This is the part of the site entirely dedicated to punk rock , zines and books . Any labels or bands want their stuff reviewed email me on [email protected]
Please note i only review the actual product , no goddamn files/downloads !!!
From now on I will put the newest reviews first so my regulars don't have to sift thru all the older ones
FLABBY DAGGER comic issue 5 (contact [email protected] , or go to www.russelltaysom.com)
This reminds me of those wacky chaotic US comics from the 90s , a demented collection of (surprisingly professional) sex art , bad taste cartoons and the odd article (What men really think about Coldplay). I guess the more fucked up you are the more you'll get it! Mine came with 2 vinyl stickers , one of a brain-skull ,the other with a cock on a pizza (!!) and that sums it up i guess!
UNDERCLASS - Not In My Name CD (www.punklives.co.uk)
These are Stu's band from Control zine and Streetpunk the Movie fame (He also did some Exploited and Oi! docu vids in the 90s) . It's hard to describe this - it is heavy without being thrash metal yet too dark to be traditional Oi! Quite a few of the songs sound a bit like DRONGOS FOR EUROPE's heavier stuff but it goes off on a dark tangent now and then and a couple of songs have more in common with KILLING JOKE . As the title of the CD and picture of a tank on the cover suggests , the lyrics are well sussed which is all the more impressive given that the band live in fake tan central . Comes in fold out paper cover and CD is factory made CDR .
VARIOUS - Live At The Daggers DCD (www.punklives.co.uk)
The big shame is that this is a comp CD instead of a DVD cos most of the bands on here sound rockin , even better than their studio stuff . Whoever does the PA at this venue , in Dagenham Essex, wants a medal because the PA sounds fucking great , adding a edge not usually heard at most gigs. Musically it's a right mixture of loads of bands you will have seen in the UK the last 10-15 years. Kicking off with the great AIRBOMB you go through DEADLINE , DRONGOS , SICK ON THE BUS , CRASHED OUT , RED FLAG 77 , GUNS ON THE ROOF , 999 , TENPOLE TUDOR , BRIEFS , PORK DUKES , and so many more. It is like a document of my drunken jaunts across the country and in most cases the bands are on fire! Packaging is a very basic folded paper cover but even that has some excellent sleevenotes from Stu about the various gigs and his life in general. Long live the DIY!
WONK UNIT - Nervous Racehorse CD (TNS)
The cover is a crap drawing of a horse being offered an apple and it doesn't get much more serious when it gets to the songs - even when they sing about heroin ! Musically it's all over the place - the most common point of reference would be SNUFF but you could also chuck in a bit of BLUR and even a bit obscure 70s KBD like THE TRAINSPOTTERS . Just incase the band ever found consistency they also throw in the odd bit 60s twist and acoustic number. Yet despite the wacky hi jinks , you get the feeling that deep down , they are probably sussed. Hmmm.
SUBURBAN MOMS - Turning Schools Into Stones 7" (Planet Bullshit)
A new US band playing in-yer-face 77 influenced punk with loud abrasive guitars , like perhaps early NEON HEARTS (intro reminds me a bit of "Venus Eccentric") . This would be just as much at home on No Front Teeth records as it would be an obscure self released Killed By Death 7" back in '78. And the B-Side "Tolerating Intolerance" shows they ain't no slouches at writing lyrics either , a brutally sarcastic attack on tyrants/mercenaries/armies wiping out people with no remorse . Good stuff! http://www.planetbullshit.biz/product/suburban-moms-turning-schools-into-stones-7
THE HURRIERS - Truth & Justice CDEP (Power Of Song Music, www.facebook.com/thehurriers )
A 3 track CDEP from deepest Barnsley , so you can guess what their thoughts are on Thatcher and the miners! Musically i am at a loss how to describe it as the band flirt with a variety of styles , there is an underlying punk edge but they seem to be going through a bit of an identity crisis like THE REDSKINS early days , not knowing whether to be a punk band or a 60s R&B one . One thing's for sure though , and that is it's great to see a band sticking up for the right things and they have done gigs in support of Orgreave Truth & Justice , Anti Bedroom Tax , striking trade unionists and more. They also sing about saving the NHS and hate the Tory vermin as much as me even. I would prefer it to be more angry , more punk musically , but defo a band you can only wish the best of luck to.
