I. Tape Delay//Demo Zone reviews for the Fall season are complete and available for perusal here. Record reviews are on deck, hopefully ready for you to enjoy over the Thanksgiving holiday.


II. GARBAGE CAN! People are really stepping up to the can this year. Here’s the latest installment from our pals Sketchy Nick & Biff, in which they take on a selection of tapes and singles and talk about gribnage. We currently have another can installment brewing down South which should be ready soon.


III. On the interviews front, the latest is with Chicago’s NONES done by our Midwest correspondent Troy. Check out the Nones LP on Hozac, it’s worth your time. On deck: the definitive Mordecai story.


IV. In a shocking development, our print department has finally finished TERMBO #1, hopefully the first of many (or at least a couple) issues. All exclusive content, including JIMBO EASTER, FNU RONNIES, WHITE LOAD, BLACK FLAG, FOLDED SHIRT, films, poetry and records. There’s also a limited package that includes a TERMBO: THE EARLY YEARS zine reprinting some of the early TB interviews for bathroom reading/reminiscing. Jay Reatard, Ryan Rousseau, Alicja Trout, Shane White, Black Time, Armitage Shanks and more with some new commentary and a Statics article from the old Rip Off Records site. It’s thick and was a pain in the ass to assemble so we only made a few. Future versions of this sort of thing might happen as well. It’s all for sale via our friends over at THE LOKI LABEL, where you can also purchase their tapes and other odds and ends (including the last copies of the Giorgio Murderer live tape special edition, last copies of the first press of the latest from COUNTER INTUITS, last copies of the SECRETS IN WELSH zine…).


That’s all for now. Anyone wishing to contribute to Termbo online or in print should contact the editor:


Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! And speaking of (hard) labor, our success with the Garbage Can just keeps rolling on. And this time we have what might be the most phenomenal Can of all-time, from the razor sharp mind of our dear friend Theresa “Hillside Wrangler” Smith. Just take a look at this and have your mind blown. This sets the bar rather high for future installments, so anyone who wants to play better be prepared to step up their game. Heaps of thanks to Theresa for surely frying some synapses permanently in the pursuit of reviewing bad records for your entertainment. You can find her elsewhere on the web in places like this and this and also on stage with Homeblitz and Ballroom. One of the good ones, for sure.

Coming real soon:




Finally, I’ve managed to wrestle this reviews section into some kind of shape. Although there’s a lot more I would have liked to include, I had to cut bait here as we couldn’t delay any longer without feeling even worse about the editor’s tardiness. We still have a bunch more LP reviews cued up for use very soon. In the meantime, I have to edit an equally ample portion of demo/tapes reviews and get that organized. While you wait for that, we have an absolutely mind-blowing installment of the Garbage Can as well as an interview with Chicago’s Nones that you should see in the next week. Until then, take your time with the reviews section, sorry it’s so big…after a dozen years I’m still trying to figure out how to do this right…


While we put the finishing touches on the reviews update (as if it wasn’t big enough) we found some items to clear from the desk before we shutdown to observe Independence Day – some zine reviews and a brief Horriblefest recap the editor scribbled on some White Castle napkins during his trip – hey, it’s not like we’re known for our punctuality. Record reviews are on deck, followed by a huge Demo Zone/Tape Delay and an incredible take on the Garbage Can (hey, we’re two for two this year! We’ve got a couple more in circulation as well). After that we have some interviews and other treats. See you soon and be careful with those fireworks kids.

Many of the zines below can be had from FEEL IT, the finest zine distro in the land. Sam also has a great selection of records and tapes often not available elsewhere – including what are probably the last copies of the Gutter Gods LP in the US, which you’re fool if you don’t own.

Brain and Scalp – Issue 001 -28 pages, half size. First issue of this mini-zine covering the Alabama punk scene(!). Looks like they spent a few extra bucks on some color ink for the printer, but then rendered it useless by making all the photos inverse/negatives with some kind of pink/purpley hue. Weird. Anyway, this issue covers live shows in Mobile (Peelander-Z, Wizzard Sleeve, Paint Fumes and lots more including Hibachi Stranglers, who I am really glad to hear still play out – now let’s get that LP recorded fellas) and has a lengthy review/short interview regarding the two Cuntz LPs and US tour. The best part of this one is the Gary Wrong reviews column (“Wrong Way”!). Other than Gary’s section, this one’s not so hot, but it has lots of ads from the Southern scene (Holotrash, Jeth Row, Total Punk, Pelican Pow Wow, etc…) (

