SPIN Vol. 17 #5 May 2001 ****
Well for a start this ain't a fanzine although it could well have had it's birth in that realm? I dunno maybe someone out there does? Being as this is the first time I've read this US trendy mag, for a glossy read it sure dishes out the beans! This is the issue that celebrates 25 years of punk. And unlike a lot of UK mags that will be appearing in the next 18 months SPIN thankfully concentrates on the American side of events. Which for me was a great relief. I expecting yet more reruns of the Pistols which I've read so many times before, but this is worth any punks £3.00... once you've clambered over every other page of ads!!!!!! There's 20 solid pages dedicated the punk phenomenon. And they're littered with some great rare pix, eyewitness accounts and trivia. It's dominated by a very good account of the Ramones from day 1. Along with a great rundown of some of their blitzkrieg classics by the band themselves. But is straight 'out of date' considering Joey just died prior to this hitting the shelves. But forget that coz we can decide whether or not the Ramones or the Pistols actually define punk? Well this issue naturally goes with the yanks tee hee. But old Joe Strummer is up there given a page to himself But he ain't aged well and sounds such a sad old cunt! However between his masquerading masquelero hang-up, at least he's honest. Especially when he admits "You couldn't get from Janie Jones to Sandanista quicker if you tried!" A lot of punks from the past and present get an even crack of the whip. With some good punk rock insights including Jayne County (Electric Chairs), Lard Friederickson '(Rancid), Exene Cevenka (X) and Dexter Holland (Offspring). Plus there's also a splendid insight into the West Coast scene with even more rare pix. So like every other mag doing this 25 year thing we get the '50 Most Essential punk records' that any part-timer would choose. Good job these charts are neither here nor there, coz if your a young kid and are going by this as gospel there were some very odd additions indeed. Although the Ramones debut LP being number one was near enough for me. Of the none punk articles, there's a good Dope Delivery Girl piece that'll keep you glued, but that was it! Not the kind of mag I'd normally go for but check this issue out if your into punk. And of course check out their web site
www.spin.com too coz it has bonus articles. £2.95 from Spin P.O. Box 51635 Boulder, CO 80322-1635 U.S.A.
4 MINUTE WARNING #2
Feb, 2001 ****
This is one zine that's come on in leaps and bounds from last years debut issue. I knew Mitch the editor and Nihilism On The Prowl! Columnist had an axe in her handbag, and this bumper 36 A4 page issue is finally testament to that. A fucking good read! You know you've got a good zine in your hands when you turn the page constantly and something else jumps out worth reading. Coz lately some zines just have pages and pages of dross in between the good stuff, but this keeps yer eyes scanning for 95% of the read. And to be a good read, you need all walks of punk life involved, which this issue boasts!!! This ain't just your regulation Anarcho manifesto of bands beliefs and politics, although that attitude take the lions share. Naaaaah you also get a brief but straight Oxymoron interview from Germanys only real Streetpunks. And from good old blighty those Mad Chihuahuas Harrogates fucking drunken reprobates supply the abuse and some wanker from Wolverhampton called Peter Don't Care takes a pogo down safety-pin lane. Yeah it seems Mitch will interview anyone these days! But ain't that just how it should be? A pot pourri of punk lowlife adorning the stapled pages. But if you want the more run of the mill punk bands and individuals there's a few of those too. In fact you can choose from the likes of the ultra polite and equally less inspiring Taffs Foreign Legion, or the Varukers (yawwwwwn). And of course not forgetting the Anarcho sector which this time around supply's some interesting views from Devon's Abusive Youth and the Mr and Mrs of UK Anarcho punk P.U.S. So something for everyone! There's loads of guest reviews too, including gigs, records and zines which all spell out the gritty facts from the samples provided. Another big improvement is the layout, this is cut 'n' paste, typed 'n' handwritten chunkyness, which has an attitude and style that is slowly giving it a unique feel. Only downer this issue being that some of the bands just aint interesting enough to supply a fucking enthusiastic enough response!!! Hey you fucking cunts think on, if you read like some mumbling moron going through the motions with as much charisma as a job seekers adviser, what's that say for your music? On the whole though 4 Minute Warning is quickly creeping up into the higher echelons of the top UK punk reads today. Looking forward to the next one. This issue is dedicated to Mitch's sister who died tragically last year. £1.20 & A4 S.A.E. from Mitch Elsden 31 Fir Grove, Marton, Blackpool, Lancs, FY16PJ, U.K.
