Zines: The Power of Words - Don't Take 'em For Granted

The zines reviewed below are not necessarily new issues, but just the most recent issues that I have seen.  Some may have new issues, some may be out of print, so always contact the zinester before buying.  And remember, when sending off for ANY zine, include something extra for postage - OK? 
If you want your zine reviewed here,
please send it to the address on the homepage.

A NETWORK OF FRIENDS, #3 (A5, 100 pages, £2+SASE) It’s been a few years since the last issue of this compendium of zines. Steve at Ripping Thrash zine has taken over the organization mantle and besides the mighty RT, there are mini issues of such zine publications as Gadgie, Headwound, Attitude Problem, Initonit, Agitate, Born Caught, Domd, Why and Toilet Paper Bible. Highlights for me included an Iceland Tour Diary (Gadgie), Means To An End Festival review + Ken Loach overview (Headwound), KISMET HC interview (Ripping Thrash) and the editorial of Attitude Problem. Layouts and print job are sharp with lots of good use of hand-drawn graphics. Given the mix of zines, there is a strong sense of continuity about the package with some zines going down the interview road, others the more personal, with others adding a few reviews for good measure. That continuity is no doubt aided by the fact that all the zines in this omnibus have similar ideals about Punk Rock/ HC on a DIY level and reach some kind of common ground in the direction of Punk Rock that they favour – ie: No Emo, no insipid Pop-Punk. There is also a similar left of centre heading toward Anarcho political out look from each zinester too. At the very worst, this is an ideal gateway to sample some lesser-known but no less essential zines. At best, this is a fantastic tome laden with choice taste in music, sharp observations, pointed humour and attitude. Steve, PO Box 152, Burton-On-Trent, Staffs, DE14 1XX, UK Email Ripping Thrash or Marv, PO Box 93, Boston, Lincolnshire PE21 7YB, UK Email Gadgie   

ANGRY AT THE BUS STOP, #5 (A5, 24 pages, £1.00+SASE) A little skimpy on the page count but high in quality, this is a well thought out zine with a visual continuity that gives it a striking and original identity. This issue features interviews with DICK LUCAS (need I say the vocalist of SUBHUMANS, CULTURE SHOCK and CITIZEN FISH?), MIA RIDDLE, INNER TERRESTRIALS and a vintage chat with PROPAGANDHI, all of which are brief but concise and enjoyable reads. Articles on GOGOL BORDELLO, an anti-BNP march/protest, the London Zine Fest 2008, an eye-witness account of Barack Obama’s inauguration and a tasty vegan bean-burger recipe round this out, with a smattering of record reviews topping things off. Instead of photos, the zine features well-drawn graphics at the head of each page – the caricature of Dick Lucas is particularly impressive. The whole zine is well written, the record reviews offer more than simplistic three-sentence summaries and right from the stylish minimalism of the opening contents page, it’s apparent a lot of attention to detail has been put into this zine. Good stuff but a few more pages would be most welcome for anyone’s quid. Flat 4, 124 Foxhall Road, Nottingham, NG7 6LH, UK. Email. Web.

ARTCORE, #36 (A4, 36 pages, £5+post) What praise can be said about this stalwart of the zine world that I haven’t already heaped upon it before? Needless to say, the best zine in the UK mixes the past with the present, compiles it in stunning layouts, top notch printing and writes about it with knowledge, verve, humour and blunt honesty. This issue gives us JADED EYES, DESCENDENTS, ANTI-SYSTEM, SHATTERED FAITH, GREEN BERET, NATTERERS, UPRIGHT CITIZENS, DAG NASTY, VICIOUS CIRCLE and more, plus the art of Chris Shary. Then throw in the most minimalist and most readable reviews, Welly’s usual editorial and some pointed political graphics from Welly and it’s another mesmerizing, absorbing and inspirational read. If that isn’t worth £5 on its own, then maybe the stunningly packaged UPRIGHT CITIZENS 7" that the zine comes with will inspire you enough. If you’re still scratching your head as to whether this is worth your hard earned pingers... Well... I guess that’s why your reading a free website rather than something physical, something tangible and something infinitely better. Essential reading as always. Go get it!!  Web.   

BALD CACTUS, #31 (A5, 24 pages, $1+SASE) Just as it says on the cover, "Still a thoroughly, unashamedly, stuck in the 80s cut ‘n’ paste Punk Rock Zine". That pretty much sums up BALD CACTUS and what’s more, it’s great! In this issue you get interviews with such cracking bands as HDQ, JADED EYES, EPIC PROBLEM, POLICE BASTARD and an excellent vintage interview with CRINGER from 1991. Interviews are to the point and contain that classic Cactus humour. Elsewhere we have the usual splattering of reviews and, of course, the aspect of BC that really sets it apart, which is Andy’s own little editorials that appear throughout. This issue we read about posers wearing DESCENDENTS shirts, UK compilation albums (top marks for getting 'Mind Pollution' in there), Andy biting the bullet and signing up to... wait for it..... Facebook, and passion for this thing we call Punk Rock. There is a barbed sense of humour running through most of those, with Andy not pulling any punches on some of his own past errors and certainly not on some of the more mongoloid behaviour of the populace at large. Layouts are double column throughout with a photocopied print job. BC is always a pleasure to read be it for Andy’s eclectic but smart taste in music or his humour. Neat badge selection on the cover too. Please do note that the old PO Box address is now redundant. If you wanna copy (and you fucking should!), email Andy HERE.

BARBIE'S DEAD, #13 (A4, 20 pages, 50p+SASE) In the past, I have been quite a harsh critic of this regular zine outta the South West of England. A few issues ago, Alex did a great tour diary of some time he spent at his brother's in Japan which marked the start of some serious improvement. This issue sees Alex interview a load of UK zine Editors including such great people as Peter Zonked, Andy Bald Cactus, Rachel and Chip Headwound, Gaz Suspect Device, Rob Positive Creed, some fella named Steve Scanner and a whole load more. Other content such as reviews has of course suffered to make room for this venture but the out come is by far the best issue of this thus far. There's still a bit of wasted space (2 sides of A4 blank?) but things are now certainly moving in the right direction. Alex, Woodhouse, The Square, Gunnislake, Cornwall, PL18 9BW, UK 

