Agent Orange singer/founder Mike
Palm in a skeleton t-shirt beams out at
us on the cover of this highly
recommended punk fanzine. Great to
see the crisp b/w pics that are this
zines calling card, coming into sharp
focus as you flick through the high
class pages, giving the reader that
close up and personal vibe. Strangely
Failsafe is similar to Artcore
in one respect (although totally
opposite in other aspects). The
similarity is that its fixated with the early
80's American punk scene, but from a
more traditional punk rock perspective.
Which makes for a great contrast on
the two genres within these 2 British
zines that between them, cover most
bases. However its not totally
anglophile, UK bands do get a snifter
and its UK82 Brit punk what kicks off
this zine with a good character shot of
Instant Agony's Hocky leaning
against a wall in Blackpool. He has a
Charlie Harper resonance about him
as we are introduced to this Scouse
band who are still treading the boards
review from when I caught em in
Brum in 2008). Although musically I
wouldn't say I own any of their records,
like most of the bands covered, it was
just interesting to read what they got to
say. Hocky also produced a zine called
Sign Of The Times in the 80's. (Don't
think Welly had this listed in his
Artcore zine rundown?) Strangely no
mention of the Eric's (famous Liverpool
punk venue) history he's currently
compiling either? However best
interview of the issue came with
Southern California's
Agent Orange,
whose singer really does look like
William Shatner, the resemblance is
uncanny. He also gives us the best
description of no, not Leutenant  
Uhuru's legs, but of Huddersfield's
legendary Ivanhoe's club. In fact the
best I've heard in 30 odd years of
punk. We also get a more
distinguished interview with Alejandro
Escovedo founder member of
. This defrocked sister of mercy
has also played in
the Dils and Rank
And File
to name but a few. So a very
varied set of punk icons litter his
fascinating interview that runs for 6
pages and covers a lot of sins. We
then get some obscurities thrown into
the mix with
Vatican Commandos
from the big apple who do not register
at all on my radar. But it just so
happens they featured a young Moby
in their ranks and I don’t mean Dick
either. Not exactly sure who or what
Moby is? But even I've heard of the
name. However what's really intriguing
about the
Vatican Commando's is the
interviewee Lindsay. She went on to
become Kitty Kowalski of
infamy, who even I had
heard of. She gives us a frank detailed
insight into this bands shelf life that
included her dating two of the band
members, which as she explains isn't
really the best move lol. The 4 page
review section is small, but offers
detailed chunks by various guest
reviewers. Was interesting to hear
what Mick Crudge of
the Fits was up
to these days. Apparently he's turned
into some sort of tree hugging
figurine, and won't ever
the Fits back catalogue ever
again, for some strange reason...all
together now
ahhhhh! Meanwhile punk
bin collector the affable Gene October
Chelsea still knows how to front a
punk band with an arrogance that only
he could make entertaining. Scariest
moment came in the form of the
grotesque looking
Punishment Of
, whose singer still looks as
Hammer Horror today as he did in the
glory days of Sounds features, and
Peel sessions.
Failsafe finishes off
with more third division UK82 punk in
the form of Chesterfield's
who you'd be forgiven for
dismissing with a huff and a name that
bad. But hold on, they actually sound
great on myspace with their fast,
energetic punk that comes with
lashings of buzz saw guitar. And we
can't get enough of that here at
. Bloodstains!
February 2010 (Photo Issue)
It's been 20 years since the last
Maximumrocknroll ‘Photo Issue’, so
was really keen to see what they would
come up with, having missed out on
the last one.
MRR must have an
absolute gold mine of punk imagery to
access as far as punk photos are
concerned. Shitworker
Mark 'Icki'
seems to be the man in
charge of co-ordination this issue and
had over 80 photographers submitting
their work. They had to shrink their
search criteria to cover the last 10-15
years of punk, focusing as ever mainly
on the more recent era. And despite
this, and the moans and groans for
using some of the totally shitty pics on
display, they still produce some
spectacular images. And kicks off with
an impressive cover shot of Spanish
Invasion taken by the gifted
Matteus Mondino. We all have our
faves, but punk was always destined to
have been captured on film. Since the
halcyon days of Rotten's lazer beam
stare, or Joey Ramones ripped up
jeans, right through the decades of
hardcore thrash, mohawks and all the
other studded spiky discordant kids
performing punk rock. Begging the
question...who will surface in the 21st
century? And more importantly how
can they decide which shot goes in?
Have to admit most of the subjects and
photographers are totally new for me.