Jerk Store – Issue 13/Jan 2014 – 30 or so pages, B&W, half-size, paper is off white for a nice effect and laid out very well, although this guy should bump the font up a size or two or start going to a larger size sheet, because it’s a squinter of a read. This is the first issue of Jerk Store to be passed around Termbo HQ, and it’s pretty decent. Best stuff: the live show pictorials which spread over two pages and have the flier for the show, a shot of each band and some action shots of the crowd. A really cool way to cover live stuff with no words – makes me wonder if a show sucked if they would put in pics of the crowd looking bummed instead of pitting. The Daylight Robbery tour diary of Australia was a good read, even though I’m not familiar with the band. Cool interview with 1981 – I’m not into Finnish crust it, but it was laid out great as well as having good questions. The record review section looks better than is to read, but at least there’s enthusiasm even if all the reviews are positive. Not a fan of the personal/day-in-the-life column stuff either, keep that shit in your journal, pal. Cool Aussie zine overall though, I’m gonna steal some ideas from this guy’s layouts. (

MAXIMUM TREMOLOMaximum Tremolo – Issues 1 & 2 – “Making Surf A Fucking Threat Again”! Wait, was surf music ever a threat? I kid! B&W printing on color stock, half size, #1 runs 16 pages, while #2 bumps it up to a big time 40+. Full disclosure, this zine comes from the surf metropolis that is my hometown of Buffalo, NY and I know a couple of the sketchy characters involved in its creation. The good news is that these weirdos have a genuine passion for the often maligned genre and I know that the authors of most of the articles herein are principled individuals who will call a turd a turd when necessary. Issue 1 is a quickie, setting up the recurring columns: ‘Look What the Tide Washed In’ dealing with weird/odd surf (King U and Cousin Al so far), Ask Dr. Surf, Dollar Bin Rippers, What The Heck Are You Playing? Etc… Interviews range from Mike Hunchback to Feral Kid Records to La Luz and more. Live reviews, show reviews, zine reviews and #2 has a pretty extensive records section. The best surf zine out there, and that includes that piece of crap The Continental (see issue #2 for more on that). These dudes are also in a band called Aaron & The Burrs who you should check out if you’re thinking of getting in the modern surf game. Available for the nice price ($2) or trade. (

organ grinderOrgan Grinder – Issue #3 – full color, full size, 22 pages. A rare puzzle/comics/humor mag with a punk/pop culture bent. Crosswords, sodoku (sic), jumbles, word search, math, matching games and more interspersed with semi-reviews of stuff, eccentric columns and comic strips. Best parts of this issue were the linguistic analysis of the word “oogle” in regards to crust culture and the ‘Canadian or Scientologist’ and ‘Gay or Adopted’ quizzes. Pretty goofy, sometimes funny and some of these quizzes are actually a bit tough. (

rubberneck 8Rubberneck – Issues 8 & 9 – full size, full color covers, 36 pages, pro-printed. I’ll admit I’ve not historically been a fan of the “photo zine”, but Austin’s Rubberneck has changed my opinion, as it’s probably one of the best zines out there right now. The photos are spectacular (usually by editor Jon Chamberlin, with help from his staff), a mix of posed and action shots of bands from all ends of the garage-rock spectrum. There are some well done interviews in each issue now (the Cheetah Chrome, Russell Quan and Head interviews are good examples of the short form) and my favorite part is Miranda Fisher’s record reviews section, because get this, she actually has an opinion! There’s usually a couple of goofy columns you can skip over (although the Ask Wes Coleman column will appeal to fans of the guy) but Issue #9 marks the appearance of ‘Get Quapped’ written by Termbo’s favorite son and Liquor Store legend Sarim Al-Rawi, which I hope to see a lot more of. Shit, just have the guy write captions for the whole zine! I also think the ‘Popular Oblivians Favorites’ article wherein they ask some garage-rock kingpins (Nobunny, Buck Biloxi, Useless Eater, OBN, etc.) about their favorite ‘blivs cuts was a great idea. I would subscribe to this publication if I were you. (

degenerateDegenerate Zine – any/all issues – just wanted to mention Sam Lefebvre’s Degenerate again because I finally caught up on some back issues and I sadly believe that the zine might now be defunct. You should definitely track down all issues you can find (in particular the later full sized issues that came with flexis from Scraper and Musk) – I believe some Bay Area stores still have them (1234! Go at least) online for non-CA residents. Intelligently written and razor sharp criticism combined with a great eye for cut-n-paste layout made it one of my favorite US zines of modern days and possibly the US equivalent to the Distort/NGL standard, covering a good cross section of hardcore-punk both old and new. The website has disappeared but maybe you can e-mail and look here:

cretinsCretins of Distortion – Issue #3 – full size, 54 pages, B&W. Sloptastic zine action from the Midwest hardcore scene, this zine is based out of Columbus and I’m pretty sure is written by a young lady. Covers bands/records/shows centering around cretins like Big Zit, Lumpy & The Dumpers and the rest of the Spotted Race, Gas Rag, Culo and anyone else from STL to Detroit to NWI and even dipping into Clevo. Good article on 26/Doc Dart, lots of tape reviews and coverage a scene that’s got tons of interesting shit going on. Cut and paste layout is as obnoxious as the bands covered here (that’s a compliment), great use of stick-on lettering, the writing is sometimes a bit young but very energetic and the fact that this monster issue sticks to covering one (albeit rather geographically wide) scene speaks to the fact that there is some serious shit going down in the Midwest. This one comes bagged and tagged with a “The Midwest Is Alright” decal and includes a button, sticker and poster. Issue #2 is equally as gross/awesome and has a cool tye-dyed cover. I still need tapes from Ooze, CHUD and Big Zit if anyone’s holding! Still available via Grave Mistake it appears. Go there now. (

wetworldWet World – Issue #? – 44+ pages, full size, B&W. Not sure if this still available anywhere, but it’s a must have. Firstly, this mostly covers the Midwest scene, but stretches the focus outside as well. Sloppy as shit layout actually works, mainly due to the use of a lot of hand drawn stuff. There’s a full length Officer Brad X interview recounting his LSOK days and also reprinting the N-Word Xmas story with great illustrations and snide comments added (which apparently miffed Mr. X after the fact). It’s honestly really funny from both sides of the story. Also includes a Brain Tumors interview (the band with the best tour blog ever), a VCR interview (the new Toronto band, not Vice City Rockers, but it’s still ok), the old “interview yourself” bit, illustrations from Lumpy, some fantastic Bill Murray criticism and what is probably the best reviews section I’ve read in years (records and films). This kid loves Big Zit, Kremlin, Neil Young, True Sons of Thunder and Lumpy. I like the cut of his jib. (you can download a pdf of it here)

56 flyersOver 56 Flyers Plus More – full size, B&W, 68 pages, with additional 4 full size posters and 12 page two color risograph printed half-size book. Title says exactly what it is – a compendium of flyers from the NYC scene from 2006-2013 from Eugene Terry (Dwan of Humans/Crazy Spirit) and Sam Ryser (Crazy Spirit/Dawn of Humans). The “Toxic State” aesthetic if you will. If you love these bands as much as I do you might want to foot the bill for this one. Cool as shit, plus Papertown has loads more interesting material, including more art zines, tapes, patches and dead bugs. (

aggroAGGRO – Issue 1 – half size, 28 pages, B&W, color cover – from some of the same minds as Savage Damage Digest comes this zine subtitled “Observations from the Unpopular Era of Punk & Hardcore”, which apparently means anything from the late Eighties or Nineties in general. Short stories and recollections from seven authors with topics including an ’87 Bad Brains show, some SoCal scene reminiscing, a recounting of the incident when Jello Biafra broke his leg at Gilman St., going to shows in Tijuana, NY/NJ punk reflection and The Skinhead Menace. Lots of good pics and fliers used, it’s a quick and fun read – even if it gets a little too ‘personal zine’ style at times, at least it’s all about music. (

distort 43DISTORT – Issues 43 & 44 – full size, B&W, 28 pages – there’s not much more I can say about Distort. The best zine of the modern age?One of the all time greats? One of the only publications that I actually look forward to (the others being Thrasher and Cinema Retro)? It’s all true. DX begins #43 with a sort of manifesto/restatement of purpose and also makes mentions that these will be the last ten issues of Distort. Bad news for sure, but 53 issues is a hell of a lot, and that’s a back catalog to be proud of. Plus, it’s not like the guy is busy with bands or anything. Anyway, the bar continues to be raised as far as quality goes. These are all interview/editorial issues, as Distort will not be doing reviews anymore. A shame, as I love DX’s opinions and take on whatever records/tapes he decides to discuss, but also understandable. Things also move into more literary realms here, both via interview subjects and the style in general. 43 talks with Lakes, author S.T. Lore, Oily Boys, Low Life, Dribble/Gutter Gods (a great companion/aid to understanding the LP), Prolife (ex-Slug Guts), Lucy Cliché (Half High) and Vanessa Amara. #44 has the rest of the Gutter Gods/Dribble interview, HTRK, Constant Mongrel, Jock Club, LokeRahbek (Lust for Youth/Croation Amor/Posh Isolation), philosophers Jon Roffe and Ray Brassier and some writing on/about Life Stinks I Like The Kinks. The best thing you’re going to read anytime soon. ( or in the US via Feel It)

nix comicsDo You Remember Rock’n’Roll Record Stores? – comic, B&W – fantastic little comic, recounting a younger days tale from BelaKoe-Krompecher (of Anyway Records and Columbus scene-dude in general) that has to do with Used Kids, The Ramones, skinheads, booze and more. Illustrated tastefully by Andy Bennett, this is the sort of thing that could be really boring, but due to Bela’s writing and the subject material it makes for a great but brief read that’s sentimental and intelligent. Recommended. (Nix Comics –