BEAT MOTEL, #8 (A5, 80 pages, £1.50+SASE) Wow – this has progressed since I last saw a copy! This is a themed issue, based around Nationalism. The theme was inspired by Editor Andrew receiving a BNP Survey, which is reprinted in this issue along with his caustic reply. Most of the columnists (which have improved dramatically) give their ideals on Nationalism and approach the topic from a number of angles. Interviews are a motley bunch with CRIME IN STEREO and INNER TERRESTRIALS being the most notable. The rest of the zine is filled out with Real OD-esque deranged, inconsequential humour including vomiting stories, lessons from porn, Agony Aunt Em, Cuntry TV etc. Layouts are inventive with a lot happening visually on each page but not to the point of being cluttered or cramped. The one bone of contention I do have, is that for a self-professed 'Punk Rock Zine', it’s decidedly lacking in Punk Rock. This is best exemplified by the CD reviews where wank like I AM GHOST, numerous Metal and Indie releases all get positive reviews (which is fine - they are, after all, just opinions); but in the listing of what has been omitted due to ‘space, time and patience’ is GERIATRIC UNIT, VARUKERS, SHAM 69 and THE MOB! Conversely, the zine reviews are stunningly impressive with a virtual library of DIY publications reviewed. As a zine of independent culture this is a great (if at times throw-away in terms of the humour) read, especially when taken in small doses. PO Box 773, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 9FT, UK Email

BLACKPOOL ROX II, #11 (A4, 20 pages, £2+post) Latest issue of this Blackpool zine and it’s a luxuriant looking read printed on high quality shiney paper with hi resolution grahics and superb photo reproduction. This issue features interviews with COCK SPARRER, Simon Wells (do ya really need to be told he was the original SNUFF guitarist and went onto the sublime SOUTHPORT?), Blackpool’s own POLY-ESTERS, COLLEEN CAFFINE and others. Elsewhere Editor Andy gives us a tour diary of European football in France 2016 and Andy’s own editorial. I (yep, me, Steve Scanner!!) supply a bunch of reviews rounding things out. Needless to say, as this is Blackpool-centric, the Rebellion Festival gets a few mentions and the cover art is a superb pastiche on the closing moments of the original Planet Of The Apes film. Andy has put a lot of time and dedication into this Punk Rock thing (in fact, a lifetime just on!), be it via zines like this, bands like ERASE TODAY and his exemplary label, Just Say No To Government Music. Given a pedigree as impressive as that, you know your onto an impressive and informed read no matter what the zine’s content might be. PO Box 1025, Blackpool, FY3 0FA, UK Email

BONUS CUPPED, #8 (A5, 36 pages, £1+SASE) First issue of this UK zine I have seen and it’s one I like already. There’s a strong identity about it, mainly due to some rather neat cut ‘n’ paste layouts and a wired (yes, wired - not a typo for weird) sense of humour that is more lateral than literal. This issue sees two really strong interviews with LATTERMAN and the Bristol Bike Project. Both are thoughtful and delve a bit deeper than most to reveal personalities instead of performers (at least in the case of the former). Other notables include a large and interesting travelogue from a dude travelling in China and the usual slurry of reviews. What I really enjoyed about this zine though, were the editorials/ columns/ whatever-you-wanna-call-them that held opinion on a wide range of issues but imbibed each with a wild wit. There’s an excellent piece on Postman Pat of the future and his career prospects, why print zines are pointless (and proves they are anything but), strikes and more. Add on surrealist observations about topics as disparate as toast, Scotland and cutlery and you have a winning formula that is political but not dogmatic and witty without being silly. Layouts are clear without being sterile and there is little wasted space (except for the rather odd, self-aggrandising centre spread). Original and already onto a winning formula - long may it continue. Oddly for a print zine, NO postal address. Here’s email.

BRAIN STORM, #3 (A5, 48 pages, US$5) Ohh, this is a very clean cut and rather clever little publication. It’s editor is Dustin Herron, singer/ guitarist from ABOLITIONIST, so that should suggest we’re into quality territory itself. This issue sees interviews with JOYCE MANOR, FLATLINERS, MAGNIFICENT, RVIVR, RATIONS and more. The interviews are not too in-depth but ask good, intelligent questions. The remainder of the zine is filled out with reviews (book and music) and, what was the highlight for me, a run down of the lyrics and the story behind ABOLITIONIST’s ‘Bleeding Kansas’ EP. Stylistically, there’s a neat but very subtle theme running through the pages; the layouts are clear but minimal with the ‘theme’ being arrangements of solid black squares and bars. Sounds simple (it is), but it really does give the whole zine an identity. Print quality is good and, if there was one criticism - and this comes from someone who knows Dustin is an intelligent and clear writer - it’s that there is not enough opinion and comment. Had a bit more of Herron’s own identity been littered through the pages, I think it would have made for a better, more thought provoking read and certainly gave the reader a bit more of an insight into the zine’s author. Unfortunately, I think this is the last issue - so get one while you can, if you can! No postal address, so try Email.

DOGPRINTS, #5 (A4, 32 pages, 1IRC) This is about 90% zine and 10% mail-order leaflet for Yellow Dog Records. It’s good stuff too with an international lookout and stylish layouts. This issue sees interviews with the likes of PISSCHRIST, DRAFT DODGER and STRAIGHT JACKET (all Australian), THE SKEPTIX (old UK band now back together), VICTIMS (Sweden), EKKAIA (Spain), FRAMTID (Japan), Despotic Records (America) and more from Germany and The Netherlands + a SOON IN HERE (from Israel) tour diary from the band’s recent European tour. Musically, the zine seems to favour the Crustcore/D-Beat/HC side of things. There are no columns or reviews, no news or opinions bar those contained in the interviews – which I have to say, are pretty interesting. The layouts are great DTP jobs, but designed in a cut ‘n’ paste style with professional print quality. Certainly a zine to send for and who knows, you may find a corker on the Yellow Dog distro list also. Yellow Dog, PO Box 550208, 10372 Berlin, Germany Email 

FAST ‘N’ LOUD, #9 (A4, 36 pages, £1.50+SASE) An enthusiastic slab of cut ‘n’ paste style Punk zineage here from Editor John. This is the first issue I’ve seen and I like it. The interviews - with BRIAN JAMES (do some research if ya don’t know the name, ya lazy fuck!), VIBRATORS, APOCALYPSE BABYS and Billy Riot of Riot On Your Own zine and VIOLENT FUCKWITS - have questions that cover the usual subjects but with a depth and sense of history many zines forget. Additional pieces include a reprint of a DEMOB article from Sounds in 1982 (something I had never read and enjoyed greatly) and a slightly dubious page on CONCRETE GODS that reads like a press release and states that the band, which has released an album entitled ‘Anglo-Centric Generation’, is "fed up with people forgetting to speak with a London accent." Some good, in-depth reviews pad the zine out along with some uncredited newspaper cuttings. The cut ‘n’ paste layouts are clear and concise although the print job (done on some kinda newsprint) could do with a little more contrast in the photos. The whole zine has a really positive and fun feel about it while sonically it is decidedly ‘77, not just in terms of musical preference but also in appearance. Anyone interested in the bands interviewed could do a lot worse than picking this up - just wish that CONDEMNED 84... ahh... I mean CONCRETE GODS page could’ve been left out. No clear postal address. Email.

