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…) (email@example.com)
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. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.