BOOZE & GLORY ? As Bold As Brass CD (Step 1)
Consistency is not something you see much of these days . Well , Iain Duncan Smith is consistently a cunt , but something that is consistently GOOD is somewhat rarer. Try and think of a band that has done 4 albums full of cracking tunes . I can only think of BARSE , until now (if we count their Singles Collection CD of course). There is no reinventing the wheel here , just another batch of songs that would do COCK SPARRER proud . From the minute ?Off We Go!? (a tribute to gigging abroad) kicks in you know it?s business and usual . Shit hot production , nifty lead guitar and the usual alternating vocals of Mark and Liam (plus a guest appearance from Watford Jon) . I?ve seen the odd internet troll take the piss out of the Oi Oi working class/West Ham thing , but to the band?s credit , they do come across as more sussed than most these days . No whinging like a Daily Mail reading grandad about dole claimants , no knocking the youth of today , who quite frankly have had every bit of hope taken from them by this bunch of old Etonian fuckwits ( I am not defending charvers here by the way , I?m just thankfully surprised there aren?t more of them!). Aye , it?s refreshing that Booze & Glory don?t play ?divide & rule? - they know who the real enemies are ; the sickening tones of Thatcher giving way to the barnstorming ?Sick Of You? , a tirade against not only the wicked witch , but most of the lying cheating gobshites in the Houses of Parliament. And of the course the big choruses that plant themselves in your head from the very first listen are there in abundance. Comes in a multi panel digipak with all the lyrics and some sleevenotes . Roll on Voice of Oi! gig in June!!
EVERYTHING YOU HATE! Fanzine No.14 ? contact [email protected]
Glossy scouse fanzine that mixes interviews with Louise Distras and Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons with gigs galore and even a visit to a David Bowie exhibition and an ultra critical piece on a Paul Morley book launch. It?s all written in a descriptive , friendly tone although it?s not scared to speak out where necessary ie the yuppiefication and extortionate beer prices of the new version of legendary punk club Eric?s . EYH editor Steve has spent many many nights out seeing bands ? Nice & Sleazy , Fuk Redding , Ablaze (tribute night to local riot grrl zine) , a fundraiser in Morecambe for a lass with cancer, PIL/Selecter , Pere Ubu , DOA farewell tour and a marathon run thru Rebellion fest by European correspondent Ferruccio Quercetti who appears to have seen more bands in one festival than I managed in them all!
A good enthusiastic read as always.
RUBELLA BALLET ? Planet Punk CD (Overground Records)
Brand new CD from long running dayglo anarcho band , and it?s a much darker version than we (and myself especially) are used to in places. There are quite a few slow songs with heavy , almost industrial metal guitars, the odd sample etc, but there are also some cracking snappy upbeat catchy numbers like the title track , ?All Potential Terrorists? and ?Hellbilly Heroin? , a brilliantly defiant retort about Sid?s cancer and how pharmaceutical drugs made him worse while illegal drugs (hash oil) are actually doing him good. Whereas a lot of bands mellow with age and sing about fuck all , Rubella Ballet have gone the opposite way and strive to challenge the establishment?s version of events , be that 9/11 , the illuminati , the banks , the drug companies and the Hillsborough cover up , whilst giving the thumbs up to people who are fighting back (?Anonymous?). The booklet is superb , done in a brilliant eye catching dayglo graphics but easily readable , one of the few CDs you get the same feeling from as old vinyl art.
BARBIE'S DEAD zine no.35 - contact for ordering details [email protected]
With zines almost extinct now , it's good to see the faithful few keeping it going , and here we have the usual mix of reviews , sport and sussed politics . Loads of cut and paste chaos here with CD reviews scattered all over and some good gig/festival reviews also included. There are also a few "my first gig" stories from various zine writers/scenesters from the book Alex abandoned (and who can blame him given the apathy of today)?
LION'S LAW - A DAY WILL COME CD (www.uvpr.fr)
This CD is actually the one that comes inside the LP of the same title (the fully packaged CD is on Contra) but i was glad just to get this as i have heard very good things from the likes of GIMP FIST about this French band. Lyrically it does at times seem to be cobbled together from old cliches from Strength Thru Oi , but that's the only thing i could criticise , as musically this is fucking brilliant ! Take all the good bits from BOOZE & GLORY , NOI!SE , PERKELE , GIMP FIST and all the other good Oi bands from the last few years and this is what it would sound like. Great big choruses , nifty guitars , cracking tunes . Includes guest appearances from members of STOMPER 98 and KOMINTERN SECT too . never off my CD player .
MURDER THE DISTURBED - FURTHER DISRUPTION CD (self released)
Despite having a 7" on seminal label Small Wonder , these flew largely under the radar and in fact if i hadn't scored bassist Chris's record collection and kept bumping into him up the post office i probably wouldn't even have known they were back! But back they are with beefed up reworkings of old songs , whilst retaining the character of the late 70s - that means no wanna-be rock guitarists and no Americanised singing . My mates band BARSE had some really dark twisted stuff like "She Died In The Madhouse" which never made it onto record , using mad sound effects from horror movies etc , and that's who i thought of when i listened to some of the stuff on here. The closest comparison that you will have actually heard of would be PUNISHMENT OF LUXURY but thankfully MTD do it without the self indulgent almost prog meanderings. Tales of damaged people abound (and after 3 years of Tory rule they're not gonna run out of subject matter) but they still manage the odd catchy chorus ("Was It You?") . Good bass lines , chunky guitar and well put together lyrics . It's like Psychoville or League Of Gentlemen put to music. Good stuff!!