FEAR AND LOATHING, #63 (A4, 40 pages, £2+SASE) An always highly-recommended read this. Andy has been doing this zine for as long as I can remember and thankfully he retains the same zeal for good music as ever. The format has remained pretty constant. It's written in diary format, documenting all the shows Andy attends. There are also interviews - this issue features CHANNEL 3, JOHNNY MOPED, EATER, UNDERTONES, UK SUBS and a particularly funny/ bizarre one with BAD BRAINS where Dr. Know continually goes on about how ‘The Father’ is responsible for all the band does and guides them subconsciously!! Sounds like a man who should have been 'Banned From RE'! The zine is finished off with some spot on record reviews. Layouts are all cut ‘n’ paste style - possibly quite bland to those only used to flashy digitally produced pages - but, as with Zonked, the real strength of this zine is in Andy’s knowledge of music and, generally, exceptional taste. His interviews appear well-researched and insightful usually drawing the best out of his subjects. Genuine, sincere stuff from a man who knows what’s smoking as opposed to what’s merely simmering. Definitely one to check out. Andy, 17 Medway Avenue, Witham, Essex, CM8 1TF, UK Email 

4 MINUTE WARNING, #11 (A4, 36 pages, £2+P&P) Mitch has been putting this packed slab of all things DIY Punk and Anarcho out for a fair while now. This issue sees a lengthy chat with Anarcho brothers, BURNT CROSS plus THE CASUALTIES, DOGFLESH, Glasgow Ayrshire Punk Collective, Arturo LURKER, THE STIFFS and a fairly brief one with TOTAL CHAOS. Elsewhere we get the usual review section along with pointed polemics about the likes of the police, nazi scum, class war and hunt bastards. Layouts are classic style cut 'n' paste deals with bold black-and-white graphics and lots of information crammed onto every page. Mitch has a very readable quality about her writing; she's obviously someone who lives and breathes Punk Rock and knows her subject well. While she is certainly direct in her opinions and lets the reader know exactly what her thoughts are, she never becomes dictatorial, confrontational or condescending. As always though, I find it strange that the zine is only printed on one side of each sheet of A4. With rising print costs etc, it really does seem strange having the physical capacity to do 72 pages, yet only using half of it. Definitely something for those who hearken after a zine that is definitively and defiantly DIY Punk and contains all the very best traits of a pre-computer era of zineage. Contact: Mitch, 31 Fir Grove, Marton, Blackpool, Lancs, FY1 6PJ, UK

GADGIE, #33 (A5, 28 pages, £1.50+post) The world inhabited by GADGIE editor Marv is a miraculous place full of football, mischievous reminiscences, quality Punk Rock, raging Hardcore, Star Wars, Planet Of The Apes, zombies, alcohol, hot women (he hopes) and something slightly unhinged that cannot be easily described. Combine all this and you have a zine full of Marv’s Musings that is quite unlike anything else you’ll read, providing more laugh-out-loud moments than an entire box set of Carry On films. Before you even open this issue, most males will spend a number of minutes (or hours in some cases) admiring the cover photo of Debbie Harry in a tight dress that clearly displays all of her best points (!!). Inside you get reviews and that great writing of Marv’s be it lost Punk classics, bullshit detecting, or Guisborough’s own ghost. There’s not another zine writer around quite like Marv - or at least not one who does this witty, stream of consciousness writing as stunningly well as this. Don’t expect flash layouts; you get two columns of text, with the odd black and white graphic to break things up and printed on (I think) recycled paper. I’ve been reading this zine for best part of 20 years and the format hasn’t changed in that time. What’s more, I hope to fuck it doesn’t. Go get GADGIE and have a better day instantly. PO Box 93, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 7YB, UK Email

GO FUCK YOURSELF, #2/ ONT ROAD, #16 (A5, 40 pages, £1.50ppd) A near-perfect split zine pairing here; one not so much one made in heaven but rather on a budget flight to the borders of, well, just about anywhere. Both these zines have travel at their core and that's resolutely DIY Punk Rock style travel. GFY doesn't quite reach the previous issue's excess of Crack-totting cops in LA but it's still a helter-skelter ride across some great divides. First is a weekend in Las Vegas where Editor Ant indulges in some Vodka abuse, gets berated by a psychotic Hooker for stealing phone-booth pick-up cards and endures the company of a creature named Tracy. Next is a trip through mainland Europe as he roadies for KABINBOY and JOHN HOLMES followed by a recounting of a brief trip to Tijuana, Mexico. Finally, Ant tells us of his trip to Australia and New Zealand. It's most notable, especially from my perspective, for issues with Customs when he landed in NZ. You must've got them on a bad day Ant, because on each of the times I've flown into NZ (that's 10 on my last count), Customs have been by far the best I've ever encountered. Anyway, it's a great read. ONT offers an equally engaging and epic documentation of a travel diary from Editor Luke's trip to Greece which coincided with riots and protests-a-plenty. As ever with Luke's travel writing, it's a gripping tale. Keeping the Punk flag flying, we then get three brief interviews with Leeds-based bands - AFTERNOON GENTLEMEN, GEOFFREY OI!COTT and MOUTH. A couple of brief short stories round Luke's section off along with a contributed piece by a fella who managed to get himself in a team that appeared on the TV programme, Eggheads. This really is a packed and incredibly well-matched split. Print job is nice and clear and, as before, the only negative is that each zine is only 20 pages! ONT ROAD 14 Hessle Mount, Leeds, LS6 1EP, UK Email GO FUCK YOURSELF Email 

HOPE #2 (A4, 54 pages, $4+SASE) Second issue of this inspired zine that sees an assortment of Punk/Hardcore scenesters write a piece about a chosen topic with all proceeds going to a noble cause. This time, the subject matter is favourite gig and all proceeds go to Pikpa Refugee Centre Lesvos. So, who contributes? Vique from Revelation Records, Vic Bondi, Beki Bondage, Ben Corrigan, Henry Cluney, John Robb, Attila The Stockbroker, Jason Farrell, Ed Wenn, Don O Mahony, Brendan Canty, Dunstan Bruce, Mark Anderson, Al Quint, Tony Suspect, Peter Zonked and, um, oh yeah - ME! That’s just a fraction of the contributors in this but all offer interesting reading from one point or another. Some are sprawling narratives, others just a couple of paragraphs which make the whole thing equally enjoyable whether you pick it up for five minutes for a quick flick through, or read for an hour straight. Layouts are clean, good photo reproduction and the pages themselves have a good continuity with a uniform border but with varied layout content within that border. As a zine alone, this makes great reading that, I am sure, will rekindle a few gig memories for all reading. Given the cause behind it, it becomes a pretty fucking mandatory purchase. Check on cost prior to ordering though - got it? 31 Hazel Road, Donnycarney, Dublin 9, Ireland. Email. Web.

