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

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.