles. Kirsten is totally self-taught, plays in weird tunings, and that’s just the way she writes. It’s up to me to add some edge to her songs, and for her to add something nice to what I write.”

Hot on the heels of an inaugural 7-inch for Edmonton’s Pop Echo and a cassette for Calgary’s Bart Records, Fist City recently released Hunting You, its debut album proper. This time, the imprint on the back reads Cleveland’s Dead Beat Records. It’s only the most recent out-of-country signing for a Lethbridge act, following a string of vinyl offerings from Myelin Sheaths, the Moby Dicks and Ketamines on labels like HoZac, Southpaw, Odd Box and even Austria’s Bachelor.

“There are pretty key Lethbridge people like Paul Lawton (Myelin Sheaths, Ketamines, Mammoth Cave Records) and Jeff King (the Square Waves) who are extremely talented and have spent a lot of time here,” says van Reekum. “It’s just now starting to break. Initially with Endangered Ape, Paul caught onto something new and exciting that people really liked. That made it easier for us to start playing this kind of garage rock, and easy for audiences to relate. I always hear people referencing the ‘Mammoth Cave sound,’ that lo-fi thing we do here.”

And 2011 looks bright for Fist City as well, with an upcoming 7-inch split with Vancouver’s Timecopz, plus tours to both coasts, including a dip down to Cleveland to meet the folks from Dead Beat. However, perhaps most exciting is a slated recording session with Can-punk luminary Don Pyle, former member of Crash Kills Five, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and King Cobb Steelie.

“He’s a punk hero,” van Reekum concludes. “I can’t wait to meet him.” - FFWD Magazine

"Myelin Sheaths / The Famines / The Wicked Awesomes / Fist City Broken City, Calgary, AB January 8"

At this particular show, Fist City seemingly had all the odds set up against them. Their first show ever was in Calgary, and was with three much larger, established groups. In other words, no one was there to see them, and no one knew what to expect. Making the most of the opportunity, this Lethbridge quartet knocked it out of the park. Combining incredible musicianship with a flawless pop sensibility and a fearless approach to performance, the band pulled off a killer set on their first try.

Up next were the Wicked Awesomes, an Edmonton-based garage punk band whose self-titled debut has been making some major waves across the blogosphere. On vinyl, the band possess a certain rawness that complements their songwriting nicely. Live, however, their sound can get overcrowded, with synth and guitar leads cluttering the otherwise straightforward garage songs. They still managed to ignite the crowd, but the Wicked Awesomes were definitely a minor disappointment after Fist City's punch-out.

If there's a band that could never be criticized for being overly cluttered, it's the Famines. The raw two-piece, also from Edmonton, tore the venue apart with their thunderously loud, minimalist rock’n’roll. Sweating, spitting and kicking, front-man Raymond Biesinger took one for the team as he led the duo through a typically epic set. Garrett Kruger, with his octopus-like drumming, didn't look like he was sitting as he frantically drummed.

Then, after much wait, it was time for Lethbridge darlings the Myelin Sheaths to take the stage. The show was a release party for their two new seven-inches, and as a result, their set was surrounded by anticipation. The anticipation turned into disappointment for the band, who had to keep stopping and starting thanks to an overly inebriated bassist. Fortunately, the sloppy charm of the whole thing allowed them to loosen up and just have fun. In the truest sense, the Sheaths' set was a record release “party,” and the band left their audience grinning ear to ear. - Exclaim


Hunting You
2010 - LP
Deadbeat Records

Split (w/TimeCopz),
2010 - EP
Geographing Records

Fist City EP
2010 - EP
Pop Echo Records

Bloodstains Across Alberta
Various Artisit compilation
2010 - EP
Mammoth Cave Recording Co.

Demos//Live Fisting
2010 - Cassette Tape
Bart Tapes

Scotch Tapes Singles Club #1
Split w/ The Moby Dicks
2011 - Cassette Tape
Scotch Tapes

Fist City has Charted on Missoulas College radio and Calgary's CJSW - we are in the process of completeing our radio mail-out.



Fist City grew out of the demise of two well known and well received Lethbridge punk bands, Endangered Ape and The New Danger Kids. We've been together since late 2009.

All members of Fist City have been instrumental in making the Lethbridge music scene into what it is today. Brittany and Kirsten paved the way with The New Danger Kids, and Evan and Ryan worked very hard as key members of Endangered Ape. Evan is also half owner/director of the recently successful Mammoth Cave Recording Co.

We have multiple releases from DeadBeat Records, Pop Echo Records, Scotch Tapes, Bart Tapes, Geographing Records, and Mammoth Cave Recording Co.

Last summer we embarked on an awesome West Coast US tour including stops at SMMR BMMR in Portland and Total Fest in Missoula.

We recently had our music video: "Debbie Get YR Boa" aired on the premeire episode of "The Wedge" on MuchMusic. The national broadcast caught the attention of fundamentalist christians who accused Fist City of being Satan worshipping reptilian hermaphrodites.

It was through our experience last year at Sled Island that we gained exposure and formed a relationship with Damian Abraham AKA "Pink Eyes" of Fucked Up - current host of The Wedge.

In May this year we are heading east to Toronto to record with the legendary Don Pyle of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - touring along the way with a featured performance in Toronto presented by the legendary promoter and publicist Gary Topp.

see more/hear songs