IN IT ON IT, #19 (A5, 28 pages, 50p+SASE) It’s great to see this still going; I remember getting earlier issues while doing Scanner in print in the UK. In It On It is an enjoyable, if bitter and cynical read. Editor Paul pulls no punches when it comes to venting his wrath and his targets stretch far and wide and he nearly always finds his aim! What Paul has on his side though, is a neat cutting humour that lifts the zine outta what could be page after page of negativity and moaning. When he does write informative pieces (like the article about his obsession with horror films [which brought back a few memories for me also]) they flow well and demonstrate another angle of what’s happening in Paul’s head. Also, he has a pretty choice taste in music as interviews in this issue include DEADLINE, BONESPLINTER and the generally fantastic MDC. The review section also shows honesty a-plenty and good taste in tuneage. You don’t get any flash layouts, very few pics – just lots of opinion, contacts, wit and contemptuous mockery! Marvellous!! 10 Regents Court, Princes Street, Peterborough, Cambs, PE1 2QR, UK. Email 

JERK STORE, #13 (A5, 36 pages, AUS$3+SASE) The ever consistent Jerk Store is back - but with a difference. If you’ve read my previous reviews of this exemplary zine, you’ll know I have waxed lyrical about its aesthetics, of the stunning quality of its layout, how it always manages to look fresh and energised. Well, for #13, that’s all gone outta the window. Editor Alex has gone back to his typewriter and done the zine in cut ‘n’ paste style. Does it make it a lesser publication? Hell no!! If layouts maketh the publication, then some shitty lad’s mag would be worth reading. Nope, this is still excellent reading and probably highlights the quality of Alex’s prose more than previous issues. You get an interview with 1981, an Australian tour diary from DAYLIGHT ROBBERY, the usual pile of spot-on reviews and a few editorials including a piece on the (then) new Australian Premier, Tony Abbott. What is kinda noticeable about this issue, more so than before it seems, is the amount of pages given over to photos. Thankfully, this zine has always had a superb print job, so those pics have a vitality and life about them. This is still a zine that inspires me - Alex has a verve about his writing and a love for what he is writing about that thrills and informs. Do I wanna see a return to those smart and slick desktop processed layouts? Um - I have to say yes. Would I still recommend this as one of the best zines out there without those DTP layouts? Um - I have to say fuck yes!! PO Box 284, Maylands, WA 6931, Australia Email Web

LIGHTS GO OUT, #5 (A5, 32 pages, £1.00+SASE) First issue of this impressive zine I have seen. There’s a friendly, conversational attitude that Editor, Mr. T, has instilled between the covers – be it the columns, reviews or even the interviews. This issue sees chats with THURSDAY, FIGHT LIKE APES, REVENGE OF THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN, LOSTBOYFOUND, some dude who used to be in way over-rated Ska creatures KING PRAWN and Karyn Parsons who was in The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air apparently. The questions seem to follow the standard format, are never too in-depth and work well for newer bands in particular. The reviews are good – they are honest and don’t wallow in pretentiousness. Mr T seems to know his stuff although I found some of reviewer Claire’s warblings rather naïve. Layouts are simple and effective with a nice small font to cram lots in while the print job is sharp, highly contrasted and clear. The columns were good (if a little unfocused in a couple) and generally this reminded me of early issues of Charred Remains. Not a bad thing at all if you remember the classic that was CR. My BIG criticism though is no postal address, which is something essential to promote in your zine – especially in the print format. Email. Web.

LIVING THE DREAM, #6 (A5, 64 pages, $5+SASE) Shit it brick, this New Zealand zine  is coming out with incredible frequency and what’s more, it continues to gain in page count with each issue. This time around, the NZ bands that get asked all the same questions include SPITEFUL URINATOR, BARRACKS, STARVING MILLIONS, WIZZ KIDS, DILFS, OPEN TOMB, PHONE SEX ROBOTS, SUPER NARCO MAN and more. Then throw in interviews with Chicks That Scream promotions, author Angus Gillies, Christchurch Punk Fest organiser Lance Downing, a report on life in Greymouth that mutates into a history of Sonic Lobotomy Tapes, a myriad of anecdotal pieces, poetry and some artwork that varies from truly excellent through to acerbically hilarious to rather disturbing Winston Smith-esque collages and you are looking at one mighty, varied and engrossing read. Using uniform questions for all of the NZ bands really works well, creating a virtual country-wide scene report from multiple mouths. Layouts are cut ‘n’ paste jobs but thankfully the printing is pretty sharp allowing the detail in the artwork to be seen. Attitude wise, this is spot on. It’s completely New Zealand specific and, given that, offers a variety of bands working under the DIY Punk/Hardcore/Metal circuit. Like the TV Times of old, I never realised there was so much in it! Oddly, no postal address - especially for a print zine when you may wanna send some $$$$. You can email here - oibazooka@hotmail.com 

MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL, #259 (A4, 156 pages, $4+P&P) The mighty MRR really seems to be back on track these days. It seems to have a greater political and social voice than it had about five years ago, pretty much solely down to the ‘News’ pages. The review section has also condensed the old, space-wasting layout in favour of a sharper, concise design that not only saves space but is also much more pleasant for the eyes. This issue features Penelope Houston, formerly of SF’s great AVENGERS + Australia’s THE CRITICS, THE HATES, AI, BAD BUSINESS and a whole heap more. Still essential reading – although not something I get to see every month, more’s the pity. PO Box 460760, San Francisco, Ca 94146-0760, USA Email 

MILD PERIL, #13 (A5, 52 pages, £1+SASE) First issue of this I’ve seen and I’m greatly impressed. The quality of the interviews is particularly good; three questions often link within the main question forcing the interviewee to give good, in-depth answers. This is clearly demonstrated in excellent interviews with DUNCAN REDMONDS, CLASSICS OF LOVE (from experience I know Jesse Michaels interviews well – this is another cracker) and Rudeboy Tattoo Studios. Also interviewed are REAL MCKENZIES, APERS, I.C.H. and NERVOUS BREAKDOWN. The review section shows a knowledge of Punk old and new (although I would prefer the reviews coming from just editors Pete and Dean. I find that provides a greater zine identity). Besides that, you get a few fun articles on best ever gig line-ups, recipes, gardening, a rather warped cartoon strip, a tale of chaotic whisky drinking courtesy of FHM magazine, live reviews and a few rants. Layouts are mainly sharp and stylish cut ‘n’ paste with the photo quality and print job both being really good. The only negative is that there are no postal addresses for zine reviews which, coming from a print zine, is quite an over-look. Be nice to see a bit more politics too. The whole vibe of the zine is really positive and fun without being idiotic. Pete and Dean are proficient in what makes a good read, and both seem to know Punk exists beyond Warped Festivals, Vans trainers and Epitaph Records. Good stuff that brought to mind Happy House zine from a few years ago. 25 Swansea Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 3HU, UK Email 

