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.