JUNE 2009
Good cover shot greets us in this issue
featuring a consumed
Cult Ritual
singer (Dan) bawling into a mic. Indelic
images like these remind me of the
good/bad old days of
MRR, when
American hardcore punk was exciting,
and new! Not just another gang of
crusty clones. From what I read and
hear of this Tampa Bay outfit, they can
can talk it like they walk it, both on and
off stage. They remind me of a 21st
Black Flag but without the
brawn or surf. Lets face it the youthful
approach is definitely how punk should
be, instead of another faceless
Mohawk or an old cunt going through
his bloated routine. We also get a
bulging Boston scene report which is a
neat catch up on whats happening in
little Ireland. Disappointingly, there's a
very brief skim through the Sydney,
Australia scene! A shame, coz I reckon
it deserves a major profile if Melbourne
and other city's are anything to go by.
Hunx And His Punx is a camp joke,
right? Especially when we read about
this particular brand of 'queer core'
that's about 15 years too late, since
Pansy Division et all last filled the
hole (ahem). I think our hairy fairy is
desperately trying to create a pink
niche but failing. Witty observations
are mildly amusing, but his backing
band of 3 over the top BBW punkettes
are a lot more easier on the eye, than
the cheesy 70's moustache of our lead
crooner. Back to some straights ville or
should I say belligerence with
who are a big, sweaty in your
face bunch of drunks from Albany, New
York. We then get a 6 page nostalgic
trip round Toronto's late 70's punk
scene, via the memoirs of new wave
the Existors and Shades
fanzine fame. Meanwhile back in Frisco
come the shouty
NN that features a
social worker, postal worker, school
teacher and video producer in their
line-up. No wonder our mail and our
kids are getting lost in the system. Or
NN put it...unidentified. On a less
noisy level
Grass Widow are full on
feminists who offer some melodic,
psychedelic indie punk to sit back and
sow your backdrop too. Sounding
somewhere in the vein of
. There's an Anarcho
retrospective by the late Lance Hahn,
but it ain't one of his best. Scraping the
barrel this time is some poxy combo
no-ones ever heard of called
Midnight Garden
? Staying with the
protest and survive movement, but
taking it to another extreme are
Project Hopeless (who
have since renamed themselves as
Crutches). You'd certainly need some
crutches as you batter your way to the
fire exit to escape their annoying
noise! Meanwhile
Defect Defect hail
from Portland, Oregon and seem like a
hard working gigging bunch of misfits.
Its always good to hear what the
young, ugly kids do in PDX these days.
Herds from some god forsaken
Milwaukee outback are very camera
shy. In fact there's no band pics on
any of their interviews or albums. Mind
you, the music is about as interesting
as watching Buffalo roam. The book
reviews are pretty diverse this time
round. Highlight is probably another
tome on graffiti icon, Banksy. A geezer
so popular in the art world he has
books chronicling his London graffiti
locations. Can't see the real attraction
myself? If me or you spray painted a
wall, we'd get arrested while Banksy
gets canonised! Books about zine
creation always brings a smirk to my
face. And 'Make A Zine' is no different.
Trust me, you don't need a book to
write a zine. The real fun of fanzine
production is just doing it with whatever
you have at your disposal. Don't forget
imagination and an opinion are your
ultimate tools, so just go and do it! Of
the movie reviews 'Cleveland's
Screaming' stands out as one to watch
out for and also
Pansy Divisions 'Life
In A Gay Rock Band', which should be
good for the early soundtrack and to
see how these pioneering Queens
fared in a hostile 'hetro' punk scene.
The record review section now boasts
2 pages of demo's, which by the size of
the large print suggests the official
punk records influx ain't swamping
MRR quite so much these days. The
zine reviews seem to be holding out
though. So whatever your views on
MRR, it's still the best shop window for
punks various wings and printed angst!
$4.00 from
Autumn 2009
Had this sent in anonymously? So
whoever did cheers. Now here is a zine
that was running when I first started cut
'n' pasting in
the Suffragette days, all
be it with a different name
Chris the editor had previously put out
issues as
Noise Fest then reverted to
Aversion, which I think was his most
prolific fanzine. However
seems destined to be taking over and
certainly sounds a lot more descriptive
for this kinda zine and the scene it
covers. It's stark, bleak format and vibe
definitely reflects the sounds and
growls. I really do like its clean lines,
easy to read A5 layout, with black and
white blocks, that benefits greatly from
a decent print job this issue. Even the
ads which are few and far between
(unlike some zines) seep into the dark
mood and overall style. The music or
soundtrack to hell is pure and utter
Crust and D-beat in style and attitude.
No pop punk in here, and certainly no
crooners either. You'd be hard
pressed to find the growlers hitting the
high notes but musically if done right
can create a truly demonic presence.
The Bradford One In 12 club seems to
be the centre of Chris's gigging
regime. And luckily for him they do
invite a load of his favoured style of
punk to its stages. At least Chris has
embraced the Internet instead of
shunning it as some kinda impending
threat on zinedom. You can check out
some of his exceptional gig shots that
adorn his my-space page if you
become his friend. Interviews are with
the beguiling London crusties
Beginning Of The End who had the
enigmatic Aga singing for them. I even  
managed to catch them live in Brum a
few years ago. They have since split
up. There's a Jakarta raw crust punk
scene report, which takes some
understanding as you stumble through
the script with those hard to pronounce
band names. One thing you do realise
in the bands that lurk in the bowels
D-beat is the perpetual crust uniform
of black band t-shirts and studs. It's a
little worrying to see such a uniformity
spread worldwide amongst the bands
and fans from East of Java to the snow
swept Fford's of Finland. Closer to
home, Belgium's crusty boozers
Visions Of War get interrogated as
they discuss the important intricacies
of drink in their worldwide vision.