MYSTEREX, #4 (A4, 64 pages, NZ$12ppd) As always, an absolutely essential zine documenting the rich history of Kiwi Punk Rock and alternative music. The big feature in this issue is a massive 20+ page piece by Wade Churton focusing on the scene in Christchurch in the early 80s, and specifically that which revolved around the Gladstone venue. It’s an informed, witty, engrossing and occasionally scathing piece that frequently took the reader right into the situations being written about. Other great reads are articles on Auckland’s THE FEATURES, BILL DIREEN and POP MECHANIX. On top of that there are further pieces about the worst of Flying Nun Records and a terrific write-up about a New Year’s Eve show at New Plymouth in 1982. Then you have various flyers, some great photos, snippets of news, a liberal sprinkling of humour, a top notch print job and sharp, clean layouts. New Zealand should feel very fortunate that it has a group as dedicated and as knowledgeable as the Mysterex crowd to archive this formative period of hugely influential music. The whole zine exudes dedication and sincerity. You only need to quickly flick through the pages to know that an awful lot of work goes into each issue of this; a more in-depth analysis of the contents reveals a genuine gem. Email Editor Andrew here.

NEGATIVE REACTION, #16 (A5, 40 pages, £1.50+SASE) I seem to recall the last issue I saw of this suggested it could be the last one - that was four issues ago!! Glad to see that prediction was way off because there aren't many zinesters around who are as blunt and direct as Trev, who captains the good ship Negative Reaction. This issue comes with plenty of interviews from some vintage 70s and 80s bands, including THE UNDERTONES, THE LURKERS, BLITZ (well, Mackie's new project, EPIC PROBLEM, at least), MAJOR ACCIDENT, DISCHARGE, DISRUPTERS and CONTEMPT! That's quite a list and the interviews are, generally, entertaining. The usual punishingly blunt music, zine and book reviews pad this out (including a book about Good Vibrations Recs owner Terri Hooley that sounds excellent) along with some letters and brief editorials on all manner of subjects that raise Trev's wrath. Layouts are basic but concise and printing is clear and bold. Trev's been doing zines for years now (be it this or the infamous Have A Good Laugh) and they have all had the power to raise a chuckle, provoke a bit of thought and, most importantly, have a personality that is distinctive to Trev. Quality stuff - but not for those who are easily offended!! As a footnote, Trev does a fantastic distro. He is 100% honest and reliable - so at least email him about that and get yourself some bargains: Trev, 20 New Front St, T/Lea, Stanley, Co. Durham, DH9 9LY, UK. Email

NEXT STOP NOWHERE, #1 (A5, 56 pages, £2.00) This kinda came outta the blue! A new zine from Monk Dave, the man responsible for both Mad Monks and Fracture, and befitting the reputation of those zines, this is another cracker. Dave’s writing has always been sincere, intelligent and confrontational and always riveting. This is no different. Half the zine is taken up with a tour diary of BLACK COUGAR SHOCK UNIT on a six week sojourn across the US. Dave’s blunt honesty, intelligent observations and insights make this one of the best tour diaries I have read and the fact that there is serious in-van friction between BCSU’s Alex and everybody else makes it that much more addictive. Also, you get interviews with the record shop Damaged Records in Wales, Mark Bunker of xenutv.com and the Welsh band SOCIAL SKILLS. It’s all rounded out by some spot-on reviews and one of Dave’s always readable columns. What sets this apart from so many other zines, and Dave apart from so many other zinesters, is that there is a constant understanding that Punk Rock is more than JUST a music. The music stands together with the independent way of doing things - DIY - and this incorporates values, personal and political attitudes, opinions and a sense of unity and grassroots honesty that remains the exact polar opposite of mainstream attitudes. Add to this a fantastic print job that really compliments the sharp layouts and a brilliant wrap-around colour sleeve that totally emphasizes the sentiments of the tour diary and you are looking at the best new zine to come outta the UK since... Fracture I guess. Essential reading. To purchase (and I think you really, really should), hit the website

NO EXPOSURE #3 (A5, 52 pages, $3+post) Third issue of one of the most genuinely readable zines around. Written from the antipodean outpost of Perth, Australia, Editor Alex crams a lot in here and writes with a lack of pretension, like-it-or-leave attitude and a real depth of knowledge for this thing we all know as Punk Rock. This issue has only two interviews, one with Perth locals TERRITORY and an excellent in-depth chat with Daniel at Sorry State Records. Alex’s interview style tends to be probing and not always limited to musical matters, making for an interesting and insightful read into his interviewees - way better than those fucking dull 10 question generic interviews about influences and favourite food! Elsewhere we get a record collectors tour guide of Tokyo, a three page editorial in which Alex tells us, quite bluntly, about the ideals and spirit behind No Exposure, a few pages of excellent reviews and about 15 pages of sharp, close-up and exciting photographs. The only negative here is the fact there are no captions to identify the bands in those photos - nor that of the cover star who’s drinking beer out of a rancid trainer of some sort. Layouts are type-writer text and basic but the print quality is high, giving those photos depth and clarity. Quality stuff indeed, but that should be expected with Alex’s zine writing past pedigree. As a snap shot of Australia’s often-forgotten west coast, you’ll be hard pressed to find better. I feel a visit to Perth coming on... Web. PO Box 284, Maylands, WA 6931, Australia.

ONE WAY TICKET TO CUBESVILLE, #13 (A5, 36 pages, £1+SASE) A superb zine outta the UK that mixes the staples of 80s zineage (politics, music, opinion and humour) with some neat, sharp layouts that come from the DTP computerised world of today. This issue is subtitled an Education Special and that alone defines the zine’s attitude. It’s a well-presented feature that takes up nearly half the zine and includes interviews with Punk Rock tutors like Luke from On’T Road zine (see below) and James outta THE DOMESTICS along with those who have studied Punk. It’s peppered with additional asides and some good observations about how education is looked upon within certain circles of Punk. The whole article is thought provoking, probing, intelligent and questioning. Those traits continue throughout, be it via a great interview with THE CRAVATS, another stellar article on PUSSY RIOT and the questionable ethics behind some of those who have vocally supported the band and the larger political panorama behind some of that support. A few reviews pad this out and show editor Richard has a knowledge of this Punk Rock thang and a wicked sense of humour to go with it. A really impressive zine that’s intelligent without being elitest, witty without being dumb, honest without compromise and Punk without pretension. Oddly for a print zine, there’s no printed postal address. So email or facebook.