pure entertainmentPure Entertainment – Issue 1 – digest sized, B&W, color cover, 72 pages – reprint of a 1983 issue of PE, which was the all rock issue. Pretty cool stuff, somewhere in between Zap and Dork, with a side order of Heavy Metal (the magazine). Most notable contributor is Mort Todd (the Divisible Man story) along with Bob Camp who went on to draw for the Ren &Stimpy show. 19 stories ranging from one page to ten, some serious and some in goofball commix style. Some points of reference: Roxy Music’s “In Every DreamhomeA Heartache”, Sonics vs. Wailers, Warren Zevon, Geza X and more music nerdery. Good stuff from Columbus’ Nix Comics, check ‘em out. (Nix Comics –

down and out  Down and Out – issue 31 – full size, B&W, 48 pages – fantastic issue of Down and Out from Sam Vince. This one features three long and very well done interviews with Michael Berdan (Drunkdriver, Veins, Uniform, York Factory Complaint, wearer of horror film t-shirts), Raspberry Bulbs and Breathing Problem (Rusty from Total Abuse). Massive reviews section that isn’t afraid of cassettes, focusing on hardcore, noise and Australia. All positive reviews though. I like the “Old Haunts” reviews he snuck in the section and there are more than a few releases here I did not know of/about, which is awesome. Worth it for the Berdan and RB interviews alone. (


The biggest news of the weekend for me: an event that perhaps trumped the breaking of The Undertaker’s streak, Homostupids’ run of consecutive Horriblefests has been ended at 8 due injuries sustained to Dale’s back. Any involvement by Brock Lesnar or Paul Heyman is unconfirmed as of press time, and I guess Peffer owns the individual iron man streak now along with Paul (I need a Russ Romance fact check on this one)…Buck Biloxi &The Fucks tore down the house to end Night 1. If you can get over with the punks in Clevo, you know you’re truly 100% over. I think they played every song they (or at least Rob) knew, and the line-up that is now bolstered by John Henry from Detonations/Static Static and Lindsey from No Bails is absolutely destructive…Iceage have apparently been watching and listening to a lot of Gun Club and Nick Cave/Birthday Party videos and records. The new LP will be sure to alienate their current fan base. It was good listening, but not so good watching, if you know what I mean. I will give the singer credit for not breaking kayfabe while drunkenly wandering around the bar later that night…the Greenberg/Berdan tag team known as Uniform might have been the loudest band of the fest. So loud they blew the breaker in the bar and had to haul out their massive stacks after one song…Prostitutes (not the Secret ones) was a surprisingly good listen, but again, not so good watching, as most electronic music is when people aren’t dancing…Night 2 was full of heroes, starting with the Unholy Two, who probably should not have played first, but completely destroyed for the three songs I managed to get to NTC in time for. No blading or top rope maneuvers, but still more visceral and technically sound than any match on Smackdown that evening. I think a Lutzko vs. Dean Ambrose feud would be easy money…Mordecai also destroyed in a completely different way, as I’m sure anyone who saw them on their tour can attest to. There’s something very special about these Bodish kids, that much I already knew from the recordings, but live it was something else even more powerful. Any band that can make me enjoy Gratfeul Dead covers is doing something very right…Ron House is still more punk than all of us and Counter Intuits were my favorite set on a night full of five star matches. Look for “Password (Is Password)” to be the big hit on the next record, a classic in the House vs. technology mold. Looks like Jared has the new band whipped into fine shape as well…Pleasure Lefties filled in for Homostupids, which was the next best Plan B aside from a 9 Shocks set. This band should be much “bigger” than they are, but I guess they’re heading in that direction and I’m thrilled for them…Wetbrain reminded us all that they slay (what a novel idea for a band – get a bunch of guys who are amazing at their instruments!) and that Cooch guy is taking forever with their record. They supposedly played an acoustic set recently that people in the know were raving about that I wish I could hear…Secret Prostitutes were another surprise. As a not-fan of the records, live it goes over incredibly well. That skimasked drummer/singer is a fucking machine. In the running for best stage banter (and tattoos) as well…apparently Mahalls is now a “hipster” venue, so that means Horriblefest matinees get the shaft in favor of $30 shows with Swedish fruits running around in costumes…Castle Greatskull is in the middle of fucking nowhere across town, but I heard the party bus was a good time…I think we saw the very last Mangina show ever and last glimpses of Sambeaux’s penis that afternoon. I’m proud to say I was there…Hank &The Hammers were running late so the possible double-header was thwarted much to everyone’s dismay…Vile Gash made up for it. One of the best HC bands in sport. Why? Because the singer is scary looking and apparently legitimately pissed off at all times. Exactly what a hardcore frontman should be…Degreaser were another big time surprise. I mean, I had high hopes, and lI ike them on record, but they soared well above any expectations in the live setting. Drummer reminded me of a healthier Artie Lange, the guit/sing guy was a seven foot tall mass of long hair and torn jeans and the bass guy looks like most dudes in Aussie bands (kinda yobby). They looked the part (not that it mattered) and I felt like I was watching feedtime for a bit there. Really amazing. I’m ecstatic thinking about the new record…leaving Greatskull I realized I somehow missed Party Plates, which was a bummer…Saturday Night Show was a stone cold stunner. Bad Noids get the local heroes award and were fantastic on the big stage, Mikey dolled up as a ballerina and their “Let’s scram fellas!” stage exit was the best move of the fest…I’m glad I got there early to catch Classhole, and Matt Muscle was in fine form for an old giant…Hank and the Hammers showed up, relieving the crowd who were worried about a possible no-show, and they played the big stage with the extra percussion guy. Sound got a little wonky, but it was still beautiful and they played at least three new ones from the supposedly already recorded new LP which will have insane expectations heaped on it, which I think they can live up to. If you don’t think Mr. Wood is in the Top 3 punk front guys in the world right now you are a crazy bitch…by the way, the singer kid from BIG ZIT was there moshing like a mofo and pissing people off. I forgot to ask him for a tape though…speaking of expectations (again), Lumpy and the Dumpers delivered 100% with a ballsy small stage show. They also receive the fireworks medal (last year’s winner was Pink Reason for those keeping score). Martin/Lumpy is another top tier frontguy, a total sparkplug with some killer herky-jerky stage moves (I saw them again in Buffalo the next night and they were phenomenal again)…S.H.I.T. were not bad at all, but every time I see a Toronto band for the rest of my life I’m going to wish it was Kremlin instead…Gary Wrong Group could be in the running for Iron Man as well, or at least Chad is. Shit, is there a fest that GWG hasn’t played this year? Everyone loves this guy, for good reason. Never, ever disappointing…Destruction Unit: holy shit. Fog machine, a single red light, three or four guitar players, it was like seeing High Rise or Rallizes Denudes or some other Japanese heavies (and I’m pretty sure the guitar player at center stage was there with me). Unbelievable, in a completely serious shit way. Heavily deeeep psych-rock devastation, these guys are the real fucking deal live and an amazing show/fest ender….you’ll have to ask someone else how the Sunday AM show was, because I’m too old for that shit…. Best things I purchased all weekend: multiple steak tortas (La Plaza Supermarket), Fred Locks “Black Star Liner In Dub” LP (Hausfrau Records – your one stop shop for Jamaican jams) and a nice edition of Camus’ The Plague (Guide to Kulchur – an awesome bookstore that opened next to Hausfrau)…Russ Romance and Paul are my heroes, this was perhaps the best Horriblefest ever and sets the bar pretty fucking high for next year…perhaps Buzzard’s Luck can headline. Below is the only good picture I took out of about 100 attempts.