ALL OUT ATTACK! - S/T (Self released CDR) Saw these at the recent Sophie Lancaster benefit and they sounded shit hot , this is one of them CDs that ye rarely get bored with as there's plenty of thought gone into it . The lyrics aren't just "fuck the system" but more diverse and while a couple of these are ex BOISTEROUS this is much more political , raging against the bankers and dodgy politicians. Good musicianship all round with some flashy lead guitar bits but keeping the tune and not straying into wanky territory . An album should be on the cards for sure.
NORMAN SILVER & THE GOLD ? ?War Memoirs? LP
What?s this , country? Folk? Sending me this is like sending your kids to Garry Glitter but as far as my limited knowledge goes this isn?t too bad for those genres. Very varied , it starts off with a vocal only thing (similar to MTCH?s ?Ghosts of Cable Street?) and goes through a variety of styles , everything from traditional country to , at times , 60s R&B guitars like I imagine Weller woulda been doing pre JAM. Lyrically there?s the odd political number like ?Kollberg? (anti fascist) but the songs are mainly poetic love song type affairs which is weird coming from the same geezer who used to sing ?Ya cunt I?m a Newtown Grunt!? (yes the singer is Norri from the Grunts). This comes on 350 only white vinyl and can be had from the band?s Facebook page for £13ppd UK.
STREETPUNK THE MOVIE DVD (www.punklives.co.uk)
Stu from Control fanzine spent the late 90?s touring the UK with camcorder in tow to make a movie about the punk scene . The result is this low budget , gritty documentary that covers everything from the Sex Pistols comeback gig at Finsbury Park , to London punk picnics and Blackpool & Morecambe Holidays In The Sun , presented in an off colour vision which makes it look like vintage 77 . There?s some continuity errors (never splice clips when the singer?s wearing 2 different tshirts!) , background noise (traffic/bands/pissheads) makes the odd thing hard to hear , and many of the clips resemble the old telly docs where they?d get the punks pissed on cider so they act like pisshead twats (I am grateful to Stu for not showing me lying on the floor shouting ?cunt? at my mate Frazer before an Airbomb gig in Tottenham , although a couple of other clips of us do make the cut!) , but on the whole it?s an interesting artefact for anyone involved in the UK scene circa 97-99 , and I saw many punks on there I?d forgotten ever existed (some are barely recognisable like a pre fitness regime Dego) and I got tinges of nostalgia at the HITS clips , groundbreaking days when I was still young enough to launch into 3 days of alcoholic merriment, enjoying the bands without every other minute spent chasing up some ducking & diving. It also features band clips; some who bookmark it as the 90s ? OXYMORON , SHORT & CURLIES , ROAD RAGE , STAINS , AIRBOMB ? whereas many others are still going now in some line up or other (UK SUBS , RED ALERT , ONE WAY SYSTEM , MENACE , GUITAR GANGSTERS etc) .
AGGRESSORS BC ? The Tone Of the Times CD (www.facebook.com/aggressors.bc)
Never judge a book by it?s cover! I expected this to be a Conflict style racket but it?s about as far away from that as you can get. These hail from Northern Ireland ; skinheads who set out to destroy the knuckledragger media myths . Musically , whilst never leaving the confines of ska / reggae , it?s all over the place . Some songs are a bit like 90?s UK ska bands like THE HOTKNIVES , some are more commercial and veer dangerously towards ASWAD territory , whilst others Dawn reckons sound like DIRTY REVOLUTION when the bloke sings. The title track is stuck in my head , some fine upbeat bass & guitar work , but on many songs they need more anger . Sorta reminds you of a band that would play an open air festival ? better than all the trendy bands but still lacking that raw edge.