ONT ROAD, #14 {A5, 40 pages, £1.50+SASE) Latest travelogue from Luke who used to do the excellent Waterintobeer zine. This issue though, is a single diary from one big trip - a trip to the USA that covers 3,000 miles and takes in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and Houston! The main reason for such a trip was not a Punk Rock odyssey (although there is plenty involved including AGENT ORANGE, ACTS OF SEDITION, FLESHIES, DESPISE YOU and THE INOCULATORS shows among others), but a quest to attend the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania. Wrestling really is not a priority to me but, like Luke’s travel tales of darts in the Netherlands, he has made a subject that I actively avoid something that is very readable! Along the way we get treated to tales of some skag-hag in Houston lacing a drink with Crack, helping out at Gilman Street, a visit to the Maximum Rocknroll house and, of course, more wrestling and copious amounts of drunken intoxication. There’s even a bit of Ont Road romance this time round too! As with every other issue of this zine that I have read, Luke injects the text with wit (the LA to Houston train ride is particularly amusing) and insight to make a truly riveting and informative read. If you do the Club 18-30 holidays (um... Do they still exist?) then this is probably not the kinda travel you’d enjoy. But, if you travel to experience life, this one’s for you. Excellent work! Write: 14 Hessel Mount, Leeds, LS6 1EP, UK. Email 

OUR FUTURE Vol 1 Issue 1 (A5, 24 pages £1.50+post) Brand new zine from a zinester who has a bit of history with zine publishing. That history shows too cuz for a first issue this is incredibly well put together and eschews the usual format of Punk zines to focus on one subject of the Hardcore genre. This issue looks at the collaboration of EXTREME NOISE TERROR with THE KLF, both performed together at The Brits in 1992. Editor, Rodney Shades, has done his homework too as this features a long and in-depth interview with former ENT bassist Mark Bailey, a look at the proposed ‘Black Room’ album and onto what this pairing of musical iconoclasts went onto influence, specifically EXITHIPPIES. Rodney has pulled together a load of press clippings from the ENT/KLF era too making this a comprehensive, revealing and insightful read. Layouts are two column, typewriter jobs that have a distinct style behind the minimalism. Rodney also includes a well-perceived editorial stating that he feels the printed zine will be aimed at and appreciated by a distinct audience who value the written word as opposed to some hap-hazard blog or website (and given the fact I do this Scanner thing online, I agree with him 100%. You CANNOT beat a printed zine). Good words. There are no reviews, no columns - just strong subject matter that holds the attention and presented in a stylish, understated way. Recommended. Purchase.

PLOPPY PANTS #7 (A5, 40 pages, £1+SASE) Excellent cut ‘n’ paste zine which emphasizes the independent, DIY side of Punk. This issue is a bit of a D-Beat special featuring the likes of AVSKUM, UNHOLY GRAVE, AGATHOCLES and a great chat with Agitate Zine plus THE WANKYS, FUCT OFF and TRIOXIN 245. Amidst all the interviews are a load of zine reviews, DIY demo reviews and some article-style pieces that are mainly witty asides that - for the most part - are actually funny, juxtaposed against more serious political diatribes. Keeping the D-Beat alive further still is a neat piece about the obsessiveness of those who mindlessly ape DISCHARGE. It’s well-printed, the layouts do not fall off the page, it has some neat little drawings dotted throughout and was a really enjoyable zineage readage. Not too keen on the title, but a lot of the interviews and humour (particularly the visual side) do reflect the zine’s title giving it a striking identity!! Good stuff - and only issue #7 - roll on #8!! Email  

PROFANE EXISTENCE, #63 (Tabloid, 32 pages, FREE + P&P) The Profane Existence re-emergence continues to gather momentum, not just with another consistently excellent issue, but with a price tag of zero! That’s great to see and a move that I hope is a success for all involved. This issue includes interviews with the likes of BURNT CROSS, WAR//PLAGUE, DRIPFED and KONTRASEKT along with artist Daniel Shaw, Boneshaker Books in Minneapolis, Moshpit Tragedy records and a rather excellent and inspiring piece on Peace Ridge animal sanctuary. There are eight mini-features on new bands too. As always, the columns are quality, be it a look at 9/11 ten years on, alcoholism, self-sufficiency in a growing your own veggies sense and, of course, good old crusty, anarchistic Punk Rock. Then there are the reviews - honest, informative and thankfully bullshit-free. The format is still newsprint, the size remains the half-folded tabloid, and with the photography of Chris Larson on the back, the whole zine has a certain Slug And Lettuce feel. What is slightly different in this issue, and something that should be applauded, is that half the zine is given over to promoting the Profane Existence distro. Blah blah blah - I can hear those self-righteous fucks who do zilch (but wanna read reviews and gossip in a FREE zine) complaining about some kinda ‘capitalist self-promotion’... If that’s you then please, fuck off! This is FREE douchbag!!! As always, a zine that is really hard to fault. PO Box 18051, Minneapolis, MN 55418, USA Web Email 

PUNK SHOCKER, #11 (A5, 72 pages, £1.50+SASE) This zine inspired me, yet depressed also. I haven’t seen a copy of this since about #5, which featured CITIZEN FISH, getting on for a decade ago. I’m not sure why as I enjoyed that issue, but for some reason I never traded zines with Andy when I did Scanner in print form. Punk Shocker was always one that seemed to get away from me - and it was a grave mistake cuz this is, quite simply, fucking brilliant. It’s also the last issue, which is a crying shame. This is packed full with reviews, comment and some of the best interviews I have read in an age; they are informative and witty and respect the interviewee without resorting to butthole licking. This issue features a superb chat with Jerry outta POISON IDEA, another stunner with Stig from ICONS OF FILTH (so inspirational in fact that I had to dig out my old IOF records) plus SENSE YUMA and THE GITS. The reviews are pointed, informed, well written and, once again, witty. The highlight of the whole zine though is Andy’s finale to the issue where he vents his spleen on all that has corrupted, commercialised and compromised Punk, along with all that is still positive and vibrant. It’s a great piece of writing and worth the cover charge on its own. The print job is really sharp, the layouts are stylish cut ‘n’ paste jobs and the whole zine overflows with such sincerity that it puts 90% of zines to shame. Reading this really, really made me want to get back to doing a printed zine. It’s totally inspirational, heartfelt, well-versed and stylish. Initial issues come with a POISON IDEA poster and postcard. There are a few copies of the previous issue left too. Awesome, fucking awesome… Andy, P.O. Box I.T.A, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE99 1TA, UK

