Hello everybody. It’s been too long, I know. Here are quite a few reviews of records that we’ve been compiling for some time now. Please note that further reviews/commentary on releases (some also included here, some not) are/were available via the 2015 recap from the staff as well Termbo print issue #3. I’m trying my damnedest to get caught up and organized for more frequent spring/summer updates. It’s well known the worst thing about zines is the editor making excuses why the new issue is late, and even worse than that is saying about how lame it is then doing it anyway. Let’s just say that it’s been a pretty rough stretch at Termbo HQ. Forging onward, demos/tapes are getting ready to go as we speak, and there’s another heap of record reviews coming soon as well, along with an interview with Marcia Clifton of The Klitz. And Termbo print #4 ready for summer beach reading. Apologies to all for the tardiness, drop the editor a line with comments/questions/outrage. RIP STABB.
Preface: in an effort to get current with reviews, we’re going to do some blogging for a bit to try something new and spread it out some (and buy some more time). This time around it’s playing catch-up with zines that people have been nice enough to send us, followed with the first of some regional band/label review sections. To start it’s New Haven, CT. Following this will be an All Canada section, then a Locals Only section (meaning WNY/Rochester), then an all reissues section focusing on 7″es. I’ll go out on a limb and say this should all happen in the next two weeks, followed with a lengthy traditional-format reviews section. In print news, Termbo #3 and Giant Sized Best of Termbo will be out in time for the holidays. On with the show….
PRO TIP: a good many of these zines are available via FEEL IT distro along with a good selection of tapes and records as well.
CASTING COUCH – formed from the ashes of Rubberneck, with the same driving forces (Miranda Fisher and Jon Chamberlin) behind it with the roles reversed (I believe) – this being Miranda’s vision and more text based than Jon’s more photo-driven zine. Already on to issue #2, which is exceptional and already shows the zine upping the ante from issue #1 (which was mighty fine in its own right – hey, any zine that is foolish enough to think interviewing the Termbo guy is a good idea…). Issue 2’s highlights include an interview with Ned Hayden that would make you believe he’s a pretty good guy (love ya Ned!) at least until he gets in an anti-Gerard Cosloy rant (and classy move on CC’s part in granting Gerard a rebuttal), wherein things get pretty interesting and as whole this interview includes far more Liz Phair content than I was expecting. I will say that the Gerard vs. Ned argument gives one food for thought – or at least a few laughs – in thinking what your own part in the demise of punk rock has been – and I’m fairly sure we’re all guilty. The Ryan Richardson interview further illuminates the life’s work of one of the nicest guys in the game, a man who is perhaps the only innocent one in the who-is-killing-punk debate. Another very nice installment in the zine’s angle to try and talk to some of the people active in the “scene” who actually aren’t in bands. The Home Blitz interview is very welcome and gets us up to speed with Daniel Dimaggio now that ‘Foremost and Fair’ is available and the band seems to be back in the ring after a bit of a hiatus – and the conversation is very DD, in that you become aware that even though we know DD/HB is some of the greatest of modern music, as an artist there is always self-doubt and obsession over the presentation of art. It’s what makes people like Daniel’s music fascinating and enjoyable. On the other side of the spectrum you have an interview with Foster Care, who sound like a bunch of obnoxious dicks and probably put as much thought into their LP as Daniel put into one guitar track on his new record. But hey, some bands are all about blustering around chaotically and some aren’t – we need both kinds. New Zealand’s ambassador the US Michael McClelland contributes a piece about the worst-named band since Bed Wettin’ Boys, that being Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing, and while I’m not so much a fan it at least was an interesting read. And speaking of interesting reads, Sarim’s ‘Get Quapped’ column this issue is his most abstruse piece yet. I’m a big fan of Miranda’s reviews (and I like that she writes the whole section, as a consistent voice is a must for a worthwhile reviews) and agree with her most of the time – and I enjoy that she actually writes bad reviews when deserved, even for records on labels that advertise in the mag. I crave integrity in print, and I think that speaks volumes. (#2 available here, you might get lucky and find a distro/store with the last copies of #1)
BULL TONGUE REVIEW – Already up to issue #3 for BTR, the ‘Quarterly Journal of Post-Rock Cultural Pluralism’ whatever the fuck that means. The concept of each issue is Byron and Thurston continuing their Bull Tongue column from Arthur for the first dozen pages or so, covering everything from Termbo friendly fare (Total Punk releases, Termbo zine itself, 12XU and ITR releases, punk/garage reissues of note, etc.) to free jazz and noise and other kling-klangy things. The rest of the issue is one review/article apiece from their hand-selected group of cool dudes and gals who take on the task of talking about anything – absolutely anything at all: old and new movies, youtube videos, restaurants, live shows, other people, you name it. Some have contributed fiction, poetry, personal anecdotes. Real eclectic stuff, all with illustrations by Ted Lee (a nice touch, I have to say). Makes for a good read I suppose, but in the last one I just started skipping some of the more esoteric pieces. The highlights are of course Tom Lax talking about records you wished you owned, Chris D talking about movies you want to see, Michael Hurley talking about anything and really most of the reviews that talk about actual music/records. The cast will be familiar if you’ve ever read Forced Exposure or other zines of the time – Stigliano, Flowers, Gregg Turner (!), Ira Kaplan, Panter, Savage Pencil (!!), Tesco (!!!!) have all appeared, plus a dose of WFMU crew (Brian Turner’s have been some of the most enjoyable in the zine as a whole), Feeding Tube people (Owen Maercks is good too) and other celebrities (Albini, Alan Bishop, Carducci, Meltzer, Carver, Bruce Russell) and a lot of names you’ll recognize but not realize why. The issues seem to be getting thicker as we go on, and I will admit that each new issue is eagerly anticipated here at HQ. At first the side-stapled 8.5×11 format really bugged me, but I guess I don’t mind so much after all – it’s cheap and easy I suppose. I think #1 is already OOP, you should stay on top of this one. (Issue 4 out now via Forced Exposure)
CRETINS OF DISTORTION – C.O.D. #7 is out, and it is a whopper. As I’ve stated before, COD is hands down the best zine in America today, and the content in this latest one is to die for: Ron House/Mike Rep interview, a Robert Griffin interview (Scat Records) which focuses on Spike in Vain and hints at some reissues coming soon, a chat with the guy who did The Offense newsletter (I am in need of any/all copies of this rag, please get in touch if youre holding) and is just an all-Ohio issue overall, with talk about just about every band fron Ohio ever, filled with great pics and fliers. Oh yeah, and since the format changes every issue, this one is 8.5×14 – the long way with sidestaples. I love it. Layout is incredible cut-n-paste that packs the pages plus great use of hand-writing, rub-on letters and of course some rubber stamping. Issues 4 through 7 are still available via their store (and some come with companion tapes if you get in early) and I highly suggest you buy them all immediately. Rumor also has it that the early issues/best of will be reprinted at some point. #1 zine in the world. (Bug Cartel)
HARDCORE ARCHITECTURE – If you’ve been following the incredible Hardcore Architecture tumblr, which is one of the few uses of tumblr I actually “get”, you might like to know that Half Letter Press/Marc Fischer have some print available as well, including a zine version of some of the posts, plus “issues” that feature photographer Bill Daniel and Les Evans of Cryptic Slaughter thus far, along with other related pamphlets and prints. Impeccably done (some on risograph) and they make a nice physical companion to the site. (Half Letter Press)
STITCHES IN MY HEAD – SIMH #8 is the latest in this Australian-living-in-Cleveland penned zine, and since those two areas are probably most responsible for my favorite music of all time, I find some common ground here of course. This issue has a very short Gibbous interview that actually explains a lot about the mysterious Spotted Race project. Some show/record/zine reviews in column form, a handy discography of ADK/AA and Dogma releases (that I feel I’ve seen somewhere else…), a review of the ‘Who Are You Mr. Node’ film and an enjoyable Sex Dwarf tour diary (meaning I liked reading it even though I’m not that into the band). The Not Horriblefest coverage was disappointing (more talk about bands, less about how drunk you got) but overall I always dig this zine – it’s a quick read that is always high on enthusiasm. Get it via Feel It.
