RANT #4 2002 ****
Mick Rant is really getting to grips with fanzine delivery and layout. This big fucker is jam-packed. There's less cut 'n' paste this issue, but more solid columns of print, and I ain't complaining! But remember kids, a front cover with impact is well worth your time and energy just as much as the goods inside. The front cover on Rant #4 leaves a lot to be desired, but maybe he'll suss that out by next issue? There's a fitting tribute to Assert's young drummer, Chris Burleigh who died suddenly last year. Good to hear old Telford warhorse Britt, paying a fitting tribute to him. The reviews are scattered around this issue like the young junkies outside the Good Shepherd in Thornley St., W-ton. And you know what, they are for the most part scoring every time. It was funny to read my little set two with Mick in print here, and it seems we gotta go through all the rigmarole once more, but I won't bore you with the details or my broadside just yet! I do despise being called 'Wolfy' though! This issues main contributor Trev Hagl adds a welcome bit of Geordie humour and observation on gigs, books and computers. That reminds me, I must get a copy of his latest Savage Amusement newsletter. Local outfit The Rong Uns give us a run down on their illustrious street punk career. Good to spot a rare (new) Discharge album review!!!!! First one I've seen anywhere? Although The Pistols at the Palace gets a very biased review from one of the many blinkered fans who give us cunts a bad name. Some fans never give you an honest view of the proceedings, they either love em even when they're shit, or they just don't know any better? There's an intriguing letter from Daz Russell (HITS promoter) slagging off Reason To Believe zine and the PC crowd who slate his beloved HITS baby. The Nihilism view is still out on that one?....hopefully let you know if I make it to this years shindig. An issue of Rant wouldn't be complete without an over the top Anti-heroes fix. And this issue signs off with a massive 10 page dissection of their ex-guitarist Mark Maghee. I'm starting to worry Mick Rant may need medical treatment for his obsessive A.H. obsession. However while were here I might as well tell you Mr McGee sticks the knife in on Anti-heroes leader Mark Noah. It's well worth reading just for the street level view of life in the USA for regular UK geezers who ain't entitled to celebratory status. Although it has to be said this is totally one sided! But Rant wouldn't have it any other way! £1.00 plus 2 stamps from
9 Sutton Court, 47 Leicester Road, Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, LE9 6QE, England
GAGGED & BLINDFOLDED #1 AUGUST 2002 ***
For the price of a stamp these days you expect a basic couple of A4 sheets, or one of those punk collective zines that you risk life and limb looking for decent views. But low and behold there's Gagged & Blindfolded (which despite the S&M title, there ain't a whip in sight!) This is a very impressive debut from some young kid out Dodge City (Hungerford), UK. The editor TimDog has really got his layouts together, giving us a more looser version of Scanner in style, but without the regimental clinical feel. This is also a definite labour of love like all good zines should be. Putting it out for FREE shows honourable principles, but must've been suicidal to maintain. My fears are later confirmed, coz it seems this could well be a one off! I doubt very much, pocket money runs to cover print costs on a zine these days? A quid an issue would have gave some incentive to continue I reckon. Can't say I totally agree with the pro PC viewpoints and attitudes that are sat embedded in today's youth, and prevalent in all the columnists. Maybe I'm an old cunt with a bit of red on my neck? What I do agree with whole heartedly is Gagged & Blindfolded's determination to check out all walks of punk life. Instead of the regular formulated pop-punk bands that sit smugly within every other zine out there today, G&B goes that extra mile. We get an Italian Oicore band Inerdzia featuring a blonde bass playing skinnette, Welly the Welsh motormouth from hardcore zine/band Artcore/4MW. A hyperactive Welly gives us a massive insider into his zine beginnings and his very plausible take on the world we live in. Other bands included Swedish Hardcore heroes, Da Skywalkers who are new to me?, but seem worth checking out. Plus some lazy Stoodent outfit called Adequate 7. Stuntface from Wrexham boast every walk of cult music life in their line-up. They made me laff when Kerrrang! described em as "manufactured". Lastly Ska outfit Evil Macaroni from Peterborough make up the numbers. The reviews are good coz most of the bands featured are in here, so it gives you a sound scape to go with the interviews. Felt sorry for the editor and his mate who got mugged in Camden for £50, just 5 minutes after they got off the train to see a gig!!! On a lighter night we get a peak at a disgruntled neighbours letter of noise complaint, done on lovely rose stationary too. There's a lot to read for a first issue and with an attractive layout like this, G&B could give a lot of the older more established zines some tips on presentation. Good debut! 