RIOT 77, #12 (A4, 52 pages, €3+SASE) When I was in the UK, doing the print version of Scanner, this was an incredibly impressive read. Looking at this issue, the only thing that has changed is the fact that it has got better! One of the highlights of this zine is the exceptional layout and print quality. It’s a really professional looking (and feeling) zine and the interviews, the questions of which are probing and attempt some insight into the subject matter, are among the best you will read in zinedom. This issue features legends like DOA, DWARVES, SUBHUMANS (Canada) and lesser luminaries like LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS, SLACKERS, THE THREAT (written by STEAM PIG bassist and Nosebleed zinester Boz) and STREETDOGS. There are several pages of excellent show reviews - written in diary form much like Fear ‘n’ Loathing - that incorporate wit with the sense of atmosphere of the reviewed show, and the expected DVD/ music reviews are in-depth, knowledgeable and generally on the ball. But, as before, I feel this would benefit massively from some columns or even a simple editorial from Editor Cian, just to break up the run of music upon music and allowing the reader to assess some of Cian’s personal politics and traits. Another small cripe is the fact there are no zine reviews - we get book reviews, but the lack of support from a zine for other zines seems a little odd to me. Minor moans I agree, especially as the rest of the zine is of such a high standard, but two omissions that prevent this zine becoming something exceptional as opposed to merely ‘very good’. 31 St. Patricks Park, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, Ireland Email 

RIPPING THRASH, #28 (A5, 48 pages, £1+SASE) The ever-reliable and always readable RT is back and, as always, it looks sharp and has its focus on the defiantly DIY HC/Punk/Crust scene. This issue includes interviews with Greek Crust kings HIBERNATION, Czech's LYCANTHROPY and a massive chat with John Why of Why zine that's worth the cover charge alone. Add on some very strong political articles ranging from an interesting piece paralleling Trafalgar Square with Tahrir, a long piece (and seemingly uncredited, but I think it's from John Why judging by the continuity of the layout from his interview) about the Afghanistan situation and a piece on capitalism and inflated food prices lifted from Schnews. While many zines today seemingly focus purely on music, it's inspiring and refreshing to read these pieces that don't fluff around with bullshit conjecture but instead discuss topics with clarity and direction; if all they do is open up conversation and alternative view-points their printing has been worthywhile - if they educate - all the better. A bunch of well-written and honest reviews and some incredibly clear photography round out another satisfying issue. The print job and the layouts are probably the best I've ever seen in Ripping Thrash. #27 arrived with this issue and included interviews with ACTIVE MINDS, SEE YOU IN HELL and Steve Hyland (Attitude Problem zine and Means To An End festival). While solid stuff, it doesn't contain the articles of #28 and visually it isn't quite so strong, but for a mere quid you really can't go wrong. Steve Ripping Thrash, PO Box 152, Burton-On-Trent, Staffs, DE14 1XX, UK Email Ripping Thrash

RUM LAD, #4 (A5, 40 pages, £1.00+SASE) I make no secret of the fact that I dont really go for animated zines, graphic zines or comics of any form. Rum Lad however, was a total joy probably one of the best new zines I have seen in many years and as an animated zine possibly the best I have seen since Bugs and Drugs back in the early 90s. Steves animations are black and white ink drawings (I think), high in contrast and laden with incredible detail. Here he illustrates and narrates his trip to Germany for a Zine Festival and interviews Boston zinester Marv Gadgie complete with illustrations. Elsewhere you get random full page graphics of Geoffrey Oi!Cott live, a Nottingham Punks Picnic and a few pages on Steves observations on aging (wait til you hit 40 bro!). Theres no record or zine reviews, no label arse-kissing and, because of that and because of the nature of Rum Lad, there is a sense of intimacy and of recognizing Steves personality and idiosyncrasies in a greater way than that of many other zinesters. The last few pages, which resorted to minimal drawings, an even sparser narrative and a confusing finale, resulted in making the end of the zine feel rushed in comparison with the body of it, but even then these pages carried a weight many other animated zines can only aspire to. Steve Larder, Somerset House, Cherry Holt Lane, Sutterton, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE20 2HU, UK. Email. Web

SHORT FAST & LOUD, #22 (A4, 72 pages, US$4+postage) A zine that has now been in print for over a decade and one that is defined by its title. You won’t find any ploddy, retrogressive 77-isms, eyeliner-wearing Emo boys or lame ass Pop Punk here. What you will find is pedal-to-the-metal Hardcore, Thrashcore and Speed Metal. This issue includes interviews with bands that themselves categorically dictate just where this zine is coming from: RATOS DE PORAO, COMMON ENEMY and FUNEROT. A bunch of columns pad this out with over 20 pages of reviews. For me, this is a little heavy on the Metal side of things - a sentiment that is emphasised in the columns and the reviews. Fortunately, the writers are informed and direct when it comes to putting their point across. Layouts are good computer-generated jobs with clear photo reproduction printed on newsprint. In many ways, it reminds me of HeartAttack but focused on a less political, overtly thrash-a-rama doctrine. 121 Webster St, Petaluma, California 94952, USA. Email. Web.

SHRAPNEL, #4 (A5, 24 pages, $3+SASE) The first thing that hits you about the latest issue of this Kiwi zine is the marked improvement in cover graphics, giving the zine a much more polished appearance than previous issues. Interviews this time around include grind merchants MAGRUDERGRIND, FILTHY LUCIFER and Kiwi artist Samphetamine. A contact address (electronic or physical) at the end of the interview would be a bonus. Besides that, there is the usual eclectic mix of politics and humour that makes Shrapnel so appealing. This time around you have a piece on trade tables and the Auckland zine fest, some recipes (including a goodie for Nut Burgers that went down very well), a few pages on unionizing action in schools, a couple of pages on vivisection and animal testing in New Zealand, and a few pages of reviews. Layouts are still an anarchic cut ‘n’ paste mix with little space wasted, although the vivisection article appeared to have a little more formatting which in turn made it a little more accessible. Each issue of this seems to provoke a little more thought than the previous, which is surely the aim of any publication, and can only be further steps in the right direction. Write: 31/2 Fancourt St, Meadowbank, Auckland 1072, New Zealand Email 

SUSPECT DEVICE, #54 (A4, 40 pages, £1.50+SASE) Bam - out comes another issue and another issue over flowing with passion for this thing we call Punk Rock. This has some quality content too when you check out the interviews - cover stars VIOLENT ARREST do their best to look like Duran Duran wooing the ladies on the front pages of Smash Hits, BURNT CROSS, BLOODY GEARS, EXTERNAL MENACE and Carol Hodge on Steve Ignorant’s Last Supper. Not to be outdone, PUNCH and THE DOMESTICS are there too. As always, the columns make great reading (and again I flaked out submitting mine... sorry guys), particularly Tony’s in which he reminisces about records that ignite memories of years past and how the generation of today brought up on X-Factor cannot hope to experience the same - it's a column that resonates greatly with me and probably every single reader of the zine (and hopefully this website). The usual fair and informed reviews are also there along with some excellent photos all reproduced via a good print job. As always, this is incredibly reliable, informed (I always learn something) and, maybe one of the best compliments anyone could label at a zine, is the fact it’s a bit like having a night out in the pub with your best Punk Rock mates - the conversation would be lively and intelligent, there’d be no phonies at the table and it’d be one to remember. Go get it! 2 Pine Close, Ashurst, Hampshire, SO40 7BU, UK Email Suspect Device Web  

