Tag: Fanzine

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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.