RANT #1 2001 ***
Another debut photocopied piece of slash 'n' epoxy'd residual from a village in Leicestershire. And it seems there's a healthy new resurgence of zine life making a desperate yelp from even our country lanes. Which has gotta be healthy, I reckon. Rant is done by another more experienced punk who survived the early 80's punk wars. But I reckon it's never too late to pick up a pen and scribble your rants down and print em up. Especially if your inspired. It seems Mick the tattooed mohican editor is inspired! Rant comes in the Neo-classic style of 1980's Britain. You can even sniff the tell tale stench of 1982 curling up from its pages. This is mostly a handwritten fanzine done in a rough 'n' ready way, that visually screams punk. But like a lot of debut zines it seems to be struggling to fill page space. But I'm sure all that wasted space will be sorted out once he twists his full ranting head on, we hope? The list of inspiration and contributions ranges from a few dire souls to the more healthier punk wing of the UK scene. Which is a good sign. And the 2 bands interviewed are Stanley's only claim to punk rock fame Barse 77. Who disappointingly come over as a tamer low-alcoholic version of the Mad Chihuahuas. Thank god their racket is more of a laff. And we get a deserved M.D.M. interview poached from somewhere else. Mandy, M.D.M's peroxide singer is one of the few punkettes out there today doing what's she's always done. Sing in a punk rock band, promote and produce a solid repertoire of punk. Mick also throws in a good dose of record, zine and gig reviews. And has a few rants on the boil too. Seems he's a big anti-PC (computers not etiquette - dumbo) zealot. But that cant be helped. I give him 18 months before he's prowling the web like the rest of us. He's poached the UK's most prolific feature zinestress in Mitch Elsden. Who donates a Test Tubes biography. And he gives us a 4-page Anti-Heroes piece too. Their UK guitarist Mark McGee is one of Mick's old drinking buddies. Another promising debut that comes in the rare these days A4 size too. Free with a large 75p s.a.e. from 9 Sutton Court, 47 Leicster Road, Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, LE9 6QE, England
SCANNER #9 January 2001 ****
This is the 'Cannibal issue' as Hannibal Lector stares out from the latest Vivienne Westwood head wear creation.....a growing boy needs his lunch! He sure does and us starving punks need their staple diet of punk print and Scanner looks like it's the main course. Yeah I'd say this is one the best issues yet! Steve is a lot of things... a malt whiskey junkie, a little reserved for us gobshites some- times, but his main asset is he certainly gives you the goods. Scanner #9 is packed. And I mean secreted with textured print and viewable images. A bulging semi-booklet of views, news and clues as well as the odd... "never knew that?" Which is always good to learn in a zine. Well it's all in this issue, which boasts with ease about covering a very good cross section of the punk public. Sat at the top table of spiky ambassadors of guttural knowledge who get the once over in this issue are the Berkeley Lords of Darkness AFI. They really made me wanna check em out,. There's open heart surgery with Hudson Falcons and a very honest Steam Pig from Dublin induction. We also get Nihilism On The Prowl! evacuee Mick Mercer answering all the questions I forgot to ask, plus a live in the dressing room talk to the Generators. We then get Movielife and a rare new British outfit Anthem Of A Century give us some pretty pedestrian insights but the good far outweighs the mediocre. The main guest articles on the other hand still left me a bit dazed 'n' confused with the regular political stuff being way too highbrow to attract my interest on one side and some dead American superwoman on the other? Plus we get some Cannibalistic facts & figures. Silence Of The Lambs comes under the movie profile. Oh yeah there's a 'Don't Care backlash' letter which has being dealt with. Plus the healthier looking by the issue, of columnists. Good to see they're gradually becoming whittled down and replaced with people who either have something to say or ain't prone to send us to sleep with yawning faeces. There's a great back page image supplied by Mr Hoola Hoop himself, which is nice 'n' sleazy and does it every time! And of course the usual plethora of record zines and gig reviews that on the whole tell it like it is. But a lot of the stuff is really just too indie inspired for my studded lapel. Having said that Scanner is probably the best all round punk read in the UK today, so check it out while you can. Steve Scanner has just took a 3 month Sabbatical to New Zealand of all places and should be still there as you read this. So expect issue 10 late Summer 2001 whenever he comes back? Hope he does coz it's a chunky punk read and well worth the quid of anyone's money. £1.00 & s.a.e. from 6 Chatsworth Drive, Rushmere Park, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 5XA, UK. or email@example.com
SAVAGE AMUSEMENT #12
Jan May/2001 ***
Latest issue from Mr Hagl and more of the same, but with a new logo ...gee whizz!!! And a new address...shock horror!!! But the attitudes the same and that's all we need to know coz it's spot on. There's a bucket full of reviews and news in this ten-page A4 spread from the street. Trev's just released a new CD by local band Barse '77, and there's a brief biog on them plus a load of other stuff for sale. You can get this for an
S.A.E. from Rosehill, 20 Front St, Tanfield Lea, Stanley, Co. Durham, DH9 9LY, UK.
