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 be 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.

ARTCORE, #37 (A4, 36 pages, £6+P&P) The best zine around comes back with another fantastic issue of all things quality in the world of Punk and Hardcore. This issue sees interviews with Vic Bondi with his DEAD ENDING hat on, THE WAR GOES ON, BLOOD PRESSURE, DYSNEA BOYS, NEGATIV, RED KATE, ARMOURED FLU UNIT and UKRYTE ZALETY SYSTEMU. The vaultage part of the zine is given over to a massive retrospective about the Belgian Hardcore Punk scene of the 80s, an interview with Australians PERDITION and a David Ensminger interview with Texas legends OFFENDERS. As always, the zine is filled out with some spot on and concise reviews (which often raise a chuckle at some of the barbed comments!) and Welly’s excellent ‘Diminishing Returns’ editorial of a scene veteran observing life today. Needless to say the layouts are great, clearly printed and considered. If you are wondering why the cost is a bit high, it’s cuz you get a fantastic 4-track 7" of TOXIC REASONS with the zine which itself comes with a booklet with interview and photos and produced with that high-quality eye for detail and presentation that sets Artcore above and aside. Bunch of bonus tracks with the download too. What more do I need to say? Go get it!! (29.06.18) EMAIL WEB

GADGIE #34 (A5, 32 pages, £1+P&P) Hurrah for Gadgie! Every time I see a new issue I always know I’m going to learn something about some obscure Hardcore Punk band or record, I can rely on a quality drinking story and, without a doubt, I can guarantee plenty of genuinely funny, laugh out loud moments. Throw in DEBBIE HARRY and Planet Of The Apes obsessions and one’s day is complete! This issue we get recounts of a run in with Marv’s childhood enemies, the Cauliflower Brothers, a comparison between Marv’s ‘Chaos Pint’ theory and Ancient Greece’s symposiums, the long-lost Punk Classic being ‘The Sad Day We Left The Croft’ - a comp from the Outer Hebrides no less, and a pile of reviews that make it clear that if your band is not fast, loud and obnoxious, then it’s probably pretty fucking boring. If ya didn’t know, this is printed on recycled paper, has really basic layouts (two columns, with the odd graphic dotted throughout) and while the print job is not exactly fantastic, the text is clear and readable - and in Gadgie’s case, all that matters is the ability to read Marv’s words of wisdom and wit. This is a unique publication and even after 34 issues, still as fresh as the first time I read a copy some 20 years ago or so. (29.06.18) EMAIL WEB

NO EXPOSURE, #4 (A5, 52 pages, AUS$3+P&P) This Australian zine is rapidly becoming one of my favourites. It’s got a great attitude; editor Alex has plenty of knowledge on what makes Punk Rock good and vital and writes with a direct bluntness and honesty that’s refreshing and very readable. The last 20 pages or so of this are taken up with photography with a multitude of bands cranking the jams live in Perth. They’re clear, up close and the print reproduction is good. Elsewhere there is a rather epic interview with NIGHTBIRDS (11 pages), a great (and thoroughly deserved) retrospective on the BLOODY GEARS, a bunch of gig and record reviews, a bit of a dig a CAREER SUICIDE who fucked about with an interview, a look at re-recorded albums and their superior predecessors (SUBHUMANS (Canada), YOUTH BRIGADE, CROMAGS) and probably my favourite part of the zine, Alex’s editorial. I said above his writing is direct and very readable and it’s here that it is strongest. Printing is good, text is done on a typewriter but the layouts remain sharp and crisp. Recommended in every way. (29.06.18)

PO Box 284, Marylands, WA 6931, Australia   EMAIL WEB

OUR FUTURE, Vol I Issue III (A5, 24 pages, £1.50+P&P) Third issue already from this theme-based zine. As with previous issues (#2 focused on ‘Grave New Word’era DISCHARGE), this takes a detailed look at Leicester, England based Hardcore band THE WANKYS. Have to say, I know little of the band but this zine fills in everything anyone would need to know. You get an interview with the vocalist (Mr Wanky), a look at the Downtown Noise Punker CD-r collection series, an interview with the drummer Mr Beat Meat, label honcho Dan McGregor of SPHC Records and also Bunta who created the band’s icon, Wankerman. Throw in graphics including photos, ads, record sleeve and even an A3 tour poster for the band’s UK tour with MOB 47 and this is as complete an introduction to the world of THE WANKYS as you can imagine. Layouts are clear and well printed (on shiny paper no less!) with great photo reproduction. Given Editor Rodney does this so frequently, and co-ordinates the Our Future record label, it would easy to imagine these zines are a bit half-hearted. How wrong that would be though as these are in-depth, delving and, most importantly, entertaining. Inspirational and unique. (29.06.18) EMAIL WEB

TAKING THE LANE, #14: BIKEQUITY Money, Class & Bicycling (4.25"x6.5", 126 pages, $9.95+P&P) This crosses the border between zine and book really, at least aesthetically. If you are looking for music, you’re out of luck also as this is primarily about bicycling, gender and class - and includes a recipe. It’s not all from the one view point either as this is a multi-perspective collection of essays/ columns from 18 different contributors, the most notable being Microcosm founder, Joe Biel. There are some points of interest but I have to confess, it’s not the kind of reading I got a major kick out of. I appreciate cycling is an equalizer and cyclists are passionate about it, and I certainly appreciate the social and political aspects that are put forward - and if you’re a full-on cyclist, this could be for you. I’m not and found some of it a bit laboured. It’s solidly bound, looks good with a full colour cover and carries its message well. (29.06.18)

Elly Blue C/o Microcosm Publishing, 2752 N Williams Ave, Portland, Oregon 97227, USAWEB