holt bodish


Finally, a brand new GARBAGE CAN has been completed, this time by our pal Levon from Canadian goth-rockers (I kid…) SEX CHURCH. Firstly, I think people should know Sex Church are supposedly recording their next LP as we speak, so you have that to look forward to. Secondly, I’d like to personally congratulate Levon for being the only man to complete the Garbage Can in almost four years (the last being our buddy Black Mike), and quite a few have tried. I’d estimate we have about a .225 or so average when it comes to The Can, so if you’d like to help us get a bit further above the Mendoza Line, please drop the editor a line. Serious inquiries only, but we need the help, as the garbage pile never ends. There’s currently one out on assignment right now which I have high hopes for (so if you’re reading this – you know who you are – get cracking with those pie charts and visual aids). While you’re distracted thinking about garbage, we’re going to finish editing a HUGE reviews section, plus some Printed Matter and a Demo Zone. Be back real soon.


Just a quick update before we shut the offices down for HORRIBLEFEST weekend – the best fest in the land, in the best rock’n’roll city of all time at the best bar in the country with some of the best bands in the world…yeah, we’re pretty excited for this year’s line-up. But before we go, we’re excited to have this look at the current state of the underground in New Zealand from our friend Michael who also does the excellent Live Exorcisms blog. Some very interesting stuff happening around the world these days. If you’d like to contribute a scene report in a similar in-depth format, please drop the editor a line ( – yes, the address still lives!). We’ll be back for a Memorial Day update…if we survive Horriblefest…



We hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day and all, but now it’s time to start clearing the desk off here at HQ. Today we have Rob’s long overdue TV AS EYES tribute column to the late Mike Vraney of Something Weird Video. I think it’s a wonderful tribute that I wish I would’ve posted sooner. I think Mike touched most of our lives via his video company and his dedication to digging up the finest in B/exploitation/horror and whatever other genre you want to throw in there. Go buy something, I hear Basket Case is on Blu-Ray now and the HG Lewis doc is killer…. More site updates this week, including New Zealand rock coverage, the return of the Garbage Can and more reviews in our ongoing effort get us current. Thanks everyone, we’ll be back soon!