AKA? vs THE UPPERCUTS - Split LP (www.contra-records.com)
THE UPPERCUTS are a female fronted German band who give us a cover of THE AVENGERS "Second to None" whilst their own songs sound like a stripped down COMBAT 77 . They sing in English and are pretty good . AKA? are (give or take a member) Scottish streetpunks HATEFUL doing covers . The word covers is normally enough to send me running to the hills , why anyone would wanna hear a band murder the Pistols or Clash etc , fuck knows. Thankfully AKA? know this and have put together a great collection of obscurities . If the word SLADE was mentioned to you you'd probably think "here we go again- Cum On Feel The Noize- how fucking original , but hell no , here we get a song i'd never heard before , "My Town" (which Shev from the Black Bull tells me is off one of their early LPs) , and what a great song n all. Likewise HEAVY METAL KIDS , you would expect "She's No Angel" , but again you'd be wrong as we get another classic "Delirious". Add to those an obscure 80s TV show number "Stick Together" , a TOXIC EPHEX classic ( i'm not even gonna try and spell it) which any lover of the CLASH's "Stay Free" should check out - poppy punk at it's best. They even make cheesy Andy Cameron song "I Want Tae Be a Punk Rocker" sound great , and i am guessing "Seargent Where's Mine?" is by Billy Connolly but they make even that acceptable , sounding a bit like Attila's Barnstormer (now i know where he robber the tune "New Labour Fuck Off & die" !) . Who needs SNUFF? This is fucking brilliant . Mine comes on light grey marble vinyl , 200 only i think . Check webstore but i only have a few.
FAILSAFE zine (contact [email protected])
One of the very few people that could make nostalgia worthwhile and interesting , David's world ended in 1983 and here's another feast of old timers , as usually brilliantly researched and all interesting stuff. INFA RIOT , THE OUTCASTS , ADOLESCENTS and various actors from Suburbia (the old US film) and even a punk bouncer are interviewed. The reviews are also top notch , various reviewers , some telling it like it is and taking no prisoners , others less harsh , but all good . Long may it continue!
THE FITS - Lead On CDEP (www.thefits.co.uk)
After a ramshackle but rough charm first single my beer addled memory of the 80s had the Fits grouped in the same sorta streetpunk scene as other Beat the System, Rondelet etc bands but when i finally saw em live this year i thought "that's odd, they sound more like The Heartbreakers" and it's that sorta sound that starts off this EP. "Son of a Gun" is more faster and garagy than glam-punk but it's a decent opener . The pace then slows and takes a more 70s rock turn (not for me) & "Chances" (the most socio-political song of the bunch) but picks up again at the end with "The Visitor". Nice to see in these days of mindnumbingly boring promo sheets the band take it back to basics with a handwritten letter accompaning the CD , but i for one much prefer their live show where Mick Crudge will entertain you like a man possessed. Bet HE hasn't got a chippy down his street like us!
THE pUKES - HERE'S 3 CHORDS FANZINE (www.thepukes.co.uk , contact the [email protected])
well here's a first .... a zine dedicated to the ukulele! The Pukes feature in their ranks Clara (ex PMT/Zero Tolerance/UK Subs) who sent me this . Despite the minimal topic , this is no cheap photocopied slung together in 5 minutes effort , it's a professional booklet type thing in jazzy dayglo pink & black print , coming off like a cross between SNIFFING GLUE and a DAMAGED GOODS record cover (whose label ironically they are signed to). The band played outside Rebellion a couple of years back , treating passers by to a rendition of Sparrer's "Because You're Young" and in this you are told chord by chord how to play it , as well as TVP's "Part Time Punks" . There is also interviews and prose from Ukulele fanatics across the UK , a guide to the instrument and it's various models. If you don't know what the fuck a ukulele is , then it's summat like what Atilla the Stockbroker plays , except Dawn tells me THAT is a mandarin. Told you i was a philistine!
UNDERCLASS UK - Live & Loud CD (www.punklives.co.uk) These were originally formed in the 80s but i don't think they put anything out until the last few years. Their mainman is Stu who used to do KONTROL zine and has produced videos in the 90s (Oi!, Exploited etc) and also filmed STREETPUNK THE MOVIE . Can't really pin this down , it's a mix of streetpunk and hard rock , you can imagine em supporting CRASHED OUT but they don't sound like anyone. They cover URBAN DOGS and it fits in neat with their own stuff but still doesn't describe their sound. Some good riffs (I love that R&B guitar in "Harry" ) but lots of dark twists & turns and the odd bit repetition. Great sound quality for a live recording too , reminds me of Hartlepool Studio where live bands could nab a great quality recording without booking studio time....
THISCLOSE - BURNING ANGER 7" ([email protected]) Now here's a novelty ! After millions of DISCHARGE clones here is finally a one that do the "Grave New World" era sound! The back cover is a mock up of HM Govt 12" with Cameron as Thatcher . The songs are well recorded / well played and have that hideous shriek as per that ill fated LP which i assume could only be achieved thru studio trickery!