THIRSK FIRST, #1 (A5, 40 pages, 50p+SASE) Hugely impressive debut issue from some experienced zinesters here. The guys behind this zine used to be behind Small Sailor and My God Can Beat Up Your God zines and between them they have compiled a thoughtful, interesting and entertaining zine. You get interviews with THE FOAMERS, THE MINGERS and artist Kristen Ferrell, the obligatory (but honest) reviews and a selection of columns most of which hit the mark (although Fat Jim’s really wasn’t really worth the time I took to read it). Layouts are snappy and busy cut ‘n’ paste jobs – possibly similar to early issues of Real Overdose – with sharp print quality. There’s a really good, direct feel about the whole zine – kinda refreshing for a debut issue. The guys have already found the personality of the zine mixing music with politics, comment, honesty and humour. It’s apparent they know what they are talking about too, although Aaron does come off as rather jaded sometimes – although that is not always a bad thing! PO Box 132, Thirsk, YO7 1WR, UK

THIS IS BOSTON. NOT BOSTON (A5, 40 pages £1+SASE) For the geographically challenged, that’s Boston, Lincolnshire, not Boston, MA. The zine is actually a conglomeration of Boston zinesters, specifically Marv Gadgie (and it has to be said, this looks and reads exactly like an issue of the frivolous craziness that is Gadgie), Cookie Itchy Bum, Paul InItOnIt and Dan Ugly Man Punk Rock among others. Each contributor waxes lyrical with blunt directness about traveling, Punk Rock, boozing, pisstaking and general hilarity. Most interestingly are the memories and thoughts on events in Boston and, specifically, the town’s leading venue, the infamous Indian Queen (the centrespread is a fantastically well drawn who’s-who of Boston) including – and most tellingly – a few non-Bostonites. A few to-the-point reviews pad this out. The whole idea behind the zine is inspired. By their nature, zines reflect what’s going on in a locale, but this doubles as a historical overview, multi-split zine and scene report PLUS it’s a cracker of a Punk Rock publication in its own right. Not sure of the main postal address, but I’m sure you can get a copy direct from Marv at PO Box 93, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 7YB, UK Email  

TNS FANZINE, #15 (A5, 48 pages, free+SASE) Celebrate good times c’mon!! TNS Records/zine/collective/empire is ten years old and this issue is an anniversary issue. It’s also the biggest issue yet and packed with thoughts, memories, historical factoids and anecdotes about the zine, its records and the gigs they have staged. Just about the entire first half of the zine is packed with columns and thoughts on the previous decade. The remainder consists of interviews with ACID DROP, BRAINDEAD, SOUNDS OF SWAMI and NO FEALTY, a mini-Sweden Scene Report and the obligatory music and gig reviews. There’s also a rather inventive illustration which, among its many features, alludes to the art of every TNS Records release so far. It probably deserved to be the centre spread (which features all the zine covers) given the detail it contains. Another great issue from this bunch of very dedicated individuals and, remarkably, still free. Here’s looking to the next decade! 17 Heywood Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1FB, UK. Web. Email.  

UNBELIEVABLY BAD, #1 (A4, 60 pages, AUS$5) Oh yeah - this is my kinda zine!! This guy can surely identify a myriad of good sounds when he hears them. TURBONEGRO leap out at ya from the cover and have a couple of interviews inside along with Ian MacKaye, AGAINST ME!, Ed Kuepper, HOT SNAKES and a great HARD ONS tour diary. The reviews are pretty spot on too. Beside all the interviews you get great little asides like Forgotten Albums, news pages, films, freaks, humour, attitude and honesty. The print job and layouts are awesome too; most definitely DTP but with an eye-catching craziness that harks back to the best of cut 'n' paste zines. Don't be fooled into thinking this is the guy's first foray into zineage either; it's my guess he's done previous zines and, given his knowledge of decent music and 'I'm right, you're wrong' attitude, he's been at them a few years. AND, not only do you get this zine for the cover price but also a 19-track comp CD featuring goodies like BEASTS OF BOURBON, GAZOONGA ATTACK, GROUP SEIZURE and BLOOD DUSTER. The mark of a good zine is one that captivates from page one and you can't put it down until the final page. The mark of a great zine is one that captivates from page one, that you can't put down until the final page and THEN you go back and re-read it - frequently. This is the latter. C/- Von Helle HQ, 10 Unwin Street, Bexley, NSW 2207, AUSTRALIA Email  

UNFIT FOR CONSUMPTION, #9 (A4, 40 pages, £1.50ppd) Another packed issue flying its way out of Ireland. This zine has such a good vibe about it - the interviews are incisive, focused and pointed; the reviews display good taste and an intimate knowledge of Punk, HC and Metal; the concentrated focus on what is happening in Ireland itself gives it a great localised sensibility. This issue sees interviews with the mighty LEATHERFACE plus AGAINST ME!, CONVERGE, NEBULA and more. There are a lot of contributors in this issue too, offering all kinds of columns, Top 10s and animations. What always makes UFC stand out for me though is Editor Trev’s eye for design. The layouts are really sharp and inventive without being cluttered or fanciful for the sake of it. This is epitomised by this issue’s cover - just a photo of Frankie Stubbs but accompanied by graphics of the other featured bands, a few deftly placed linear arrows and astute use of text. That trait continues through the zine making each page visually enticing as well as being packed with informative writing. I’m lead to believe the next issue is going to be the last, which is a great pity. So do yourself a favour, get in touch with Trev and catch this while you can. You won’t regret it. For the postal address, you had best E-mail Trev as he has just moved to Cork. Email

ZONKED!, #12 (A4, 46 pages £1.50+SASE) It seems to have been a long wait between issues of this perennial fave zine, but it’s finally out and needless to say, it’s another 100% satisfying Punk Rock read from front cover to back cover. This issue sees interviews with RED DONS, NIGHT BIRDS, FOUR LETTER WORD and 1981 (reading that back, that would’ve made a fucking superb gig) all of which are of the usual Zonked standard. Elsewhere we get what are usually my favourite parts of the zine - Pete’s travel tales - that take us to Krakow, Syria/ Lebanon and an admirable piece about Pete’s training regime prior to the Brighton Marathon. These travel diaries are always insightful, witty and way more interesting than the usual ‘America-get pissed-see bands’ journals that many often write. On top of that you can add some stellar photography and some so-spot-on reviews it almost hurts. Flicking through this issue, I think it’s actually not too much to claim that this is the best issue yet - and given the always high standard of this zine that is really quite an accomplishment. I always learn something when reading this - be it a tiny fact about a band, or by reading a review that inspires me to go and buy that record - and that surely has to be the ultimate aim of any zine - right? If so, Zonked! succeeds on every level. 46 Ashford Road, Brighton, BN1 6LJ, UK Email