Hey now. It’s been a while since we last rapped at ya. The past month or so has seen blizzards, snow, sub-zero temps and a vacation to sunny FLORIDA for Total Punk Fest. Huge thanks to Rich for putting on an amazing weekend of shows, all the bands were killer and it was great to see a lot of old friends (and the sun) again. There were numerous highlights, but let’s just say that GIORGIO MURDERER was worth the plane fare alone. The guy is no joke. Meanwhile, back at Termbo HQ we’re preparing for a whole bunch of updating/posting this month. We’re still catching up on the tail end of the 2013 reviews (sorry) along with all the incoming mail, so I cut off the reviews section here with everything we have edited so far. We still have another page to finish up, but I tried to include a bit of everything in this update. As always, thanks for your patience, please drop the editor a line with queries/complaints. We have a TON of LPs slated for the next section plus lots more hot singles action. Along with more reviews we have a new TV AS EYES update, the first installment of a series of “celebrity” GARBAGE CANS, interviews, movies, books and other special surprises coming sooner than later. Now that the thaw seems to be starting it’s time for some action. Lots of good stuff in this reviews section, and I have to mention that I’m impressed (even moreso than usual) that Australia is continuing to dominate. Frightening. We’ll be back soon, and let us know if you have any ideas for interviews/columns/features.


Happy New Year to all. To ring in 2014 we’ve decided to give you reviews of some archaic formats: books and cassettes! It’s not all MP3s and e-books and blogs just yet. You can jump into to the cassette section after you read the book reviews below. I’d just like to make the additional commentary that I feel that Xerox Ferox should be on every bookshelf and if you didn’t get it for Christmas you should go spend that $20 Aunt Ruth gave you on it now. And I apologize that this tapes/demos section was so long in the making, as I tend to dread tackling the mountain of cassettes that builds up next to the desk after a few months. But I have to admit that there are more than a few quality tape releases out there these days making the format seem more and more viable and the affordability is becoming appealing as record prices continue to rise. Maybe the resurgence of cassettes doesn’t seem so ridiculous anymore…We’ll be back soon with record reviews and Best of 2013 lists.


John Szpunar’s Xerox Ferox was a long-awaited tome here at Termbo HQ. For as much as the world of music fandom (and fanzines) has been a time-consuming obsession of mine since adolescence, the world of horror fandom has been an almost equal passion and might have been my first true love. Subtitled “The Wild World of the Horror Film Fanzine”, Szpunar covers four decade’s worth of ground in a whopping 800 pages, allowing a story to spin itself over the course of forty-plus interviews with the men (and women) who created the self-published fanzines that built the foundation of horror fandom as we know it today. I was fully expecting Xerox Ferox to be a great read, filled with minutiae about magazines I’d never heard of and anecdotes about tracking down and interviewing obscure films and filmmakers, and there’s plenty of that. But as this thing unfolded I realized what Szpunar also created was something far more than just a collection of interviews. There’s a story told within that touches not just on the horror film genre, but talks to the wider subject of fandom in general, and what being a part of that community means to the individual. Every person interviewed in this book, no matter how obscure their zine, aspired to be a part of a larger whole and followed through on such aspirations in whatever way they could. Be that handwriting zines and running them off on the photocopier (or mimeograph in some ancient cases…) at work, contributing to mags that other people published or even writing for nationally distributed magazines with actual budgets and professional printing, these people did it not for money, not for acclaim, they did it to be a part of something they felt passionate about, something that they loved. I think every one of you reading this “review” knows that feeling – be it through releasing records, making music the music on those records, writing your own zine, taking photos, organizing shows, whatever it may be, all of us know this passion and have tried to do our own part to contribute to making our section of fandom prosper. Whatever thing it is that you’ve done, it might not seem like much, but the entire reason we’re all here right now is FANDOM. Reading this book I couldn’t help but think about the bigger picture we’re all a part of.

