Category: Zine

Zines

Fanzine Roundup June

Some recommended Fanzines from the stack I’ve managed to pick up in the last couple of months, ‘Punk in Suburbia’ and ‘Paper Aeroplanes’ were found whilst on holiday in Portland OR in a local bookshop and the others ordered from the web, I’ve included contact/purchase info where available.  With these fanzine reviews you may have noticed I am beginning to move away from only music based publications, as I delve deeper into the Zine community I’m realising how much variety and great writing is available and am enjoying sharing these finds.  Get in touch for more information via the contact form.

 

Reckless Chants #23
Fanzines are the perfect format for free expression and personal stories and this issue really gets down and dirty emotionally, at times the essay is a difficult read, however it’s fantastic to get your hands on something so honest, gritty and easy to empathise with.   Jessie’s writing style draws you in and gives you the measure of her character and the situation at that time so well.
The theme in this issue is ‘crying’, essentially the different ways we cry and the reasons we do so, I found myself nodding along in agreement many times, and at more than one point I had to put the book down as tears were threatening to spill over.  Find it in the Reckless Chants shop on Etsy.

 

Every Day Failures #1
I understand the format here; it’s one I generally like a great deal. A snap shot of a life, a moment which obviously meant a great deal to this person, made an impact and helped them learn something about themselves.  Reading this zine however, I found it difficult to put myself in the writers’ position and I was left feeling a little frustrated that she didn’t pull herself out of the situation and give her partner a piece of her mind.  I admire anyone for getting out there and making a zine, you are really opening yourself up emotionally to strangers, when the situation is very specific sometimes its hard to put yourself in their shoes; this was one of those times for me, however, I still found this a fascinating read and any emotional reaction means it did have an impact on me. Picked up from Powell’s books in Portland, however available in a number of distros.

 


Basic Paper Airplane

First time reading this zine, picked up from Powells books in Portland which may have a sweet sense of irony if you’ve read the issue.  I loved this book – initial baflement at the writer letting so many opportunities slip past gave way to admiration, and the pay off leaves you smiling.  I felt inspired after reading this; to do something just for me, to break free of the shackles of the every day grind and embrace my creative side, make a zine perhaps. This is the kind of zine that makes me love the format so much and anything that inspires me to be creative is recommended. I have found this to purchase on Etsy at Antiquated Future.

 

 

Also recommended this month:

Fluke #14
This issue of the zine is a flyer special; the flyers are from old shows and give a taste of what was happening in the scene back in the day.
I love getting a look at flyers from other local scenes from years past, it always makes me want to rifle through my old ticket stubs and flyers again.
Purchase at Big Cartel.

 

 

General Speech #14
Mainly interviews in this punk zine, I only knew a couple of the bands so wasn’t completely on board however the writing is sound (I found the Tercer Mundo article really interesting).  My first time reading GS and I love the enthusiastic commitment to the cause and the style of the Zine is great. Purchased from General Speech however it is now sold out here, try a local distro perhaps?

 

Save

Save

Save

November Roundup

We are getting towards that end of year list time again already, but there are still some choice picks to be had, last minute additions to that top *insert number here*.

 

fluke-13Fluke Fanzine #13
This is Fluke‘s 25th year, and issue 13 of this great zine;  as a bonus I was lucky enough to get my hands on a limited edition t-shirt to celebrate this momentous issue but would have been satisfied just to get my hands on the latest issue on its own.  I always look forward to a new Fluke; the enthusiasm that Matthew has for the scene and the great people he’s met over the years really shines through; he writes with a nostalgic edge but you get the feeling he is always looking to the future with excitement.  Perhaps its because we are the same generation that I connect with his world view so well, or perhaps its just the easy way he draws you in with his great writing style, but this issue of the zine is a fascinating glimpse into his life and the music and people that inspired him growing up.  Highly recommended.

 

cod-fanzine-2Cretins Of Distortion #7
I’ve been looking to pick up a copy of this fanzine for a while and having no luck with UK distros I ordered one from overseas. COD is punk as fuck; on first appearances it looks to be a random cut and paste of images and text, but of course things are more organised than the appearance of chaos. The zine is ‘dedicated to/and stands with everyone who has suffered from systematic violence’ and revels in the freak tag throughout.  This is a serious mag; a strong message carried by someone who clearly cares about the subject and it makes you sit up and take notice too.