However Punk today is still indeed the
most photogenic of all music genres,
nearly every band may wear a black t-
shirt and everyone’s idea of a classic
punk shot doesn’t always tally. But you
get the feeling different generations of
punk can still capture those rare shots
of in your face decadence or generate
a frenzied, snotty vibe to catch your
attention. The clothes may not be as
cool or the faces as iconic, but the
intensity still can come through as you
scan the photos that litter this issue. I
think these days people behind the
scenes, be it photographers, zine
writers or even tour drivers can
conjure up the best stories to tell. More
so than the fucking bands! So it made
a nice change to read interviews with
the photographers themselves, who
brought to us some of these classic
punk shots. Original
MRR photo zine
coordinators, man mountain
gets us started along with
Helge Schreiber from
Plastic Bomb
fanzine, who both
supply some original ideas on in the pit
dynamics which I may even try myself.
And talking of dynamism, the
exceptional Brazilian lens duo of
and Mateus Mondini seem the
best of the new talent and really did
impress the most! The bands may not
always be your preferred choice
musically, but the way they capture
them is a true art form. Punk
photography ain't a world dominated
by guys either,
Chrissy Piper and
Karoline Collins give us a female
perspective, while Germany’s
tells us of his 'Out Of Vogue'
book and art. Gotta say none of the
photographers apart from
are familiar names. And
there's no
Christine Boarts interview
(but she does get name checked quite
a lot). But more than most whose name
seems to crop up is
Greg Friedman.
He should be familiar with everyone
having shot all the iconic hardcore
outfits. But they all offer some classic
punk shots between them, including
Gary Go! from Chile and vet snapper
Larry Wolfley from the Bay Area who
has some really frenzied shots in his
portfolio. Also more East Bay snappers
are included like
Canderson and our
Icki. Most notable thing about
these photographer’s is its rare you
actually see pics of themselves. They
all just let their shots do the talking.
Mind you, you can understand why,
coz have you seen some of 'em lol. It
comes with an almost complete
bibliography of publications, punk
photo books that are geared to the
imagery of the punk scene and most
are really well worth tracking down.
The columns and reviews this issue
seem to take a back seat to the
impressive photography section which
takes up most of this zine and why the
hell not? Punk has always been a
visual experience as well as aural one
in my book. A second your life!
$4.00 from
Another issue of this now well
established Oi!/skin/punk fanzine from
Finland. Was a bit puzzled by the
innocuous front cover as it looks more
like a column page from inside. Not the
usual boot boy imagery we come to
expect from
Anti Hippie. And the
column reads like a rant against the
current crust scene by a certain
Jonathon Fuck, who fancies himself as
a bit of an expert? I neither know nor
care! But you gotta give him some
credit for his upfront name. It's followed
in hot pursuit with lets just say an
artistically licenced mosh-pit autopsy
by US greaser author Russ Lippitt.
Inside the desktop layout is very good,
and utilises all the space with its
customary neat, arty punk design. The
interviews may not be as in-depth as
we'd like, but cover a broad range of
streetpunk/Oi! band's, with Oi! being
the predominant factor. To be honest
all this skinhead bravado can come
across as uninspiring as the music
they churn out, but we do get a
massive coverage spanning lots of
country’s and scenes from Europe
mainly. And its all printed in English.
We get Spanish Oi! from
American street rock 'n' roll with the
hilarious sounding
Aires And Graces,
more Prague Oi! with
The Riot, while
the uncharacteristically named
Bubbles from the Ukraine are yeah
you guessed it, more skinheads with
guitars. The highly rated
Rust all the
way from Oz supply an Antipedes
perspective. There's an interview with
UK zine writer Trev Hagl who always
has a lot to say, plus he supplies a
Barse history. Along with an SS
Russian tour diary. At the end
of the day this zine does more for the
European alliance than any of the so-
called European Unions or politicians.
So if the skinheads can get it together
there must be hope ha! French street
punk label and fanzine
Une Vie Pour
offer a zine and discography.
Along with short fast profiles on such
household names like
the ExplorersZ
from Strasbourg, Russian Oi! by
, French Punks Ruthless
, Finnish hardcore On The Job,
Open Finger Is A Broken
and Canadian punks Germ
. Plus a piece on H8-piece
record label and Spanish fanzine distro
Crossfire. The review section is
gigantic with 15 pages dedicated to
records alone, and a generous 5
pages on our beloved underground
music press. The surprise bonus is a
free 21 track CD compilation featuring
most, if not all the bands covered
inside. So you actually get to hear
them as well as read about them in the
same issue. If your main musical
stomping ground is Oi! this will be right
up your street. But some punks may
feel left out. However any bands from
whatever genre who want some
European press coverage send in a
track and you could be featured in the
next issue or appear on the next
compilation. Oi! Oi! Oi!
For more information visit