Summer 2001 ***
Steve's back from his New Zealand exodus and it seems he's still got his converse trainer well and truly stuck to the Scanner peddle. You can't help but champion his rapid and enthusiastic writing skills. This geezer could write for England, but I suspect he's held back by the 84!!! page limit...thank god (snigger). The mammoth 12-page travelogue from NZ demonstrates this literally. Gotta admit I'm prone to travel diary's especially when the writer encounters the underbelly of punk life in foreign towns. But call me a one town punk if you like coz to me NZ ain't really like that, is it? Well my ignorant preconception wasn't far wrong on this report. Coz NZ is full of picturesque scenarios and blood sucking sea midges instead of flat beer and vomit. So although not really my favoured journal subject, It has got it's fair share of good bars in each town. This opus is done in a none technical way too. So we don't have to suffer with too much glazier orgasms and Cumulus sunsets. What we do get is a down to earth glimpse of life, plus encounters with the locals. And from what I gather Steve's expecting the 'thumbs down' for it's inclusion from his less interested subscribers...philistines bah! The zine's columns are a bit old hat this issue. Most of em read like too much reminiscing for comfort. And I gotta admit I'm at fault here too so lets move on swiftly tee hee. We also get burdened with a handful of non-entertaining bands in interview. God what a boring bunch to be stuck in a cell with is all I can say. Not one of em even tempted me to check out their music if these boffs lie behind it's creation. But Anti Flag's in-house hypochondriac Justin Sane was the cavalry who coughed and spluttered his way to our rescue. He tells us why the band really did pull off the Dropkick Murphy's tour too. Also another highlight suprisingly for me, was Dan McKee's usually yawningly 'right on' political prose. But this time round it was right up my street. It involves a 'fly on the march' account from the recent May Day London protest. Exposing 'Plod' to be even more worryingly clever and devious than they usually are. It was a first hand, first class dose of paranoia in print....or was it? More of this kinda reality Mr McKee and you'll get the thumbs up from Nihilists, piss artists and any other cunt with a bone of contention. The reviews as always are spot on, but some of the crud that gets sent in is bordering on the banal. And Steve's taste in music is starting to include more and more indie drivel, especially on the live front. Which is alarming for a punk rag. He's 99% on the mark as far as the punk reviews go. But these sadly consist of only about 25% of the 18 pages!!! Having said that, there's one heck of a slab of music to pick from. The zine reviews on the other hand are all a must read and he regularly covers the best out there. So not his best issue to date but definitely the most concentrated read you'll likely to get in the UK punk scene today. £1.00 & s.a.e. from 6 Chatsworth Drive, Rushmere Park, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 5XA, UK. or firstname.lastname@example.org
JELLYBRAIN #8 ****
This zine has got more sarc, more innuendo and more scathing bitterness hiding beneath it's jovial English cartoony exterior than the showers in Belsen! Jellybrain makes me snigger in all the wrong places. Paul the editor and erstwhile drummer in his beloved Raggity Anne, now resides on the drum stool of Walsall's Norma Jeans. And he proves a point that not all drummers are slow dimwits who are just in a band to keep the beat. No this cunt has got more axes to grind than a battalion of Hells Angels on a turf war. His sly black humour is a delight at times and at others I question his sanity? He seems to be carrying an almighty big greasy inky chip on his shoulder! The world owes him a living and we're here to pay! Ha! Has he finally lost it?...hope so, coz it's great entertainment watching it eat him up inside. This is a classic example of a pissed off zinewriter airing his views on an ungrateful, inconsiderate public...and I love it! Not coz it's all out ranting mayhem but becoz it's more undermined, below the belt sleaziness at it's worst. There's an hilarious column on 'Why You Don't Find Discarded Porn Mags Anymore' and a spot on rundown on 'What The Fuck Has Happened To Real Films'. These off the wall views hit the ball every time. There's a good Brezhnev tour diary which gives you the real fly on the wall situ. of life on the road playing to 15 people in a UK back street boozer. The zine reviews are dotted with some brilliant anecdotes. Take this splitzine review for example "Another cozy get together as 2 different zines snuggle up to each other for a kiss and a cuddle next to the photocopier!" (tee hee)...see what I mean? It's gems like that what make this essential. His record reviews are in the same league serving up the odd delight such as The Eyeliners rave review....."I like eyeliner on a girlie the same as like the girls.... thick 'n' slutty". Now that's gotta go down as one of the funniest sexist lines since maybe an early Stranglers LP. The interviews in this issue however were weak in comparison with the Frankenstein Drag Queens and Dogwalker coming over as obvious space fillers! But you don't read Jellybrain for insight and background information on bands, this is purely for the sick humour. He even makes 'Paedophilia... Now There's A Touchy Subject' slightly amusing, thank fuck it's a put down!!! As always Jellybrain is inundated with some good cartoon sketches and facts 'n' trivia. So get this 28 page read now. If your American you might not appreciate it's irony quite so much but it's well worth investigating. Oh yeah look out for my war of words on this site in retaliation to Mr Jellybrains recent dissing in Scanner #9. It's gonna be good one. 50p from 4 Clarence St., Nuneaton, Warks, CV11 5PT, UK.