27p SAE to 10 Cherry Grove, Hungerford, Berks, RG17 OHP, UK or www.gaggedandblindfolded.cjb.net
REASON TO BELIEVE #6
Summer 2002 ***
This is the Issue I meant to check out after spotting it on their web site. It features a Jamie Reid 'Clog Save The Scene' spoof on the cover, to coincide with 25 years of punk and the high Dutch profile in this issue. In fact the Dutch quotient is amplified a thousand fold by Brezhnev, who are this issues star turn. Lead singer MC Dog shit never fails to amuse in the infamy stakes. A geezer who always has something to say and knows exactly how to say it!!! Dumbstruck from Bristol on the other hand feature a host of stale bloated individuals from bands such as Heresy, Ripcord, Chaos UK and Spite, so expect some hardcore nonsense from those, plus we get a rare Seein Red expose. But these Dutch extremists are a tamer more politically motivated bunch than the street level Brezhnev. Can't wait to see that other brilliant Dutch outfit The Bips get some well deserved column space, although I don't think their rucksacks are big enough just yet!!! The letters pages has a Welly (4 Letter Word/Artcore) reprise, aimed at some disgruntled individual from last issue. I don't think much of Welly's music, but his views are definitely worth investigating. The News pages are pretty much nonexistent unless you happen to live in the Czech Republic. If so, then you'll be fascinated by the scoops on offer. Other big features in this issue shine a spotlight on some Mexican Anarchist Collective, a Czech scene Report plus an Australian scene report, which were both a bore!!!! However we get part two of 'The Rise And Fall of DIY Distribution', where Sir Trev Hagl of Savage Amusement fame, presents us with some real views from behind the scenes. Amongst the non-punk issues covered this time around are a MUST SEE (adopt sarcy tone) expose on Peat farming and some Hill Billy Food Cooperative from Eregan, USA! And if that ain't enough to send you running for them their hills, we get yet another diagrammed Posture exercise sheet...gee whizz!!! We are then treated to yet another collective, this time around from Southampton (zzzzzzzssssss - Wolves fans have VERY long memories!), and you know what?.....yet more gangs of ruck sacked right on punks! Call me a loner if you will, but don'tcha think all this collective bollocks seems very cliquey and regimented for a bunch of punks to be involved in? What the fucks happened to those loose cannons in the scene who didn't need a vote of confidence to go out and do something interesting off their own back? What we have now is planned, premeditated shite which I reckon stifles the excitement. A collective definitely ain't what punk is about. The massive reviews section drags us far 'n' wide, and it's a rarity to spot a band who your vaguely familiar with. Not my favourite mag at the moment, if they left out the patronising shit we'd all get along famously I'm sure! Neat back cover artwork. Print run 6,000 www.rtbzine.org
REASON TO BELIEVE #5
March 2002 ***
First Issue I set eyes on, of this zine that's the other jewel in England's safe zine scene crown. And I've every Reason To Believe it's a lot more open minded and less snooty than it's rival the Cracked ones can ever be! Although the printed newspaper layout is almost identical. This issue was thrown in FREE when I sent for Issue #6 (reviewed next) so that gives em generosity points right away. Reason To Believe is a Leeds collective of punk writers with a very large political axe to grind and that disappointing PC attitude is prominent throughout. But that seems to be part and parcel of everything zine wise that emits from Leeds these days. Some might say a lot of cooks spoil the broth, and although that could be said here, there's still enough room for some very news worthy input. These kinda mags are trying to go the MaximumRockNRoll route in concept and layout, which is a shame coz