DEGENERATE – #16 is out and as always is a pleasure to read. I mean, I don’t even like Crudos that much, but I like reading about Martin’s life/stories. I always enjoy reading Sam’s intellectual reviews of punk and hardcore, for as eggheaded as they get there’s actual substance to them and they more often than not provide some interesting angles to instigate thought. Sam’s not afraid to poke or provoke (as witnessed via some verbal jabbing with both MRR and Laura Pall Mall) and his intellectual tangents regarding things that at surface level are just “dumb punk” certainly lead you down some thought provoking roads, and I find myself agreeing with his piece on the current state of print zines (plus he colors his essays with the right amount of punk reference points to not go totally academic – and thus totally snoozy) – relating it to Great Plains’ “Letter to a Fanzine” certainly wins my heart, but his argument is sound as well. Great review of the great film Nightcrawler and he speaks at length about the Noise in My Head book – again, I feel very similarly to his viewpoints, although I’m surprised he likes it as much as he does (i.e. more than me). He did make me think of it in the right context though – as a really big and expensive zine more than a definitive take on modern Australian rock. Anyway, a print issue of L’Etrenegade (the title for you pretentious folks out there) is always worth the few bucks – it might actually make you think about what we’re all doing here and why. (Some back issues still available and #17 in now out as well in the form of an LP from Mansion)
FORDAMNING FANZINE – Small-sizer out of Sweden that’s done very well, nice clean cut-n-paste layout and nice printing job. Much of the content is out of my comfort zone, dealing predominantly in noise and connected experimental sub-genres, but touching on at least a few items of interest in each issue. It’s well written enough to encourage a full read through though, and hey, I even learned a few things. The author shows great interest in the modern print zine and the reviews are much appreciated as are the heavy focus on cassettes. Most interesting pieces thus far are NZ-oriented, in particular the long article on Bruce Russell’s Corpus Hermeticum label in issue 7 and the short Sandra Bell appreciation that ends #5. And don’t get excited at the chances of reading a long Black Humor piece – this is one’s about blackhumoUr, a totally different kling-klang outfit (which might interest you more anyway, who knows). Good stuff though (#7 in particular) even though I’ve never heard of 75% of the bands/artists included before I’m always eager to expand my horizons, much like the author seems to be regarding the bands Termbo covers. (Dischi Del Barone)
THE ATOMIC ELBOW – There aren’t many wrestling fanzines around these days surprisingly enough (for now at least…and if there are some others to check out please let us know) which makes Atomic Elbow that much more necessary. It’s written by passionate fans in true fanzine style, which is much appreciated, and I heartily recommend every issue. The website lists content for each (I think he’s up to 14 now), and the reviews of old matches/PPVs are generally funny and a breeze to read. Interviews, coverage of the indies, comics and all that good stuff. The world needs more rasslin’ zines like this. By the way, have you looked at an issue of PWI lately? Total garbage. (Atomic Elbow blog/store)
THE ENTHUSIAST – Here’s a novel idea – a pdf zine you can e-mail the editor for the file of and then print your own copy. Genius. Issue 1 has an interview with Bay Area rapper City P, some weird shit about prime number spirals I’m not even sure is accurate, a Rob Vertigo appearance, The Swimming Pigs of Exuma (not a band), and a very good Q&A with Matt from Yellow Green Red/Pissed Jeans. Add in some reviews of old random records and some other weirdness and you should be e-mailing akatron-at-gmail.com for your copy now. PS – the editor is one of the guys from Yi if that helps. #2 out now –
PUS – “Cleveland only!” says the cover. I’m in! This thing is sloppy as hell which is a bit of a waste considering the cash the slick color covers and copies must have cost, but it’s from Clevo so it all makes some sort of dumb sense. Mostly hand-written, includes John Morton and Craig Bell interviews, comics and a hard to read but pretty good reviews section heavy on the hardcore. Highlight is of course the Food Fortunata interview by Mr. California. Wow. (nwardcomics-at-gmail.com)
SAVAGE DAMAGE DIGEST – I’ve been far too slow in reviewing these zines, but Savage Damage is another of the best out there. #4 has a KILLER Chuck Biscuits triple threat article, an excellent Beyond the Implode interview, blows the lid off The Subtractions (just reissued/unleashed on vinyl via Hozac), killer Eels content from that lunatic Brian McMahon and even an appearance by local Buffalo legend Mr. Ski-Mask. All of that stuff is so great I forgive Corey for the Giuda article. Also of note is the small size pub of an SF East Bay scene history (1950-1980) by Linstrum, which is #2 in the series – high quality stuff about obscure SF rockers and garagers that’s a pleasure to read. Available via microcosm publishing and the Savage Damage store.