I’ll be picking this up again for sure, I love reading whats going on in people’s local scenes and this mid-west view is fascinating stuff.

 

taman-shud-oracle-imageTaman Shud – Oracle War
Hotly anticipated sophomore album from the London (self-styled) necro-psych/cave-rock mob.  The Taman Shud image, one of mystery and darkness, is all pervasive, they never let the veil drop on their social media accounts, posting only reviews, upcoming information and darkly quirky pictures and words; not wanting to give away the personalities behind the controlled image.  This approach makes the music the only focus, you have to admire their commitment to the cause, and it really works to set up a heady atmosphere when you listen to the album.

As with Viper Smoke the record has a dream-like quality, repetitive droning loops of riffage and vocal chants lend the atmosphere a ritualistic quality, and you feel yourself lost in their world of smoggy, doom laden, psychedelic licks, meanderings, over the top vocal effects and satanic crooning; Taman Shud really are an entity all their own.

The production on this record is super scuzzy and distorted – imagine you’re in the cabin in the woods listening to the recordings of the Book of the Dead on that old tape machine;  half heard sounds appear out of the distortion, screams are muted under feedback and the melodies are hidden behind a wall of frenetic sound.  It’s a slightly different approach to ther last record, which, while it was not crystal clear or slick in any sense, did feel more minimal and have more of a focus on melody; each sound was identifiable in the mix and retained its own identity.  Here the wall of noise means you are constantly searching for a focal point and it makes for a more challenging listening experience, (tracks like Slime Litury may test casual listeners boundaries), however it is compusive and dramatic and addictive in a different way.  I’m sold on the intensity.

 

tough-tits-cover-image
Tough Tits – Hairless EP
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne all girl punk trio;  lo-fi production, shrill vocals, uncomplicated drums.  What this lacks in scope it more than makes up for with energy and attitude.

 

 

grieving-cover-imageGrieving – Demonstrations
There is something really charming about this EP from the Cambridge four piece. It’s been out for a while now and I’ve had it as part of my regular rotation since I first heard it.  I get Reuben and Million Dead vibes at times and then more of an indie feel with some sweet riffs; it is in essence very British, with a strong 00’s thing going on. I like that it’s minimal with an emphasis on some great melodic moments and a lovely clear guitar sound.

This band obviously has a ton of ideas to throw around as each track has a slightly different flavour; so overall its not hugely cohesive, but because it’s all so listenable they do pull it off over these 5 tracks. Doesn’t appear they have an album yet but I’ll be interested to see how they handle it.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Fanzine Roundup

We just moved house and I’ve been finding it hard to concentrate long enough to string a sentence together, luckily though a collection of great Fanzines landed on my doormat just before the move, inspiring me to put fingers to keyboard again.

As well as those quality publications mentioned below I also really enjoyed the recent Fanzine issue of Maximum Rock and Roll;  it was super interesting, to read interviews with some of the zinesters responsible for the fanzines I’ve been enjoying the last couple of years.  I’ve also recently picked up issues 16 and 17 of Nuts! which I’ve read about, but not managed to source previously;  the leaflet style layout is a touch awkward to read in the wrong setting but it stands out because of this, I may get around to covering it in more detail at some point.  Vernacular Visions, a photo zine which was put out as Degenerate #18 and features flyers and slides of found images, is also well worth a look.

 

Reckless Chants ZineFirst up is Reckless Chants #22, a wholly personal and nostalgic undertaking of remeniscences about the past, and very honest musings about, shitty families, sexuality, friends and music; in essence these are coming of age stories, memories put down in a way that inspire you to write your own history down.  This is my first time reading this zine but I’m already looking to pick up some more.  Jessie has an easy style which has taken years to perfect, it’s the way I always imagined my writing sounding back in the days when I turned out reems of poetry and kept a daily journal, but in reality, those scrawls were always cheesy; cliched angsty outpourings.  This however is an intelligent woman musing about important moments in her life and it’s very inspiring and touching.

 

 

Seven Inches To Freedom Zine

Seven Inches To Freedom Fanzine #13.  I am always a keen reader of 7″ and this issue doesn’t disappoint.  The writing is as emotionally charged as ever and there are a great selection of punk music and zine reviews.  The writing has insired me to check out the bands reviewed, in this issue as with previous issues there is plenty to check out and get excited about.  I always feel that 7″ has an edgy feel, as if the writer is about to jack it all in and this might be the last issue, but the books keep coming thankfully.