Cecil Doyle's SubhumanWe need to talk about this book first, before I start going too wildly off topic. So, the premise of Xerox Ferox is that Szpunar tracked down just about everyone who printed or wrote for a horror fanzine that was read by more than 50 people over about the past forty years. The list is immense, packed with names and titles that I’d heard of and just as many that I’ve never even heard mentioned, and I like to think I’m somewhat immersed in this sort of thing. He talks nuts and bolts with all of the editors, which is fascinating in itself – how they laid out their zine, how they got it printed, how it was distributed. As someone who has labored over my own pages, hearing the old school tales of guys typing around images, typesetting by hand and stapling zines together in their bedrooms are always enjoyable. Every interview somehow connects with the next few via various degrees of separation – this guy wrote for that guy who traded with this guy who found about his zine via this other zine. The type of bloodline we’re all familiar with – you put on a show for a band, who give you a demo tape from their friend’s band who is on a label that this other guy runs where you find about another record he put out that this other guy you know did the artwork for, etc…it’s hard to not relate these stories to music fandom. It’s also fascinating to see where the horror crowd overlapped with punk rock. A lot of these zines would cover music as well as films, like Nick Cato’s Hardgore and Stink which covered the NYHC scene and sleaze/horror at the same time. Or guys like Nick Burrell, who started with the legendary punk zine Into the Void before moving on to horror. Or tidbits like the fact that Bill Landis was Patti Pallidin’s cousin. Musicians themselves were in on the act: Cecil Doyle of KBD legends Toxin III also did an amazing photocopied zine called Subhuman which counted none other than Rob Zombie as a subscriber. Stefan Jaworzyn is a name you should recognize from playing in Skullflower and Whitehouse and from starting the Shock Records label, but he was also the editor of one of the best European horror mags in Shock Xpress. And it wouldn’t be a book touching on the NYC underground without a Johan Kugelburg reference – yes, the Kuge himself gets some credit here for getting Mike McPadden distribution for his Happyland zine through Matador back in the Nineties. It all connects, man.

There are recurring threads/questions that run through the interviews, aside from the standard “How did you get into horror…” track of questioning. Szupnar and his subjects have an appreciation for the history of the horror zine and make sure to acknowledge it. Just about every conversation touches on the influence of the giants of horror zinedom: Forrest Ackerman and Famous Monsters (the godfather of horror fandom, who essentially sets the story of this book in motion), Chas Balun and Deep Red (who changed the game in the Eighties with his personal writing style and attitude), Bill Landis and Sleazoid Express (one of the greatest zines of any genre, a printed documentary of the glory days of Times Square/42nd Street and a zine not just about sleaze films but about sleaze as a lifestyle) and Rick Sullivan’s Gore Gazzette (the “other” NYC grindhouse zine, which seemingly made it a point to talk shit about everything and everyone, other zines/writers included). These four monsters of horror were an immense influence on their peers both as writers and as enablers for others to get printed. Their work was as much about their own voices as it was propagating and growing the zine community and voices of others as well. Sadly, Ackerman, Balun and Landis have all passed on, and Rick Sullivan basically dropped off the face of the earth after ending Gore Gazzette’s run, but their unique visions are what kept the horror fanzine afloat and their impact is still felt today.

Fear of DarknessWith over 40 interviews, you’d think things would get redundant, but these individuals have distinct enough voices to give different spins to the same topics. The concerns of zine writers in the UK during the Video Nasties era were far different than their US compatriots for example. Writers from different eras dealt with available technologies in different ways and the VHS boom of course changed everything. The most impressive segments are an interview with Balun before his untimely death, artist/writer Steve Bissette spilling his guts on his decades of work, getting to hear the story of Tom Skulan of Fantaco, the Albany comic shop that printed and distributed many of these zines and organized one of the first horror conventions (and whose ads in Fangoria allowed me to mailorder hard-to-find stuff like Deep Red, Slimetime and more), talks with Jim Morton who authored the Incredibly Strange Films Re/Search book, Uncle Bob Martin (the man whose efforts made Fangoria’s glory days worth reading), the heavily opinionated Stefan Jaworzyn of the essential Shock Xpress, Jimmy McDonough (author of the Andy Milligan book The Ghastly One which is one of the best bios ever – and he’s also the author of Shakey and the best Russ Meyer bio), and Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog, perhaps the longest running and most academic of all the zines here. Some of the more fascinating segments also come from obscurities like Michael Helms (of Australia’s Fatal Visions) or Tim Mayer’s Fear of Darkness – super small print zines, often done by teenagers or isolated fans in an attempt to connect with the rest of the world.

The only drawbacks: no Rick Sullivan or Michael Weldon (Psychotronic) interviews, which Szpunar admits, as both refused to be interviewed. And the Landis chapter is an interview with that is reprinted from Creeping Flesh (also a Headpress title at least), but still bears inclusion here for anyone who hasn’t read it before. Any shortcomings are quickly forgotten within the massive international scope covered, anecdotes about everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Gene Simmons and a great layout that pays tribute to the photocopied layouts of the zines discussed. There are plenty of great pictures and the reproductions of the amateur zine covers are amazing. There’s also a bonus section that prints lost interviews with three of my favorite underground directors: Jim van Bebber (Deadbeat at Dawn), Roy Frumkes (Street Trash) and Buddy Giovinazzo (Combat Shock), which would be worth the price of admission alone.