JIM SHEPARD: NEGOTIATE NOTHING – We’ve reviewed some Nix Comics in the past – good stuff, they do a quarterly book and plenty of other neat stuff (check out Do You Remember Rock’n’Roll Record Stores written by Bela of Anyway Records), but this Jim Shepard issue (also written by Bela – and you should really follow his blog if you love Columbus, the Nineties and Jerry Wick) goes above and beyond. A recollection of Jim’s life, art and impact on the world via a part comic, part biographical short story, part fliers/photos/ephemera collection publication. I imagine that if you’re reading this Jim Shepard is already a part of your life and this is an essential document no matter how well or little you already know his story. Hopefully this inspires more reissues of his tapes and art/zines and perhaps gets the long awaited “return” of Iron Press moving along… (Nix Comics)
NO FRIENDS – The Lumpy/Ausmuteants split flexi that comes with the debut issue of this zine is fucking awesome….One of the (many, many) columnists in this issue talks about wrestling and makes a reference to Termbo via Layaway Butch’s profile pic of Dirty Dutch…?! The Ausmuteants interview (man these kids are everywhere) is pretty entertaining. The Scharpling interview is awkward. The Slugbugs interview is of interest as it’s Em from Cretins of Distortion (under the pseudonym Guitar Hero) and they talk about the zine and current Columbus/Clevo stuff a little. I don’t recognize 75% of the 300 bands reviewed/interviewed here, I’m guessing it’s gearing more towards the pop-punk and ex-emo bands spectrum, plus they give the Golden Pelicans a bad review further confusing me. I think this zine’s mission is to be an alternative/competitor to MRR based in the Midwest (the editor is a deposed former MRR coordinator) and the format (including 18! columnists and obligatory Martin Crudos content) and anyone-can-contribute vibe mirror Maximum with a dash of Pork (also interviewed). They appear to be in it for the long haul (they have tons of ads already –and kickstarter-ed this thing as well -) and are offering subscriptions (they are advertising a quarterly publication schedule) – including a Collector’s Scum (sic) sub – and I wish them luck. This one was worth it for the flexi at least. (No Friends)
EXTREME NOISE: 20 YEARS – I’m an asshole, this was sent to me over a year ago and it’s been lost in a stack of old wrestling magazines all this time. The Minneapolis store celebrated its 20th year in 2014, and this well done zine compiles the history of the shop through its workers, owners and customers. I found it more than interesting to read about a place I’ve never been to, as the record store as an essential part of a city’s scene is something we can all relate to. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have a punk store with this sort of history in their town, but the EN story is encouraging and should inspire you to do whatever you can to keep your own local shop running and vital. The flier collection and live shots of in-store shows are of course much appreciated as is the Felix Havoc content (I’m a big fan). The story told is an interesting narrative but also a good resource for shop owners and punks in general – how they handled and survived the fluctuations in the business (CD boom, CD bust, “vinyl is back”, etc…), having a shop as a collective just seems impossible but they make it work somehow, navigating bizarre customers, thieves, the perils of used record buying and having the store as a show space as well make for good and informative storytelling. It should be noted that EN (via Felix) even assisted Buffalo’s finest store (Spiral Scratch) at its outset. If they still have copies available, get one – partial color, full size, 50+ pages – (Extreme Noise)
PHOTOS/ART/MISC: if you’ve ever been to one of the Total Punk Total Fuck Off fests you’ll understand the need to document what is probably the most essential “fest” of the time, put on by on the best dudes/labels in the game. In TOTAL FUCK OFF II: THE ZINE Jon Chamberlain of Rubberneck/Casting Couch does a great job of mixing posed band photos, action shots and candid photos of the crowd/players, making this a very worthwhile purchase whether you were there or not (sadly I was not in attendance this year) as you can smell the beer and feel the action via the visual story he skillfully tells. Plenty of Gary Wrong (impeccable sideburns) and Buck Biloxi (impeccable haircut) and it’s nice to see next generation kids like Lumpy mixing it up with our “old” pals. Two favorites: meeting of the minds between Ned Hayden and his band for the event and the candid shot of Rich and Denise in the crowd (congrats you guys) almost brings a tear to your eye (also includes Gary Wrong photobomb) (Rubberneck)……COOL DEATH CLUB is a collection of live shots from Tom Bradford (of the Cool Death label) documenting shows from 2009-2013. Since we’ll never see most of these bands, it’s a great way to put some visuals with the records, and the page of fliers is something I always love to see. Full size, 28 pages (available from Feel It)…Kappa Chow are Sackville’s finest band, and I don’t know if this zine has a name, but it’s full of Joe Chamandy’s artwork and scribblings/doodlings, and I liked it so much you should probably be seeing his work in Termbo soon. Full size, 28 pages. B&W (bug Joe for a copy at jchamandy-at-hotmail.com)…SOMETHING TANGIBLE is exactly what its title promises. I have at least a half dozen issues, and they’re sometimes puzzling, sometimes funny and always tangible. Get in touch if you’d like to know more about the people Greg plays horseshoes with (something.tangible.zine-at-gmail.com)….Montreal’s THE FAMINES have put out what they’re calling a “paper LP” – a large newsprint fold-out with graphics/info and a download code on it. Decent Canadian garage-band I suppose, still on the fence on whether this idea is the dumbest thing ever or a slightly novel idea…I guess it’s a little crafty… (thefamines.ca)
FRIENDS/RELATIONS: some Termbros have their own ventures going on these days, starting with GARBAGE DAY from one Rob Vertigo (RSF), compiling his fliers and artwork spanning 20 years. Obviously I’m a fan, and you should bug him to see if he has any more copies available – might be some Bugger Records t-shirts left too – ½ size, 48 pages, B&W (tsfvertigo-at-yahoo.com)….our old pal Get Mugged (BG) has a high quality issue of BUT ME ARE DIFFERENT still available, chock full of his odds and ends from the past few years. A healthy chunk of record reviews, shards of interviews with Love Pork, Narcs, Homostupids and Bloodclot Faggots, fliers, a heartstring pulling diary of the ill-fated Brown Sugar/Flying Trichecos tour (pairs well with the liners from the last BS 7”) and other philosophical investigations. I’ll be honest with you – this kid is pretty smart and one of my favorites to read along with DX and Annesley, and that’s high praise. Wish he would do some more now(Media Schlitz Empire)…. Good old Dave Hyde (DH) has a new one out called TONE DEAF ROOSTER (Destroy What Bores You has apparently been retired) and it was a real treat to find this one in the mailbox. Again, obviously DH is a favorite of mine, his writing is top notch and right up there with my faves of the somewhat-recent-vintage and his taste is impeccable – he’s the guy I often look to and find out about cool shit I don’t know shit about. This issue delivers with some great Half Japanese content (this one involving David Fair’s zines/booklets), Austin poster band Bodily Funktions, some demo reviews, Lllygod Ffyrnig appreciation, a Howard Werth appearance (!) and much more. Dave is one the best “zine guys” I know of (and someone I’ve stolen ideas from) and am proud to have his talents on the TB roster. The layout on this is fantastic (nice use of creative folds/paper size), you should bug him for a copy and help him with his wantlist. (cheaprewards-at-gmail.com)
NEWS & ENDNOTES: big news over at MRR: Brace Belden is back! And if you haven’t been paying attention, MRR has been very decent lately. BB somehow also got a byline in a recent issue of Thrasher via an interview with Total Control…speaking of Australians, there’s no use in my reviewing DISTORT issues, you should just know that it’s essential reading by now. The final issue of LIFE STINKS I LIKE THE KINKS is supposedly coming soon (or out already?) and look out for the DISTORT CLEVELAND zines as well (2 issues so far). Feel It is handling US distro for all DX publications at this point….in more Australian zine-stuff, DOWN & OUT went to a subscribers-only monthly newsletter for the year with a new full size issue slated for early 2016 (Down and Out blog)…NEONS fanzine #2 has been out for a bit from the cracked brain behind SEX BEFORE SUICIDE, and it should whet the appetite of all you out there wishing ANSWER ME! was still around. Sex, sleaze and violence, read it and feel dirty (Neons website) …finally, Jay Hinman looks to have shut the doors on yet another blog. DYNAMITE HEMORRHAGE is no more, and that goes for the print version as well. RIP.