 

 

 

Degenerate 19 cover
Degenerate Mag #19 is still an off kilter gem, I managed to get this copy from UK distro Inflammable Material, cutting out the US postage issue.  Sam has a loose style which feels sometimes like stream of consciousnesses, like his inner thoughts are seeping directy onto the page,  I love that feel,  but the reviews and articles are so well paced and worded that this can’t be so.  Sam has the knack of making everything sound appealing, and I always read the zine with the laptop open next to me so I can check out the bands he mentions and listen as I read about them.  Another great issue.

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Roundup: Fanzines

Fanzines – a roundup of recent releases

Degenerate mag cover issue 15
Degenerate/Etrenegade Mag #15

Degenerate has gone through a rethink brand-wise and is now officially a mag according to it’s creator Sam Lefebvre, so perhaps this means I’m doing it a disservice covering it here under the heading fanzines?  However, apart from the new mag status this issue still feels and looks like Degenerate; a mix of reviews and interviews, a lovely layout including some colour and pages stapled in here and there all bring texture and make it look like a work of art.  Of course the writing is still top class; part stream of consciousness, part critical essay, dreamlike yet coherent and focused, giving you an insight into the emotional impact of the music which is something that’s often missing from critical writing.  This issue features an excellent interview with Pig DNA too.

 

Asfar issue 38A Short Fanzine About Rocking #38 (final print issue)
What a shame, this always enthusiastic print fanzine has come to an end, now to be online only it seems.  This issue contains the usual ASFAR columns, interviews and reviews and is surprisingly missing any gushy end of the road pieces – Nick’s editorial piece is to the point and doesn’t get sentimental. Coverage ranges from metal to punk and emo and it’s a collaborative affair – a number of writers and photographers contribute with a healthy focus on the UK scene.
Nick promises to continue the fanzine via Tumblr, but as yet no new content has been posted – lets hope its not the end.

 

Punk  In My Soup Zine Cover
Punk In My Soup – #1
This pocket-sized fanzine is reviews only which suits me just fine as the reviews section is always where I head first when reading a mag. As the title suggests the focus is punk,  quite a few of the releases I’ve seen reviewed elsewhere but the style here is what keeps you reading; chatty but descriptive and with some solid observations. Points are well made and there is an obvious feeling of enthusiasm that shines through. The layout is pretty basic, blue print on yellow paper but be warned, the  ink unfortunately rubs off all over your hands. An enjoyable read which will hopefully lead to more issues.

 

Zine Reviews January

Seven Inches To Freedom Fanzine issue 12

SITF 12 CoverThis issue of SITF Fanzine came out in November ’13 and finds Joe Lachut in a very introspective mood.  In the mag he talks about his experience on tour with band Panzram and the zine also includes a very downbeat column from Bob Suren.

Joe reviews the bands they played with on tour through demos and tapes picked up and swapped at the gigs, and also writes about the band themselves through his experience of playing with them and hanging out with them. He obviously discovered a to of great new music on the journey and his enthusiastic discussion of each band makes you really want to check them all out.  In the columns mulls over his state of mind, which by all accounts was pretty ropey throughout the tour and although its very raw and emotive it also makes fascinating reading.

Pick up a copy of the fanzine via the SITF Big Cartel  as well as copies of previous issues.

 

Degenerate issue 14

Degenerate 14 Cover
Always an enjoyable read, issue 14 is no less so, with Sam Lefebvre’s usual mix of thoughtful critique and interviews on offer there’s plenty to get your teeth into, and of course, it’s always interesting to read about local scenes elsewhere.

In this issue, alongside interviews with David King and Jess Scott he discusses the creation of the zine, the continued existence of record stores and the the way that production effects hardcore recordings.  The layout is lovely and feels almost organic at times, like an artists sketchbook, and the conversational yet intelligent writing style is more than satisfying.

For more information head over to tumblr and contact Sam via email.

 

Sam has kindly sent me an extra copy of issue 14 of Degenerate to pass on and by an accident of fate I also have a spare copy of SITF issue 12.  If anyone out there would like to get hold of copies of either of these two great US fanzines I’m all ears. Get in touch via the contact form or post a comment.