Weng's Chop The state of modern horror fandom is brought up often, particularly the change from print to online publishing. Many of these authors now have their own blogs, but many simply stopped writing when print ceased to be an option. I can appreciate both perspectives. The online vs. print debate is something I’ve considered quite a bit, and like many, I think there is room for both. The real question becomes the quality of the writing/content and passion of the people behind them. A shit print zine is just as useless as a shit blog and vice versa. The horror magazine itself seems to be in good shape for now, and even if much of it is still crap, you can find a lot out there – Shock Cinema, Screem and Video Watchdog can still be found on the shelves at Barnes & Noble and are all still worthwhile. Fangoria has been garbage for ten years or more now (the Entertainment Weekly of horror), and their attempt to re-launch Gorzeone as subscription-only seems good natured but ill advised – hopefully their constant Chas Balun namedropping will actually make for some writing befitting his legend. Famous Monsters has been re-booted once again, in a slick-as-shit and expensive style regrettably. Rue Morgue seems to be written by the “cool nerd” crowd that thinks post-Danzig Misfits are cool, yet still has some good columns even if you know these guys wear costumes on days that aren’t Halloween. Only Horrorhound offers a mainstream zine you can count on for some actual fanzine-style passion, and although it also suffers from some amateurish pitfalls, it’s that semi-pro attitude that lends it some real charm. There are smaller zines still out there like Lunchmeat and Weng’s Chop that offer up treats for serious fans as well. As always, the deeper you dig, the better your returns will be. It raises the possibility that now, with the over saturation of information on the internet making everything turn to white noise, is getting smaller the way to go again?

Xerox Ferox is obviously essential for the true horror fanatic who probably owns actual copies of some of the zines involved here, but I think even those not that familiar with much of the subject matter will be able to appreciate the story it tells. Those interested in zines and self-publishing in general will enjoy the journey. Even casual horror fans will appreciate the recollections of years spent growing up watching midnight movies, reading old horror comics and renting VHS tapes. Fandom is all around us these days and much like the mainstream has watered down and corrupted much of what the horror community was built upon, we can see parallels in music fandom as well. This story could have easily been told with a collection of music zine writers: Greg Shaw isn’t far off from Uncle Forry, Balun could be a Lester Bangs substitute, with folks like Byron Coley or Gerard Cosloy acting as the Landis & Sullivan. Shit, that would make a pretty good book. But I think the real message of Xerox Ferox, and something that we should all think about, is that fandom is what you choose to make of it. You get as much passion out of it as you put into it. All of the people Szpunar spoke with here made a difference, made fandom a better place or at the very least kept the blood flowing and the community alive for the next generation. It’s something to both admire and aspire to in our own lives.(RK)
(You can order directly from Headpress, who offer both a hardbound special edition and the regular softcover,alongside dozens of other recommended books and journals. You can also follow John Szpunar via the Xerox Ferox page here.)

IF YOU LIKE THE RAMONES…(Peter Aaron – Backbeat Books)
If you like....
For those unaware, aside from fronting one of the finer of the Nineties NYC outfits in the Chrome Cranks, Peter Aaron is also an award winning journalist, writing for numerous Upstate NY newspapers and magazines alongside work for the Boston Herald, Village Voice, and more. He also did a zine called Suburban Muckraker back in his Ohio days. The guy’s credentials speak for themselves, have no doubt. I was unaware that there is a series under this premise, that “If You Like…” say Metallica, Bob Marley or even The Sopranos(?!), one of these books will show you “over 200 bands, CDs, films and other oddities that you will love” as well. In The Ramones case this will of course guide you to girl groups, bubblegum, garage rock, cartoons, heavy metal, comic books, the rest of the punk rock canon and various B-Movies and TV shows. I respect the work Mr. Aaron has done here, but let’s just admit that this book is of little use to anyone except maybe a eighth grader who just got his first Green Day record. This is introductory level pop culture for anyone with even a fleeting interest in anything remotely “rock’n’roll”. Said eighth grader might need a little help finding out about The Pagans or Death Race 2000 and could use the overview of US and UK punk and hardcore. He should probably already know about South Park and The Beatles, I imagine. Perhaps the listing of Fifities/Sixties television shows and films is something that I grew up with that the kids of today are missing out on. I can understand that inclusion. There is some pretty obscure stuff here for the uninitiated and plenty of obvious entries as well. When I was a kid I remember getting Gene Sculatti’s Catalog of Cool and tracked down stuff like Lord Buckley, Esquerita and Terry Southern after reading it. While If You Like The Ramones is a far more mainstream effort than Sculatti’s somewhat subversive book, I hope it will be of some use to youngsters out there trying to find their way. If you’re reading this website, I can guarantee you already know everything this book has to offer. But, your 12 year old nephew might need some help…