ACID DROP - THE END OF DAYS CD (www.tnsrecords.com)
With the band photos screaming "new school" and "Americanised" i feared the worst here but this is actually not too bad. The promo sheet describes them as NOFX meets STREET DOGS and i guess that's not far off the mark , "20 Tonnes" being the most obvious homage to Fat Mike & Co , although there's a great deal of variation here (everything from skate punk to white reggae to sea shanty) , and some really good guitar licks. You can imagine em on a bill with THE FUCKWITS or someone , it's ultra catchy stuff but if it was only a bit more ANGRY it would be brilliant . Also it's a shame the lyrics in the booklet are so small as to make em unreadable , but one of the better TNS releases i would say.
RIOT 77 zine no.16
Whilst most zines a tenth as lavish as this packed in years ago Cian keeps this going despite the huge costs that must be associated with it (not just the printing but at nearly 250gr the postage must be phenomenal). If you haven?t seen this before it?s just as professional as mass produced mags like Kerrang and NME etc but written by someone whose talent exceeds their ego and doesn?t bow to trends, in fact ridicules a lot of the bandwagon jumpers in an impressively honest reviews section. The main piece here is a great interview with Jack from TSOL , a right old mixture of social conscience , nostalgia and honesty beyond reason (graverobbing for fucks sake!) . He comes across as likeable (apart from the graverobbing!) and for the most part sussed, although his views on corporate sponsorship of education are a bit odd considering. There?s plenty of gig reviews though there seems a bit of a psychobilly thing going on over there in Ireland, which I have bugger all interest in. Thomas House is a punk pub , Ireland?s answer to the Black Bull . The blokes seem well sound and take us through the numerous pitfalls ? you thought crusties died in the early 90s? Well here is a place cheeky bastards openly smuggle tins in! Steve Rapid from Radiators From Space (and one of Ireland?s first fanzines) goes on a nostalgia trip and Eric from New Bomb Turks keeps us abreast of what he?s been up to lately . Handsome Dick Manitoba from the Dictators is another likeable bloke and takes us back to the pre punk days where all the NY scene mingled but only certain bands would get lucky (Ramones being the most obvious) whilst the Dictators plugged on in relative obscurity. It?s rounded off with another hefty review section. Another excellent issue , get it in the UK for £4ppd from where else but [email protected] (or just use the webstore cart)
GOLDBLADE ? The Terror Of Modern Life CD (Overground)
A lot more varied than the band?s last couple of albums , this also takes a more direct political stance. From 80s style fast and heavy punk to Killing Joke riffs in ?The Shaman Are Coming? (one of the few bands that can pull this off) and even a Clash style white reggae number , there?s something for just about everyone here although I could do without the dark prog number at the end which seems to go on forever. Goldblade hit hardest though when they are knocking out the big singalongs and there?s still plenty of those , the ultra catchy ?We?re All In It Together? (John Robb being the only person ever to use those words without you wanting to smack the messenger in the mouth) , ?Sick and Tired? and the superb ?The World Is Fucked Up Nowadays? . John is planning on setting up some gigs to defend the NHS , and this is where music SHOULD be going , a mass movement is needed like Rock Against Racism except with the goal being fucking up the millionaire tyrants that are waging the class war on us all.
THE MISFITS / GOLDBLADE / DIRT BOX DISCO ? Newcastle Academy 7th April
Early start for this one and straight to the Bodega for a couple of jars with Pelaw Paul and Will (from 80s zine Still Dying) amongst the post-match chaos. I slag the Academy quite venomously but to be fair the door was organised well tonight with no intrusive searches or queues , and friendly bouncers for a change. But it wasn?t long before reality set in as I was charged £4.35 for a pint of Tuborg that tasted like it had never seen line-cleaner. This was in the big room which was partitioned off with curtains to help the sound , although the turnout was sparse ; word obviously has got round that this isn?t quite the classic Misfits line up of old.
First up were DIRT BOX DISCO . If any UK punk band are gonna make it big , it?s these. Let?s just hope they don?t lose their edge cos with this sort of pop punk the line between brilliance and bland is paper thin. But for now it?s fucking rocking! A great mix of early Misfits/Bad Religion and 70?s UK glam ? songs that catchy you?ll be singing them for years, even when the lyrics are as cheesy as ?I don?t want to change the world / I just want to be a girl? (!!!) . And it?s not just the music that?s great , it?s the stage show . The closest you?ll ever get to a LSD induced nightmare without ever having touched drugs. The singer wears a romper suit and Fork Hunts type mad clown make up, whilst the guitarists opt for a furry glam outfit , a WW2 tin helmet , and a balaclava with one eye cut out. As well as the classics from the first album , the new one (out soon) sounds well promising with the superb ?My Girlfriends Best Friend?s Sister? and ?My Life Is Shit? . This is good time rock n roll which can only end in ?Let?s Get Fucking Wasted? .