New Music and Zines July 2013

A little late in the day his month due to continuing internet problems which I won’t bore you with again here but I’m finally online and posting again.

I’ve really been enjoying the Purple 7 12″ which arrived a couple of weeks ago from Let’s Pretend Records, the tunes have a fuzzy 90s charm which is utterly charming and makes me feel all nostalgic for my teens – especially the opener Poison Ivy  – a top tune. The new David Lynch album The Big Dream is really decent too – it has that Twin Peaks/Badalamenti feel to it and will be getting  a few more listens I’m sure while I write up my Roomthirteen review.

I got hold of Limited Readership zine issue 4 a couple of weeks ago too, brit publication with a laid back, personal writing style (lots of musing) and mixed interests.

Limited Readership #4

Punk and metal (mainly old school) are both covered along with some interviews, plenty of nostalgia, a couple of articles on movies and a small review section. This zine is always a breezy read with articles generally quite broadly covered but with that personal perspective nudging its way in here and there – as I mentioned there’s quite a bit of musing going on, Rob Tyers likes to think things through and chat to us about it which is one of the things I like about this zine, you feel like you’re getting an insight into the person behind the paper.

As always, it has a great design and layout too!

 

Off to see MINE tonight in Newport hopefully, which, if I manage to get there, will no doubt see a review on these pages. More soon.

New Music and Zines June 2013

It’s June already and I don’t seem to have had a great deal to write about so far but May and June have seen a bumper crop of zines come my way and a few great new records, not least the fantastic new Svin EP which I reviewed for Roomthirteen here and subsequently bought on vinyl from the band, hence the pic below.

Svin are a Danish  post-rock avant-garde four piece, the standard guitar and drum set up is bolstered with the addition of some brilliant saxophone and clarinet and makes for a really rich and intense sound.   You can listen on their Bandcamp and make sure you also check out their 2011 album Heimat.

 

In zines I’ve really enjoyed reading the new issue of Fluke (#11) Fluke #11 Cover Imageand am now sorry I’ve never managed to pick it up before, essentially the zine is  interviews only but they’re super interesting, more insightful and detailed than in most zines I’ve read thus far.  I particularly enjoyed the interviews with Barker Gee and Ed Crawford and the piece on Hobo art is fascinating. The layout is just the way I like it, type and cut and paste with some handwritten elements – an obvious labour of love.  I recommend picking this up or any back issues you can get hold of; try the Facebook for info on new issues or wowcool.com for back issues especially although if you’re shipping outside the US the postage can be a touch expensive on that one!

 

Degenerate issue 12 cover image Degenerate issue 12 came out recently too, it’s a slim issue but A4 sized and each page is packed with words and pictures. As always, this issue is impeccably put together and looks great ( a mix of type, cut and paste). An interesting article on SF and interview with Scraper led me to listen to the band here and the zine does include a red flexi disc with two tracks from the band on (Third Wheel and Your Friends Are Hippies). Also inside is an interview with Rank/Xerox, an article on post-punk and record reviews. Find Degenerate on Facebook and more of Sam’s writing at his blog. Recommended.

 

Brit zine A Short Fanzine About Rocking A Short Fanzine About Rocking cover image is now in its Spring 2013 issue (or issue 35 if you’re being picky) and has quite a broad range of bands covered – everything from Deftones to Creative Adult so they’re not too worried about keeping it underground, actually that fact can be quite refreshing and also means that the zines runs at a massive 82 pages. I sometimes think with this zine that they’d be better off making it more frequent and skinnier as many of the live reviews included are 6 or 7 months old, likewise the albums. I will admit I tend to skim the  reviews by the more mainstream bands as I’ve already read a ton of reviews elsewhere, although you may argue with zines it doesn’t matter so much as they tend to be the kind of thing you pick up at a show 6 months after they come out so it may just be me being picky. The front section is packed with interviews, not all are hugely interesting (the usual how did you come up with the band name/ how did you form questions) but because there is so much content there are a few really decent ones, definitely still worth picking up.

My MRR sub just ran out and I’m contemplating whether or not to pick up another one, it has been interesting reading about the more obscure end of the spectrum and the record and zine reviews have helped me discover some great records and zines since reading. I’ve also become fond of the Al Quint and Degenerate Ephemera columns. One to mull over.