There's smaller profiles on European
crust merchants
Beton and a Swedish
Distro Not Enough, that seems to be
anti almost everything. We terminate
with an interview with Italian d-beaters
Kontatto who are musically my fave of
the bunch. The review section, seems
to have more zines than records so
maybe the propaganda about zine
sales on the wain is a whim to scare us
into buying more? If you do like Crust
and D-beat I'd say Agitate at 28 pages
for only 50p or trade is a good place to
start and certainly up there with similar
zines like Ripping thrash, Hell And
Damnation etc. For a good crawl
through the Discharge legacy, Shipley
is certainly rising!
Had this snotty little effort sent in when
I stumbled across its editor on the fanzine forum. He
was offering free copies for review,
which I took with a pinch of salt
(especially with over-sea's postage
and only a 100 print run). But when
one turned up unexpectedly a month
later from Tampa Bay, Florida I was
impressed with his promise. Its always
good to get a punk zine from places
you don't always associate with punk
rock. Seems Tampa ain't just full of
rowdies of the football fraternity. I'm
Spying On The Scene don't
normally reach a bigger audience, so
any zine traders out there please get
in touch with the editor. It's the smaller
publications that are usually the most
unique in some way or other. Usually
spotlighting local bands or scenes
which we would never hear about
otherwise. And
Spying On The Scene
does have that personal touch. This
zine comes in a photocopied electric
green cover and that neat title gives it
an air of observation. As we know most
fanzine writers are little spy's, reporting
what they see and hear, well the good
ones do. To be truthful you can blitz
through this 20 page cut 'n' paste job
in one sitting and has a lot more
enthusiasm than actual content. But
kicks off with a funny obituary and pic
on our editors car (the whale) which
sadly hit the big scrapyard in the sky.
The more serious stuff features an
interview with thrashers
Trash Talk
from Sacramento and some mundane
recipe from
the Klix. Highlight had to
be an enthralling heart to heart with
Rob from LA's
Total Chaos, talking
about why his band is hated so much
and the demise of street punk. Rather
be hated than ignored, springs to
mind. And to get a different
perspective, we get the
Hammer Bois
singer talking about strait edge. Which
after witnessing some rowdy YouTube
footage seems pretty hard to believe.
These geezers must be on somert?
The reviews were a few pages, but
were in-depth enough to give you an
idea on what was spinning inside the
disc. I'm informed there's gonna be a
new edition out soon, when the PC is
fixed, but I get the feeling other
distractions may intercede? We shall
see. Tampa Bay's only zine worth a
buck and it costs $2 or trades I
For more information contact
Really glad to come across this fanzine
that has been circulating way under
the radar for way too long without
much recognition (fanzine wise). And
given that it isn't actually sold as such
(but donations are appreciated, and
rightly so!). All I can say is why none of
the other zines seem to give it much
exposure or credence? Anyhow their
loss, our gain! A lot of effort and
research has gone into this one.
Failsafe covers its early 80's
fascination and genre exploration with
an almost stalking passion. It certainly
becomes a breath of fresh air to get
reacquainted with so many bands and
individuals, that you read about,
bought records by or wondered if they
were still even on the planet? David
the editor doesn't do email interviews,
he either phones or in some cases has
been known to travel stateside to
search out his prey. So you can’t fault
his determination to get that scoop!
This issues cover star features a
bewildered looking Jennifer Blowdryer.
Now I dunno about you, but I ain't got a
clue who she is/was and in some
respects I doubt she knew either. But
her life story in punk gets unravelled
and she’s a fascinating creature that
dwelt within the SF punk scene back in
the late 70's. She fronted a minor outfit
the Blowdryers, wrote zines
and was a scenester before becoming
a writer in New York, where she is now
Blyth Power on the other
hand show a different take on punk.
Very English and unique in their almost
indie take on punk. They get
interrogated or should I say Josef
Porta their well known drummer who
was also in
Zounds and class act The
for his sins. He offers a
surprisingly frank and open opinion of
punk and its intricacy's. Without a hint
of superior preachy bollocks or the
general Anarcho line. He's currently
writing for a plastic model magazine in
between his various musical projects.
TV Smith the gigging machine gets
interviewed for the third time in over a
year. Not quite sure what was in the
previous interviews? But this one
concentrates on his new album 'In The
Arms Of The Enemy', which having not
heard can't comment on? But hard
TV or Tim to his mates plays a
staggering 120 gigs a year without any
label support. He survives from his
extensive European jaunts that attract
200 +, more so than the paltry 30 odd
people he pulls in at some UK venues.
Which is a shame.
James Stark San
Fransisco  punk photographer and
book author gets drilled about the SF
punk scene and the book he's
currently writing about punk club the
Mabahu. Finishing off with a slightly
uncomfortable interview with
Steve McDonald from LA.
Reviews are at a minimum, but are
thorough. The other great bonus this
has on other zines is the exceptional
photography. All black and white shots
but beautifully presented and along
with the slick sheen paper finish makes
this fanzine stand out from the crowd.