NEW HAVEN, CT. The Elm City. Home of Yale University. I heartily suggest you check some things out before/after these reviews:
– First is Dave Brushback’s review of the same Estrogen Highs tapes, with the added bonus of some scans of the great Estrogen Highs interview he did in his zine INCREMENTAL DECREPITUDE.
– Secondly, Dave Hyde’s interview with Stefan and article on the whole Popeye’s/New Haven scene which also includes the amazing Stefan discography collage by Sarah Janet.
– Ever see/hear the Judge’s Cave Box Set? One of the more essential scene documents I’ve seen produced ever.
– Stay current on things via bookmarking IRRELEVANT FUTURE
Mountain Movers “Death Magic” LP
Dan Greene is sort of a New Haven institution I’m told, a founding member of late Nineties folky/indie-poppers Butterflies of Love (who achieved most of their acclaim in the UK). Sometime after that band’s dissolution Mountain Movers were formed as a vehicle for Greene’s prolific songwriting, as he’s apparently one of those guys who has albums and albums worth of material recorded at home on his 4 track. The band has gone through numerous line-up changes (this one includes members of Estrogen Highs and Medication), this is supposedly their fifth full length, and the first I’ve heard. ‘Death Magic’ is brimming with melancholic indie-rock that I’ve seen described as low-fi, but it’s a bit too clean to qualify under my definition of lo-fi. Quiet might be a better description, minimal even. Strong songwriting is apparent here, but I think an introduction to the band is better served by the three singles reviewed below. Scum stats: 250 copies. (RK)
(Safety Meeting // www.safetymeeting.net)
Mountain Movers – 3xSingles
A singles “series” of sorts from the Car Crash Avoiders label, one release a year from 2011-2013, each one housed in a full color company sleeve.
The first has “I Watch the Sea” which sounds far more potent here than it does on the ‘Death Magic’ LP, recorded at local NH space Popeye’s garage (and actual Popeye’s Chicken converted in a live venue), the bass hums throughout and it has a sticky hook. There’s a cool guitar effect that makes it almost sound like a harmonica for a minute and some good soloing, straight-ahead drum drive and they freak-it-out then break-it-down and bring it back for the finish. Reminds me a bit of a lighter Cheater Slicks type thing. “World What World” is a poppier affair and doesn’t really add to the a solid A-Side vibe started by “I Watch the Sea”. Flip is “I’ve Been to Space” – vox and overall tone get a bit more dramatic for a real downer. I appreciate the desperate plod of the construction (again, similar to Slicks formula a bit) and the guitar work is nicely fried and cracked. 300 copies, small hole 45rpm.
Second single (2012 entry) starts with “Desertion”, a pop-downer with ringing guitar twinkle, some subdued back-up vox that add to the mood. Recorded at Estrogen Highs house, making it a real family affair. It’s trumped by the B-Side though. “Just Summertime” is a pretty gutsy rocker, with down-n-out drum punch that has a heavier presence than on the other tunes thus far, some ghostly vocals give it a truly dark feel (instead of depressed/melancholic). A great entry in the summer-is-a-bummer genre, a good bad trip that’s kind of snakey/slinky in approach as well and has some of the best/wildest guitar work of all the releases. Looks like there’s a little bit of bonus groove at the end if you want to try it and get your turntable to play it. 300 copies, punch-out hole 45rpm.
Third single from 2013 is the one I’d tell you start with. “Alcoholic” was recorded live to 8 track (at Estrogen Highs house again) and it’s a winner. It starts as a heavy-ish garage-psych tune that leads to some guitar-noise exploration that is pretty blown with plenty of feedback and a segment to end that is experimental in an SY style that really sounds like something dying (in a good way). B-Side is a rougher version of “Pacemaker” from the ‘Death Magic’ LP that sounds better here with some frayed edges, and nearly like an Estrogen Highs tune for a lazy (but honest) reference. Makes the tune sound like indie-ROCK here instead of INDIE-rock. Mellow and watery sounding, reverbed vox sound like they’re melting. 300 copies, big hole 45rpm.
These singles were what I was expecting, the sort of damaged home-recording style that I think we all enjoy, and I feel I got a better idea of Greene’s aesthetic from these truly lo-fi outings. Someone should e-mail me and tell me which of the other Mountain Movers full lengths sound like this, as I kinda think ‘Death Magic’ was a bit plain sounding. There’s real character to be found in these single sides though.(RK)
(Car Crash Avoiders // carcrashavoiders.tumblr.com)
Acid Mother’s Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO “High on New Heaven, Live in New Haven” 3XLP
I regrettably didn’t pay much attention to the Japanese underground psych-freak-rock scene when it was in its prime in the early Nineties, instead concerning myself with the more direct (to me) garage-punk of Teengenerate/Registrators/Guitar Wolf at the time. A band like AMT was beyond my comprehension then in a way (or at least outside of my comfort zone), even though I was aware of them and their contemporaries and read all about it in the cool zines. Of course I worked backwards years later through the PSF catalog, damning myself for not buying High Rise and Keiji Haino records when they were still affordable. The one band I did at least get to experience firsthand after I caught on were Acid Mother’s Temple, who have continued on their speedfreak journey for almost twenty years now, guided by “speed guru” Kawabata Makoto. I got to see them live maybe 6-7 years ago and it was well worth the wait. In a weird way I relate the Japanese freak scene with New England, as it seemed like these bands and records were exclusively imported through Forced Exposure and the championing of Coley and Johnson and the alliance of bands like Ghost with the like-minded gonzos of Twisted Village. So it seems fitting for this live album to be coming from New Haven, the type of college-town community where these bands would play campuses or local bars and fry the minds of the more adventurous members of the student body on their tours – or at least that’s picture I have painted in my head. And get this – this show was played on 4/20 of 2013 – “Today is 420, so please, high on!” For most other bands, a triple LP set would be deemed overkill, but for an AMT show it’s almost not enough. Three LPs is about the minimum it would take, and I take a bit of pleasure in the rare instances where I get to play a Side F. Each side is a song, with C/D encompassing the vast “Pink Lady Lemonade” (“Including Om Riff From The Melting Paraiso UFO – Parts 1&2”). Most of “In Search of the Lost Divine Arc” is played (title track, “Born Free Stone Free” to open, closing with “Space Speed Suicide”) with the “Cometary Orbital Drive” suite taking up Side E. I’m no expert on the band or this scene, although I do my best to try, but I don’t think anyone would say this show wasn’t incredible. AMT are not a band you can be a completist with (unless this is your exclusive genre) and I only own 3 of what Discogs claims are 60+ full length releases. A little bit of AMT goes a long way though (not in a disparaging way either) and for a novice/casual fan like myself a live record of high quality (such as this one, derrrrr) is a good staple to have in your collection. If you’re unfamiliar, this is probably even a good place to start. This is truly psychedelic music in the real sense, not what “psych” as a genre or descriptor has been bastardized into today, and even better than the Acid Archives sense of what psych often means (limp fuzz guitar bar rock). As always, leave it to the Japanese to be the freakiest most-out-there and honestly wild and free purveyors of this music. Gargantuan guitar riffs, kaiju-like rhythm section and an array of synthesizers and electronics create music that is equally wild both in its moments of quiet outer-spaceness and full on headblow rocking. A band that I wish I had known about when I was a young kid taking a lot of acid instead of listening to ‘The Wall’ over and over. Bands like this are the true heirs to Hawkwind’s LSD-in-outer-space throne. And what’s even better is that they’re still doing it NOW. Scum stats: 500 total, with 100 being the now sold out special edition with silk screened foldover jackets and poster, and 400 regular edition of which there are precisely 47 left available as of the writing of this article thanks to the stats provided by the Safety Meeting bandcamp, available at the unbelievably nice price of $30 for 3 LPs and a wide spine sleeve to house them and a full size insert. DO IT. (RK)