we got one poor imitation, do we really need another? There's are some healthy Euro news reports and for the price of 50p's worth of stamps, this IS worth your support (Advertisers take note). If you can crawl through the 'right on' anarcho political awareness brief, you can find the odd glimmer of interest within it's jam packed pages. They do treat their readers with some respect, although they patronize us in equal amounts when they think we need guidance ha! I enjoyed the Chinese scene report, but that stretching exercise guide, complete with diagrams made me cringe. This issues main piece was Part one of 'The Rise And Fall of DIY Distribution' debate. It has views from all over the punk scene including distros, labels etc. However Ken Prank of Frisco's Prank Records version of events, hit the nail on the head. Band interviews are in-depth and cover UK Hardcore outfit Imbalance, who has since broke up, plus Spanish Anarchist outfit SinDios....both of whom were mind numbingly boring. There's a big piece on Squatting if your about to get kicked out your Mayfair flat. Plus a very good un with Mr Squat Thruster himself...Sir Penny Rimbaud (ex-Crass drummer), who fills us in on his his legal fight to keep the Crass HQ from the slimey grips of it's landlords. The reviews are big but rarely cover the bands we here at Nihilism jack off too, although the zines fare much better. On first impressions Reason To Believe isn't really such a threat to the more DIY zines out there. It's way too formulated for that. I'd say it's purely an alternative and a preferrred alternative given whats on offer. With a more diverse selection of contributors and a less patronizing approach this could be very good indeed! Print run 6,000
SMALL SAILOR #10/
REMAINS OF A CAVEMAN #?
SPLIT ZINE 2002 ***
Small Sailor still leads the scene in cut 'n' paste presentation, with only Becca Pukes scruffier affair sniffing for pole position. But we ain't here to swop manicure tips with our ink encrusted cronies are we? This issue seems to be giving the smaller record labels a bit of decent exposure and kicks off with a good interview with Mohican Jim, (aka Mr Intimidation Records) from Scotland. This is followed by the bigger Household Records label based in London, who don't sound like my kinda thing at all. Jess Spice shares a page of cartoon art with new contributor Senka, who seems to fit in very well with the surreal slightly worrying Dark Figures centrespread. There's an interesting Amsterdam tour diary done by our editor and few local inbreds, although the bars don't get much exposure. We are then given a reason why Thirsk punks are a breed all on their own. They wrestle each other on long hot sweaty summer nights...for fun??? I always like to read the carboot reviews, but no rare punk finds in this issh. The Bus Station Loonies are the only band featured, with Chris Wheelchair answering the questions in between shifts behind the bar of Plymouths punk pub... the Nowhere Inn...mines a Carlin! There's a boatload of reviews covering zine and music, which spells it out. I'm still waiting for that Irish Stew recipe between the Vegan ones though!!!
Remains Of A Caveman is totally new to me. Very arty in the way it's delivered which also runs through this issues subject matter. I do appreciate art considering I'm basically a piss artist, and I take great interest in the visual side of punk. However art is a personnal taste and some of the art covered here ain't the best. The editor seems a bit of a moaning cunt too...well he is from Brighton, so what d'ya expect? There's a parade of artists on the couch, who contribute to various record covers, best being The Amputees a.k.a. The Steak Dept., who inspite of superior artwork, had an attitude to match!!! Remains Of A Caveman is pretty Emo this issue, despite the editors total denial. C'mon when you start reading in zines peoples dream sequences, you seriously need to jump ship! We also get a tour of Norwich, which reminds me why I've never been there. Along with a more in-depth tour diary of Amsterdam, but don't think you'd catch me in Museums... 48 hours means 48 thrills, and probably a load of fucking Pils...too! We get some good detailed zine reviews which thankfully covered some of the print that's more off the beaten track. The layout is neat although that's expected from an ex-art student, still a bit too up its own arse for my liking though.
Small Sailor for £1.00 & S.A.E. from 39 Station Road, Thirsk,North Yorkshire, YO7 1QH, England.
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