How the fuck to follow that? Well , luckily GOLDBLADE are one of the few UK bands up to the task, and here we have a stripped down 4 piece . Skullknuckles has gone (I guess too much moonlighting in other bands) and no sign of his replacement tonight for some reason , but that didn?t stop John Robb who many of you will know from his punditry of 70s/80s Channel 4 music nostalgia programmes. Like a quiffed Iggy Pop he never fails to put on a show . He must be the wrong side of 50 now yet still wipes the floor with bands half our age. Onstage jogging , arms flung all over the place, audience participation (and believe me it was never gonna be easy in a sparsely populated dancefloor) , onstage / offstage and unnervingly cheesy banter between songs , all set to backdrop of anthems including ?Jukebox Generation? ?Riot? (which started a pit) , ?Psycho? and the harder new stuff like ?This is War? and the Killing Joke inspired ?The Shaman Are Coming? which worked especially well with this good light show. ?Power Of Rock & Roll? ended another great set with John doing his usual punk evangelist crowd thing.
I saw THE MISFITS at Durham punk fest a few years ago and was left cold. You could barely make out the songs , it was all bash and thrash with little room for the harmonies that made Walk Among Us a classic. Little has changed since then it seems except for a wad of new songs which I assume are on the latest LP which I haven?t heard yet. With the polished sound of tonight it?s hard to tell but I?m guessing it may be canny good - these songs certainly sounded as good as the old stuff , but then the old stuff was absolutely crucified . ?I Turned Into A Martian? , ?Some Kind Of Hate? , ?Skulls? etc were buried under a hail of reverb and a hardcore bass just like the wrinkles were buried under an amount of make up that would shame an Essex girl (not to mention the plush light show) and a ridiculous air machine that made Cadena look like summat out of Lord Of The Rings. Even the pit that started the moment they played the first chord soon died out leaving the mixed audience of teenagers thru to old cunts like me standing bemused. I think the only person to offer any positive appraisal was Dego , but then probably only cos they let him in for nowt! This clashed with a great gig at The Bull (Defects & 2 other good bands) n?all which made it all the more frustrating esp as it took me 15 minutes to persuade Hendy & posse to fuck off to The Star . Still I got in for nowt thanks to John Robb (top man) ? watch it Dego I?m after yer mantle.
BARBIE'S DEAD ZINE no.34 - contact [email protected]
Cornwall's cut and paste collection of articles and reviews soldiers on while many zines have called it a day. And there seems more in it this time and better quality photocopying More than a touch of nostalgia this time as submissions from his abandoned "first gig" book pepper the zine , and it was interesting to read about a recent CULT MANIAX gig too , and a refreshingly honest piece about the new Subs CD which i haven't heard (though if it's owt like the last one, nor do i want to)
EROTIC DEVICES - S/T (Incognito Records) (www.eroticdevices.de)
A German band of fanatical record collectors on (where else but) long running 77 style label Incognito . It's raw basic 3 chord catchy punk here with more than a nod to THE QUEERS or SCREECHING WEASEL . Throw in some LURKERS or THE BOYS and you're getting close. There's the odd awkward accent (particularly the start of "My Neighbour Is A Nazi" ) but on the whole this is enjoyable stuff and only now do i find out that REAL McKENZIE'S best song "Outta Scotch" isn't their song at all , its "Out Of Luck" by POINTED STICKS and covered here too. That and "I Wanna Destroy You" are the highlights for me but it's similar stuff throughout.
HOOLIGAN - No Blacks , No Irish , No Dogs 7" (Oi! The Boat recs)
An eye catching package here featuring the Irish flag with the title done in good old stamper font and orange vinyl to round it all off. Dave Lineham was in The Upstarts in the late 80s and the title track is a strange affair bringing to mind "Still From the Heart" , or The Infas or something , well it's better than those but it's well unusual and even has some Gerry Rafferty type sax in there! The lyrics are of course about London 4 or 5 decades ago when London B&B's after reading too much Daily Mail would put this sign in their windows. A grower but by far the worst track on here . The other 3 tracks are great!! "Calling Joe Strummer" mourns his loss and reminds the world we need him more than ever (how many famous bands these days actually have any reason for existence?) . "Cops & Robbers" is another fast and tuneful number about a fugitive who ends up getting shot , and "Bandit Country" charters similar musical territory telling of the precarious border country area between North & South of Ireland . So one half decent punk-grown-up track and 3 great, fast 77 style catchy anthems with plenty of WOAHHH's . Best thing they've done by a mile.
THE SELECTER - String Theory CD (Vocaphone Recs via Michael Eccleshall)
There are Selecter albums that most people don't even know existed , this is the second in a few years for example. It's not quite the snappy 2 Tone of "Too Much Pressure" or "Three Minute Hero" , instead going for a richer more traditional sound , even venturing into a sort of soul territory in places . Pauline is still well sussed even though there's nothing particularly obvious politically in the songs . Well produced , well played but there wasn't anything particularly standout for me like the old faves.