(Safety Meeting // www.safetymeeting.net)
Estrogen Highs “Unfortunate Chronology” Vol. 1&2 cassettes
Estrogen Highs are one of those bands that I was privileged enough to see evolve via the Termbo reviews section, from the very first Stefan-only demo (self-depreciatingly titled “Rough, Shitty, Peaked Levels…” CD-R), the first self-released 7″ (“E Major D Construction”) their unfortunate alliance with the aptly named Deadbeat Records (“Tell it to Them” LP, the only rough patch I felt the band went through), a handful more of EPs and tapes on other labels and their own (‘Friends & Relatives’ LP and the ‘Cycles’ 12″ being where I felt they really hit their stride) and finally finding a fitting home with Trouble in Mind for a pair of outstanding LPs (‘Irrelevant Future’ and what might have been the apex of their catalog in 2015’s ‘Hear Me on the Number Station’). Tracing their path from what at first was a somewhat straight garage band formed from the ashes of Sudden Walks (whose self-titled 7″ is a shoo-in for whatever the ‘Destroy All Art’-esque comp of the mid-2000’s punk underground is going to be named) into the wonderfully diverse (Kiwi-pop-via-Columbus-punk?) group they became was one of the more organic and perhaps largely under-appreciated evolutions of the past decade. Sadly, after almost a decade of existence Stefan is now closing the door on the band. I’m saddened by this development of course, but at least they went out on top of their game – yet I feel there might have been even further possibilities (i.e. some more “mainstream” success?) had their upward trajectory continued. I suppose it’s best this way though. This two volume cassette set cleans out the closet of some live and unreleased tracks, alt takes, an awesome variety of covers and noise experiments from the last six years of the bands existence. The very final release is slated to be a split LP with Detroit’s Frustrations (another under-rated act) coming on New Haven’s Safety Meeting label later this year. Obviously both tapes are essential at this point if only to grasp on to these splintering moments while we can. Volume 1 highlights include a live “This Harsh Country” which saddens me even further realizing I never actually saw E-Highs live (I once helped set a Buffalo show up for them, then wasn’t even in town when it happened, and I heard they played to an unfortunately small crowd – sorry Stefan!), “Classic Texts” which I swear I’ve heard on another release (but can’t pin down?!), an alternate “Forever Designing My Stationary”, and the covers here are incredible. Possibly the only good Jim Shepard cover ever (Ego Summit’s “We Got It All”) and fittingly so as Shepard became a noticeable influence on Stefan’s songwriting, a romp through “Scavenger of Death” (not from the Permanent Feels either…) and a live and meandering (and frighteningly almost dead-on) “Can’t You See”. Vol. 2 has more primo live action, and the huge jam of “Alley Man” from ‘Friends & Relatives’ is a real mindblower, a quiet acoustic version of Leonard Cohen’s “Lover Lover Lover” is welcome (as is a nice little Townes Van Zandt cover) and a rousing “I Am Tradition”. 25 cuts over both volumes, you’d be wise to get them both now as they’re limited to 50 copies each. I’ll miss this band greatly (and their clockwork-like LP every year), as I found comfort in the fact of knowing they were always out there plugging away in the tradition of all other rock outfits doing it the right way – their own way. (RK)
(Elm Recordings // elmrecordings.com)
Pieces of Fruit “Sowere soso” demo
Five song demo recorded by Stefan from Estrogen Highs. Is this the “New Haven Sound”? Quiet jangle, indie-rock via NZ and VU, New England cassette underground vibes. Pieces work the repetition angle and put their best foot forward immediately with “Sound” which is succinct and pleasantly simple. They try on some Modern Lovers vibes at one point, and the songs where they break out the noise guitar (tastefully though) add some interesting textures. Musically I can get into this, but the guy’s (purposefully?) out-of-tune warbling really gets to me after two songs. (RK)
(Elm Recordings // elmrecordings.com)
Worn Leather “Demo” and “Tape II” cassettes
Promising pair of tapes (recorded again by Stefan) from this New Haven garage-punk trio. Demo tape is real good from the get-go. “Telling Lies” is a fantastic bit of punk rock hook casting, “Short Supply” sounds like a jangly Angry Samoans, and “Nervous Shakes” could be placed on a volume of Teenage Shutdown. B-Side has more ‘mats vibes, they try hard for the hooks and end up getting a bit too melodic for me at times, but I have to admit these kids are capable of writing some real good songs and could be punching above their weight class already. ‘Tape II’ has five more, mix is a bit more bottom heavy and gives the tunes a bit more edge here. “Words” is a near perfectly crafted bit of garage-spunk with a big hook and solo. “Common Sense” is a real gone garage-punk bomber with a piercing lead. I dig the sort of JD (juvie delinquent, not Joy Division, dummy) vibes these kids have (and what a great band name), and I suppose you could paint a picture of them as a ragged young version of Marked Men, but they keep it more garage-Punk, avoiding any too-cute pop cliches. They make a good effort at some vocal harmonies here that sound fitting and even a bit semi-tough and again elicit garage punk unknown thoughts. I’m imagining Stefan as mentoring these kids, and if that’s true they’re learning fast and well. Real cool stuff.(RK)
(self-released // wornleather.bandcamp.com)
Stefan Christensen “Israel (It’s More of the Same)” cassette
Stefan’s first solo outing (or official “solo” as there were some E-Highs recordings that were just him…or the Ehrgeizig and Permanent Feels tapes…) and what is apparently his new musical outlet now that E-Highs are gone (unless Casual Sexists are still together…). An eleven song journey, at times plaintive and somewhat folk-based but more often than not it’s wonderful rock with very classy use of loud guitars and somewhat experimental wrangling of feedback and noisy texture. Stefan’s contemplative songwriting style makes good use of dynamics in the structure, the sort of songs that you think are a bit quiet but realize halfway in that this is in essence loud rock’n’roll performed in very creative ways. “I Am the Timepiece” is a truly stunning piece of work and one of the best rock songs I’ve heard this year. The tape as a whole is full of canny moves, reinforcing the fact that Stefan is one of the more interesting voices out there. “Lost in East Rock” is reminiscent of Rick White’s work, there are segments that of course recall the direction that Estrogen Highs were heading in their waning days, perhaps even a bit more somber. I of course impress a certain New England feel onto this in my head, Sebadoh-like (maybe more Eric than Lou) maybe some Burma even. “Astral Fulfillment” actually reminds me of the sound and aesthetic of The Breeders circa-‘Pod’. I’m very thankful Stefan seems to be moving forward quickly with this project – I almost feel as if the Estrogen Highs were taken from us too soon, or perhaps I was just used to them being there, but this eases the pain. Word has it that Stefan has assembled a band with members of Mountain Movers and is playing live. And this very tape will be getting “reissued” via Night People as well. Artwork reminds me of a Homeblitz record, and while Stefan and Daniel might not sound that much alike, I think they both have a similar aesthetic in a way.(RK)
(self-released // www.irrelevantfuture.blogspot.com)
END NEW HAVEN////
Be back soon for Canadiana…..
