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Fist - Back With a Vengeance: The Anthology Award winner

Back With a Vengeance: The Anthology
by Kyle Scott at 06 March 2018, 12:33 PM

NWOBHM band FIST certainly have had quite the career! From starting out in South Shields, England, under the original name AXE back in the 70s, they were only known for one song (their only song), “S.S. Giro”. They weren’t pleased with the popularity of Rock and Roll – especially Heavy Metal – at the time, so AXE went on hiatus. Afterwards, the band decided to turn a new leaf with under the name FIST, and they brought along bassist John Wylie in 1979. Then, thanks to the emerging NWOBHM trend attempting to seize the crown of the UK’s Punk scene, FIST was under contract by New Wave legends Neat Records, and later to MCA. FIST’s debut album “Turn the Hell Up”, and their single “Name, Rank and Serial Number” were released in 1980, and they did some tour time with UFO after the release of their second single “Forever Amber”.

Unfortunately for FIST, and their original take on the genre, they weren’t garnering many new fans. MCA, displeased with not finding their own personal IRON MAIDEN and with FIST’s other demos, the band’s contract wasn’t renewed after their release of “Collison Course” in 1981, and they, yet again, experienced another hiatus and an uncertain career. In 1982, the band is taken back by Neat Records, who are surprised to learn FIST has been gutted and have replaced their front man, rhythm guitarist, and bassist with new blood. They released their sophomore album under the fitting title “Back With a Vengeance”. Sadly, their efforts to sound cleaner and more melodic were not rewarded. FIST later tried to appeal to the mainstream with their catchy cover of DION’s “The Wanderer” but even that failed to take. FIST resigned in 1985, ready to fade into obscurity forever in the coming years, until 2001 when the original front man Keith Satchfield decided to rouse the band from their slumber and set about tinkering the sound for their comeback album “Storm”, but FIST just can’t catch a break and “Storm” isn’t received well, either. The band went back to sleep.

Fast forward thirteen years later in 2014, the original line up is back, stronger than ever, and FIST decides to take one more crack at making music. This time, their perseverance pays off well. After headlining at Bro Fest in the UK, the band received praise and acclaim for their mastered sound and their lineup. Unfortunately, this line up would not last, and their bass player and vocalist changed again. In 2018? They are still here! Rehearsing and planning to release a new album by this summer. It’s been a long road through hell and back for this band, and after all this time, they never gave up their dream! Let’s get to the actual music:

“Back With a Vengeance: The Anthology” contains thirty-three songs total. Every song that FIST released from 1979 to 2002. With over an hour of listening time, the album is best listened to on a road trip (which is exactly what I did). FIST doesn’t write the typical songs associated with NWOBHM. If I’m being honest, they sound more like THE WHO or QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE. They write conceptual tunes about aviophobia (“You’ll never get me up (in one of those)”), getting smashed (“Going Wild Tonight”), hanging with friends (“The Hole in the Wall Gang”), etc. They obviously have some standard Metal concepts like murderous lovers (“Brain Damage”), getting murdered (“Terminus”), and of course, delivering the best Heavy Metal riffs (“Turn the Hell On”). FIST obviously sounds like they fit right into their niche back in the day, and it’s puzzling how they ever got lost in the noise, drowned out by so many other NWOBHM bands. For a classic, perfectly preserved look at a band that was lost in the rise of NWOBHM, give FIST a listen. Turn the hell on!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. S.S. Giro (original Axe version)
2. Name, Rank, and Serial Number
3. You’ll Never Get Me Up (In One of Those)
4. Throwing in the Towel
5. Turn the Hell On
6. S.S. Giro (LP version)
7. Too Hot
8. Lost and Found
9. The Feeling’s Right
10. Dog Soldier
11. All I Can Do
12. Devil Rise
13. Going Wild Tonight
14. The Wanderer
15. Brain Damage
16. One Percenter
17. Vamp
18. Hole in the Wall Gang
19. Axeman
20. Forever Amber
21. Watcher
22. Terminus
23. Gone Without a Trace
24. Collision Course
25. Same Time Same Place
26. Roll It
27. Pumping Iron
28. Give It All Back
29. Left Standing Again
30. Where They Are
31. Dog Soldier
32. See the Devil Rise (demo)
33. Law of the Jungle (take 2)
Harry “Hiroshima” Hill - Drums
Dave Irwin - Guitars
Glen Coates - Vocals
Kev Charlton - Bass
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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