BLITZ - Voice Of A Generation LP (www.phr.cz)
Surely one of the best LPs ever by (in their prime) one of the best bands ever. This had everything - classic tunes , passion , great , sussed lyrics and the necessary raw edge to top it off. It all went badly wrong after "New Age" of course , but that wasn't really BLITZ by then anyway. Songs like "Scream" with it's simple yet fantastic guitar solo , "Propaganda" (an attack on nazi infiltration of the Oi scene at the time) and many many more are hard for me to listen to these days because it reminds me that it was 30 years ago and i am now closer to pension age (despite the Tories efforts) than youth (how frightening is that) - it's one of those nostalgic anthem fueled releases that rarely see the light of day in today's manufactured big budget studio total lack of character MTV identikit multilayered production faceless download farce of a scene. There is still hope though - Mackie soldiers on with his new band EPIC PROBLEM who get even better (new MLP is fantastic , out soon and available you-know-where) but for newcomers to the scene (if there are still any!) you can't get better than this. Sure it's been done before many times , but this time you get an insert with a very good interview from 90s zine Crisispoint with Nidge (RIP) and a B&W poster. Collector nerds who act quick may be able to get the special edition - the 200 only silver vinyl/cover but thats only available from the website and being in Czech Republic , fuck knows how much that'll cost ye in postage!
SOLIDARITY MAGAZINE - contact for subs etc [email protected] / www.solidaritymagazine.org
Well as hardly anyone is sending me punk rock for review, here's something different . (Trade Union) Solidarity is a quarterly mag full of inspirational tales and outrage in equal amount , all concerning workers struggles . There's stuff here that has never even been announced in the mainstream media , such as the Government making it harder for sacked workers to win at employment tribunals and a very good piece on prison labour - it turns out even those on £22.50 a week are earning too much in the eyes of this government and a prisoner doing heavy work in the warehouse has had his pay cut to £10.50 a week leading to many going back to their old methods of fundraising no doubt - drug dealing! Meanwhile sharks that run call centres are moving in and sacking their ordinary workers to replace them with prisoners. Also stuff on French unions , Spanish miners and all sorts of other struggles in the UK and abroad. One of the editors you may recognise as Becca who used to do PUKE zine so respect to her for helping to set up this ambitious project that aims to unite trade unionists everywhere.
PROJEKT EKAN CDR Promo ([email protected])
The cheaply produced CDR featuring punks in hooded tops had me fearing i was about to have my ears assaulted with badly played DIY /chaos punk , but fear not this is typical solid catchy 77 meets 82 style punk that will please fans of the likes of ANTI-PATI . These are members of old bands SUICIDE SYNDICATE & CDCP , neither of which i'm familiar with , but it sounds good especially the ultra catchy single "Kopenhamn" and "Jag Hater Snuten" . They also do a good more punk version of BILLY BRAGG's "To Have & To Have Not" although i could live without their other cover "I Shot The Sheriff" ! If ASTA KASK had gone for a more 77 sound with added flashy guitar riffs it would probably be something like this. It should be available now on 250 only red vinyl LP
TNS FANZINE issue 14 - contact [email protected]
A Manchester zine that concentrates on new bands , many of which are on the TNS label (one of the few proper DIY labels that trade with others and sell at a fair price) . This one contains Kollapse, Stoi Snak , Speed Dinosaurs, Under The Pavement Radio Show andFaintest Idea (who have managed to blag their way into Maida Vale studios for a BBC sesh). There are also some columns , the best being an eye opening account on tightarses who use every ridiculous excuse imaginable for refusing to support record labels and gigs . People who are about as punch friendly as George Osbourne. There's also a good few reviews but the zine's policy of only reviewing stuff they like sorta spoils the fun a bit.
HARD CASE - Waiting For My Ship To Come In CDREP (www.facebook.com/hardcasepunk)
Billy Riot finally gets a 7" out and here is the promo for it . Basically this sounds pretty much the same as his old band THE VIOLENT FUCKWITS , good catchy Oi style punk only this time there's a bit more lead guitar , almost Rejects style. Has a bit of a MARCHING ORDERS feel in places which is odd seeing as they live 3000 miles away or summat. The title track has all manner off locals sharing the vocals , a lass called Nikki Guttersnipe and also Colin Riot . The titles don't get any more PC with songs like "Beauty & a Bitch" and "God sent me an angel in fuck-me boots" (God will send him a smack in the mouth when Mrs Riot sees it) and there's something at the end that might be a cover (who knows) , opening up with that famous rock n roll eccentric Dana , sarcasm absolutely dripping from the CD player . A good effort .