Hey now. Here’s a bunch of tape/demo reviews for you to read. We will have short updates in the next weeks focusing on New Haven bands/records, Rochester/Rotcore releases and an All Canadian update. So if your releases fall under those headings, please be patient. Other than that, we have more records reviews, zine reviews, Termbo print issue #3 coming in October and other surprises. Catch up on older zines and tapes over at the Loki Label. If anyone out there wants to contribute to the zine or the site drop us a line with some ideas: termibore-at-aol.com –
(picture by Dave Hyde)
Hey there, it’s been a long time since we last rapped at ya. Here’s a large page full of overdue record reviews of the vinyl sort. Some older, some newer, we hope you find some thing you might like or have missed or are just finding out about. Still have another file full of vinyl reviews to edit and an even larger file full of tape/demo reviews to paste up, both of which should be happening soon now that we’re back from summer vacation. We also have a couple of interviews ready to roll as well. In other news, look for print Termbo Issue #3 around the end of summer, accompanied by a Giant Sized Best of Termbo as well. Back issues are still available via our friends at The Loki Label. And speaking of the Loki Label, the first annual Loki Fest is happening next weekend, July 18th at the Ace of Cups in scenic Columbus, Ohio with performances by Unholy Two, Mordecai, Cheater Slicks and Counter Intuits. There’s some more info about it here and we hope to see you there. Back soon. Direct all questions/comments/requests to the editor at termibore-at-aol.com.
After some serious decision-making and last minute vote recounting, our “What We Liked About 2014” staff lists are available for review, just in case you might have missed anything this past year. Check that stuff out here. Up next we have a TONNE of reviews to get us caught up and into the new year plus a very special Garbage Can from our friend Ryan Dinosaur. All this and more very soon, including some print news as well….
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: termibore-at-aol.com.
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:
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…) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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. (jerkstore.bigcartel.com)
Maximum 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. (utrecords.storenvy.com)
Organ 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. (www.organgrindermagazine.com)
Rubberneck – 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. (www.rubberneckzine.com)
Degenerate 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 degeneratezine-at-gmail.com and look here: http://degenerateephemera.tumblr.com/.
Cretins 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. (www.gravemistakerecords.com)
Wet 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)
Over 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. (http://papertowncompany.bigcartel.com)
AGGRO – 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. (email@example.com)
DISTORT – 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. (distortmag.bigcartel.com or in the US via Feel It)
Do 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 – www.nixcomics.com)
Pure 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 – www.nixcomics.com)
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. (downandoutzine.blogspot.com)
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.
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.
Ed.: With some time to catch up on “things” on this holiday eve here’s some info on zines that have been piling up around here. I constantly feel bad about how far behind on record reviews we are at most times, but I’ve even more severely neglected the zines that editors have been kind enough to mail us over this past year. Apologies to everyone, there are a bunch that were too old to even include here, and a lot of those included are far too late. I’m a shithead, I know.