 

Review – Degenerate Zine #11

Degenerate Issue 11Degenerate #11 arrived this week in the post  – It’s the kind of zine that makes you want to go out and make your own zine, unfortunately you know it would never be this good. Aesthetically Mr. Lefebvre nails it again with a beautiful cut and paste look and striking cover layout which is oh so inviting – this issue even has a flexi disc of Musk – I haven’t seen one of those for years. I’m sure I mentioned this with the last issue but I’ll say it again, it’s not all style over content, the writing is really solid with a mix of academic musing about punk/post-punk and band interviews (with some interesting questions posed). I’ve said ‘academic’ but that doesn’t mean the style is dry, quite the opposite – it actually brings to mind a kind of modernist stream of consciousness at times in that you really get a feel for the writer’s thought processes and the emotional impact the music has on him.

I love to read this kind of writing, it’s the kind of thing you rarely, if ever, find in mainstream music press and is why I turned to zines in the first place – a bit of passion and intensity without all the corporate bullshit and the need to sell anything – honestly, after 6 or 7 years of music writing myself I am still striving unsuccessfully to reach this plateau. Anyway, you get the point, it’s inspiring stuff and I urge you to get hold of a copy of this zine.

 

New Zines January 2013

A couple of zines arrived in the post this week, one old, the Summer 2011 issue of Nowhere Zine and one new, Zine & Not Heard #7.

Nowhere Zine Summer 2011
This zine is the work of recently appointed Maximun Rock n Roll co-ordinator Lydia and is a Greek/English punk zine. It’s odd actually, this zine made me feel old – not sure if it’s the youthful tone of the writing or the extreme attitude (although punk zines tend to have that in spades anyway)  which is along the lines of, if you don’t agree with them you can f**k off basically. That’s fair enough but it left me feeling a bit worn out!  Anyway, the writing’s not amazing, but not bad either, some of the columns were in Greek so I couldn’t actually read them but the zine and record reviews were worth a look.Nowhere Zine Summer 2011 content
The layout is pretty too – an A5 sized book, nicely chunky at over 90 pages with some bits in colour and a mix of type and cut and paste. Worth checking out for MRR fans or punk zine collectors – not particularly easy to get hold of a copy now so I’m told but I think Cessnock Underground distro in the UK still has it – that’s where I got my copy from.

 

Z&NH #7 Cover picAs with the previous Zine & Not Heard’s issue 7 of this Brit zine is full of off-kilter short prose, this time on the subject of Tomatoes. Disappointingly from my perspective this issue has no musical content at all, but to be fair it works fine without it and is still an intriguing read.  The writing is quirky but there’s a kind of down-beat feel to the zine as a whole, stories like Salsa leaving you in a thoughtful mood.  Visit the website to buy.

So my MRR subscription has been delayed, no sign of the first issue yet and I’m still hoping for new Degenerate and Us Und Them issues to be released, so in the meantime, aside from the above, I’ve been enjoying checking in to Fluke Fanzine online – haven’t been able to get hold of a hard copy of this in the UK yet but I’m still on the look out – this blog is all about pictures and new content seems to be added daily.

Things Of Interest December 2012

Just to finish off the year, here are a few things that have interested me lately.

In zines – I’ve recently acquired and read A Short Fanzine About Rocking.
A Short Fanzine About Rocking Winter 2012 It’s been going since 2001 but is only the second issue I’ve managed to pick up of this UK punk/metal zine, the clean, uncluttered style makes a change from a lot of the cut and paste zines I read and I like the writing style – some great interviews. At 80 pages (or there abouts) it’s not just a five minute read and kept me going for a few days so it’s cheap at £2.  Visit the tumblr for more info.

I’ve been listening to this great new album by Annabel non stop:
Annabel Youth In YouthI had the vinyl as a Christmas gift and it’s rather lovely but had listened many times to the full album on their Bandcamp so it’s already a favourite.

Coming up in the new year to get excited about is the new issue of Degenerate zine. This is by far my favourite zine of the moment both aesthetically and in content so I’m very much looking forward to that. A new album from The Bronx is coming early next year too which is always something to look forward to and hopefully a new issue of Tastemaker zine from Matt Average under its new moniker Us Und Them I very much enjoyed issue #1 of that. So tons to look forward to in 2013.