SAVAGE DAMAGE DIGEST #3
Third issue of this classy West Coast digest-sized (duh) zine. Full color throughout, laid out effectively and peppered with vintage schlock ads that reinforce the retro viewpoint present. All interviews and articles for the most part, obviously dealing in rocking and rolling of the past, the majority of which are written by editor Cory Linstrum. The big article is a very in depth interview with Avengers guitarist Greg Ingraham that takes up a good quarter of the zine and also contains some killer pics and fliers (including a crucifixion centerfold). Other “punk” interviews are a nice little Speedies chat with guitarist Greg Crewdson (writer of “Let Me Take Your Photo” who went on to actually become a professional photographer) and a very short Jeff McDonald/Redd Kross Q&A (in which he confesses to being a Ty Segall fan, which will endear him to many Termbo readers I’m sure). For the moptops out there there’s a piece with Peter Daltrey of Kaleidoscope/Fairfield Parlor who talks more about his book and current band than what we want to hear about – which effectively teases the book I suppose – and an interview with Paul Muggleton of The Savages, the mid-Sixties garage band from Bermuda(!) responsible for the monster cut “The World Ain’t Round, It’s Square”, which is short but very very good for such an obscure band (as opposed to the Ugly Things approach of a three-issue spanning 30 page snoozefest dissecting what Cooper Bowman covered perfectly here in 3 pages). My favorite bit of this zine has always been the ‘Triple Threat’ feature, which in this issue tackles the immortal Larry Wallis in a well researched piece that was a great read. Linstrum hints that he’s running out of ammo for Triple Threats (Chuck Biscuits is supposedly next) so mail in some suggestions for him! The reviews section is barely existent (which I don’t mind at all), focuses on books/zines/films and only reviews three actual records (including Giuda, yuck) and is pretty disposable, but that’s no problem. I’m of a different breed than music fans like Cory who seem to ignore the present and live in the past, but to each his own, and I still enjoy Savage Damage very much. Worth a pick up for the Larry Wallis piece alone, plus it comes with a great Stiff Records button with Lazza’s image! An exceptional value at $6.50 ppd for 80 color pages and a badge. (RK)
The exact opposite of the Ugly Things Jr. approach of Savage Damage, Droppings main concern is the here and now. Brought to us from the masterminds behind Atlanta’s Scavenger of Death record label, it’s local-centric but not exclusive. The ATL scene report really comes in handy because it’s hard to keep track of all those damn bands Mike and Brannon from Predator are in. But seriously, there’s a high ratio of good-to-great bands in Atlanta, and it seems like there are more popping up daily – and I’m pleased to know that Ralph are still active. You get short-n-funny interviews with Joint D= and Gary Wrong but the real meat here is an in-depth chat with Total Control which is entertaining and intelligent enough to read a couple of times and a just-as-fantastic piece with Toronto’s Kremlin (who have crushed my heart and broken up recently). In between this you get some pics, SOD propaganda and the makings of an advice column for the next issue. I love the primitive B&W cut and paste layout and there’s a prevailing sense of good/gutter humor. Short and sweet. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. This pup also comes with a 12 track cassette with songs from Gary Wrong (an exclusive!), a great live Total Control cut from their Atlanta show, a crusher from ATL newcomers Dasher, unreleased demos from GG King (“Thin Boys” cover!), GHB, Predator, a killer Ryan Dinosaur cut from an upcoming release, the GG King-related Slight Shivers, classic Eighties ATL punk/core from Crooks and Neon Christ and some mysterious suburban black metal from Beatifyx. An absolute steal at $6.75 ppd in the USofA. Get it from the new SOD shop, which is now also peddling the hottest in Atlanta demo tapes as well as their own merch. (RK)
This is the first issue I’ve seen of this Austin-based zine, and I have to say that I’m impressed. Rubberneck is predominantly a photozine fleshed out with maybe 1/3 of words/interviews and I think it’s a perfect ratio. Packed with spectacular photos of both the live and portrait variety, featuring artists across the underground (from Bobby Liebling to The Impalers to Buck Biloxi & the Fucks), all of which are printed in high quality. And I should mention the entire 36 page zine is printed on some thick cardstock pages with a color cover. Very classy. As for the print section, King Khan & BBQ waste four pages talking absolute nonsense…but what would expect from those two lunatics? This is made up for by a couple of pages with our pals The Sleaze, an interview with the never-at-a-loss-for-words Scott Soriano who gives up his opinions on everything from downloading to the state of music zines and talks about the S-S label and bands as well – everyone (myself included) loves to bust Soriano’s balls about his uh…wordiness, would that be the word?…but the fact of the matter is he’s a smart dude who knows what he’s talking (a lot) about. I also love that Scott might be the only person in the world who misses Myspace. “Writing Editor” Miranda Fisher did a wonderful job with the SS interview and also gives us a good page of record reviews that actually have an opinion! Well done. There’s also a pretty funny bit where someone reviews a bunch of instructional records and a not-as-funny advice column with John Wesley Coleman. $7 ppd in the US is the nice price considering the production values here. (RK)
DEFIANT POSE #7/8
I feel like a real shitheel for having sat on these zines for so long without giving them a mention. I received three issues in the mail some time ago, and the amount of work spent on these is staggering. Based out of the UK (of course), DF #7 is subtitled “UK FANZINES 1977-84” and is just that – painstaking and in-depth coverage of classic print zines from Wales to Ireland to London and everywhere in between. Covers the heavy hitters (Sniffin Glue, Ripped & Torn, The Next Big Thing) but also delves DEEP into the countryside for hundreds of titles you’ve never even heard of. Things are arranged chronologically and regionally containing interviews with writers/editors, article reprints, reviews, some oral history type stuff and tons and tons of images – there has to be at least over a hundred zine covers included here. Layout is jam-packed in what had to be a massively time-consuming production – the pages are full of text and images to a nearly claustrophobic degree, which makes the reading rather exciting and lends some fitting chaos to the experience. This issue comes in two versions – a 77 page digest/A5 style version (which is the second edition and actually amends the scope to begin in 1976) and a 44 page full-size/A4 version which came out originally. Second pressing includes some info not in the first, but both are overhwelming works that fans of punk zines in general and/or UK first wave punk fanatics will find essential. There’s honestly enough material here for a book. The other issue I received is simply titled “LONDON GIG FLYERS 1977-97” (which I’m guessing at calling issue 8) and is 32 full-size pages of flyer repros, ticket stubs, Crass manifestos, newspaper clippings and more covering everyone from Gen X and Chelsea to Terminal Cheesecake and Conflict. I’m a sucker for flier art, and this is right up my alley. Contact Inflammable Material for copies and I believe Sorry State also has some for US distro. Startlingly good stuff that all of you should try and grab – no idea on the pricing, but whatever the cost, it’s worth it. (RK)
NIX COMICS #1 & #2
Small-time Ohio record store owner gets out of the rat race and into an even harder racket…self publishing comic books. This new venture is two issues in and seems to be a quarterly outing. Nix reads a bit like an old EC horror anthology or even something more humorous and weird like Raw. And with all anthology works, there’s varying degrees of success that will differ in the eyes from reader to reader. What I’ve taken in personally, there‘s quite a bit good stuffs in here. It reminds me of Eightiess indie rack-jobbers like the pages Arrow and Caliber Comics used to produce. Not as outright violent or vulgar as the ones I still own (Gore Shriek anyone?), but there’s still plenty of morbid ink drops inside to keep the ghouls pleased. Stories
dealing with stuff that record scum folk understand also takes the read up a notch. You’ve got the wise old bluesman mistakenly selling his soul…to a demon that may or may not be a Mississippi Records exec. Did you know that Question Marks’ real mystery is that he’s a vampire hunter? There’s drummers vs. satanists. There’s the old shock-rocker (Coop) vs. the new (Manson). And my personal fave (that has nothing to do with music); A Rev. Phelps-like Baptist preacher who meets his match against an undead…and openly gay …soldier. Fuck that guy. There’s also a recurring character based on the true stories of a bus stop goon, which is actually an idea I’ve been toying with as a comic strip for almost ten years. Dammit.
Do ya’ need an artist? Any stories? I got’em!
Editor/writer/madman Ken Eppstein pulls from his R&R friends to get some serious artists on board. The biggest name in my eyes is Darren Merinuk, whose work has graced quite a few fanzines, punk singles and garage shirts over the years. He’s a real asset in these works. The stuff drawn by Ryan Brinkerhoff gives off a Charles Burns vibe, and that’s no slump either. On the technical side of things, I’m not a huge fan of the coloring style (computer work, I believe) and the layout seems a tad stiff…but that’s just the gripe of a B&W comic fan. There’s a little segment done in what I think is alcohol markers (by Patrick Roach) that would be a great direction to take things. Sure, it’s a little rough around the edges but it’s fresh off the press and like a rock zine at heart so I can only assume the future issues will get even better. (RSF)
MONGREL ZINE #11 – latest ish of Canada’s finest zine, jam packed at 100 or so pages. Massive review section (live/record/books/etc), interviews with White Mystery, Chains of Love, Pork Magazine, La-Ti-Da Records, Weird Canada and tonnes more. My favorite bit is the “Tales of Montreal’s Seedy Underground” column by CPC Gangbang/Sexareeno Dan Pedro Dorito (aka Colonel Lingus). Obviously the coverage here is very Canada-centric and whatever they might lack in attitude they make up for with boatloads of enthusiasm. A super-sized read that covers not just music but filmmakers and graphic artists as well. I think you can probably get a package deal for the latest issue with one of their newly-started label’s 7”es as well. (RK) (www.mongrelzine.ca)
HENRY & GLENN FOREVER & EVER #2 – the publisher of this comic sent us some promotional e-mails so I asked for a review copy just for the hell of it. I didn’t really think this was a great idea from afar, and after seeing an issue up close it’s even less funny. A gag that should have been a two-pager in an issue of Cracked given way too much time and paper. Not funny in the slightest, and while I don’t necessarily have a problem with poking fun at Glenn or Henry, I think it would have at least been somewhat respectful to do it in a humorous way. I have no idea how the subjects of this zine feel about it in real life, but they should probably be insulted by the lack of yucks here. (RK) (www.microcosmpublishing.com)
LIMITED CONTRITION VOL. 1 – first issue of this Richmond based punk/hardcore zine (issue 2 is already done apparently, I’m way behind here…). Layout is clean and not very exciting visually, but I dig the stark aesthetic for what it is (i.e.something made on a computer). Mostly interviews (Pink Reason, Merchandise, TV Ghost, Rank/Xerox, etc..) with a short reviews section. There’s an emphasis on newer hardcore, in particular the Youth Attack scene, but with enough garage and other genres mixed in to make it appealing to most anyone. Some of the interviews aren’t particularly insightful or long (the YA-related stuff is done better than the “garage” stuff) and the reviews are a mixed bag (four reviewers, two of which seem to have a better grasp on things) but I like where their heads are at. They should be able to crank these out fast with this lo-frills aesthetic which should see them improving with time. (RK) (limitedcontrition.bigcartel.com)
NUTS FANZINE #11 & 12 – I’ve had a few issues of Nuts in the past. I appreciated the arty style but it was obviously very Olympia-centric – I wasn’t into a a lot of the bands they covered and some of the locals-only stuff would lose me. Plus, the newspaper-sized zine is a total pain in the ass to read even if the layout required the space. With the past couple of issues the Nuts-dude has relocated to NYC and I seem to think things have improved – or he just started covering stuff of more interest to me so now I’m paying attention. The layout is impeccable – art, photos and text all delivered with a trained and skilled eye for presentation. Combined with the NYC aesthetic I love – the Toxic State bands, Weird Luke, Crazy Spirit crowd – this makes for a visually impelling experience, the perfect subject matter for this zine. There are fold out color posters with each issue (Dawn of Humans poster!), an interview with Hank Wood & The Hammerheads in #11 and tons and tons more of interest for both reading and looking. I’d really recommend these issues to fans of the NYC weird-hardcore scene, as there might not be a better designed zine on the planet at this time. Now I just wish they could design it into a different size….(RK) (nutsfanzine.tumblr.com)
LIMITED READERSHIP #4 – this issue has also been out for some time (yeah, I’m waaay behind, sorry again), but just wanted to say this is probably my second favorite current zine behind Distort right now. Great layout, great choice of bands/subjects and a very opinionated and identifiable voice to the writing (all by the same guy). A good mix of interviews, think pieces and reviews that all flow rather seamlessly much in the same style that DX uses in Distort. Buy all issues of this zine you can find immediately. (RK)(limitedreadership.blogspot.com/)
DEGENERATE #11 & #12 – I’ve only seen a couple issues of Degenerate but I enjoy their bad attitude and somewhat pretentious delivery very much. Layout is exceptionally neurotic, and it appears this guy owns both a typewriter and Xacto blade, which I appreciate fully. Interviews (Musk, Sex Church, MARS, Scraper and more) are mixed in with some very well done reviews and a lot of editorializing/essay writing, which I also dig. Issue #12 has what might be the most re-read article I’ve come across in some time via an extremely scholarly and well-researched thesis on modern “post-punk” (which is basically a takedown of Iceage, Merchandise and others of that ilk) that had me laughing as hard as I was thinking. I’m guessing this had to be written for college credit, but if not, I’m even more impressed. And speaking of impressed, both of these issues also come with a flexi (Musk in #11 and Scraper in #12)! You should get both of these issues ASAP – they’re a great value and a great read. (RK) (www.facebook.com/degeneratezine)
EVEN SHORTER TAKES: if you want to read a killer fiction zine I would suggest picking up Repos/Ropes singer Aaron Aspinwall’s ‘PEOPLE AT WAR WITH THEMSELVES’ (aaronandhisideas.bigcartel.com) for some high quality takes on the short story……if I haven’t mentioned HUMAN BEING LAWNMOWER yet, I’m sorry. Avi Spivak’s zine is one of the best in sport today- all 3 issues and Kicksville Confidential are must-haves (www.avispivak.com)…. DX will have a new DISTORT out soon according to the latest news blast (the biggest issue yet!) plus issue #2 of ‘LIFE STINKS, I LIKE THE KINKS’ is available now (with a contribution from Douglas P!) (distortcult.blogspot.com)… big news on the print scene is that PUT THE MUSIC IN ITS COFFIN #5 is now available (in bigger full size format) and it’s the largest and supposedly last issue! Ah, The Journalist, we hardly knew ye. At 84 pages and $10 ppd this guy is really putting his balls on the line. I’m excited to read what happens as PTMIIC was (and is) always top shelf reading material (ptmiic.blogspot.com/)…and the biggest news on the print scene is SUPERDOPE legend Jay Hinman coming out of hibernation (well, not really, as the guy has had like 13 different blogs/tumblrs) to release a print version of DYNAMITE HEMORRHAGE to show all you kids how it’s done. There’s of course a lengthy Flesh Eaters/Chris D piece planned, an interview with Jay’s modern favorites Sex Tide and lots of stuff about obscure all-girl DIY bands apparently. I’m looking forward to it, looks slick! (dynamitehemorrhage.com) (RK)
A good portion of this stuff can be found via our pals at FEEL IT ZINE/RECORDS distro….on deck we have more reviews (records, books and tapes) and a heap of interviews. Happy Thanksgiving to all and hopefully we’ll be spending more quality time together during the holiday season.