ONE WAY TICKET TO CUBESVILLE no.13 - contact [email protected]
Good to see the reformed Cubesville still going strong and this is the most packed issue to date with an odd theme for punk rock - that of education . The very work would have my brain hurting , being that i was out of school at the first opportunity . Thankfully the people interviewed on here , various punk academics, lecturers, teachers etc are pretty much sound and not like my old hang em and flog em French teacher . Also has a good interview with THE CRAVATS , the usual off the wall humour and book , film and record/CD reviews , a Pussy Riot piece and TheMob cut out and keep action figures . All for a quid & post (email above address for details)
BARBIE'S DEAD fanzine No.33 - contact [email protected]
Thicker than usual issue of the chaotically laid out reviews and short articles zine . This time it has well worded pieces on Royal worship (laughing at how the very same people laughed at the Koreans ridiculous displays of emotion when the leader died) , a couple of rare and completely unpromoted Subs releases , plenty of stuff on his local team Truro city (it ain't quite the glitter of the premiership , some players not even been paid for months!) and his biking disasters (everything that could go wrong did - feel free to join me in MY sport , in Wetherspoons) . Some non nonsense reviews too , the Destructors getting serious abuse for their Sun reader song , the mind does indeed boggle how you can spend 30 years in the punk scene and come out with shit like that!)
ALL OUT ATTACK CDREP (www.facebook.com/AllOutAttackPunkRock).
3 tracks of hard edged UK Oi , with i think (?) some connection to BOISTEROUS , or at least that's what it reminds me of and their mate Adam is the singer. "Work To rule" hits the nail on the head and takes on all the dodgy bosses trying to exploit the recession by getting their staff to do unpaid overtime etc - "Work to rule - don't be a fool!" . Can't say fairer than that! Well played and produced and it would make a nice 7" .
REVENGE OF THE PSYCHOTRONIC MAN ? Shattered Dreams Parkway CD (www.tnsrecords.com).
Take the best bits from those early 80?s USHC bands , add a British touch , throw in some sussed yet original lyrics and there you have it. 15 tracks in little more than 20 minutes paying homage to beer for breakfast , the sea (!!) and (oddly enough given their views), Clint Eastwood . They rage against shite telly , computer nerddom (and they way people just volunteer themselves to be tracked), ignorance and red top bullshit (?Red top bullshit divide the land, red top bullshit truth be damned?) and they say it better than I ever could . Also comes with an A5 booklet. The best thing on TNS to date no messing
3 STONE MONKEY ? Sex Violence & Profanity CD ([email protected])
The title would suggest a generic Exploited type affair but there?s a hell of a lot more than that going on here , even some Stooges type riffs on the slower songs . The punkier ones bring to mind Cretey?s old band ROAD RAGE but even so there?s still the odd twist . The bass has a booming 60?s/70?s rock feel in places, the old analogue sound, but it?s all hard as nails stuff and songs like ?Assassination City? and ?Propaganda? stick right in yer head. I wasn?t as keen on the slower grungier numbers but even they are done well, and lyrically it?ll have you laughing out loud esp ?Taliban? , the most sarcastic anti war/army song since the days of Chaos UK. Good effort!!
ANTHRAX ? All For The Cause CD & LP
Small Wonder put out some good shit in their time but one of the best was ?They?ve Got It All Wrong? , so could Anthrax live up to that with this, their comeback album? Well they?ve done a bloody good job . A booming production , tight as fuck musicianship , plenty of variation and strong vocals are a good start but combine it with good tunes and sound lyrics and you?re onto a winner. Some anarcho bands come back and put out badly thought out pale imitations of their heyday but not these . So much thought has gone into this , the lyrics tread a familiar path against war , austerity and dodgy politicians and bankers but it?s all done with originality (?Running on empty , the cupboard is bare , held together with a shoe string and a song and a prayer , and all that you work for now hangs in the air , we?re running on empty , buyer beware ?? ). Both formats come with an A5 glossy booklet and large poster , and both come in a gatefold sleeve , with the CD also having a printed outer envelope.
SYDNEY DUCKS ? Demo 2009 7? (Sydney Town)
SYDNEY DUCKS ? flexi ( www.longshotmusic.com )
Met Karl the singer and Mike (one of the guitarists and CEO of Longshot) when they were passing through Newcastle after seeing Sparrer in Glasgow a couple of years ago (an aborted mission for me after breaking my ankle at Durham punkfest!) and finally I get to see their band at Blackpool Rebellion and was well impressed!! The guitars are straight out of some vintage blues rock ghetto , clangy without being overproduced , and Karl has a similar stage prescence to Chris Wright (Crashed Out) and sounds like a mixture of that rocky style and hollered US streetpunk. The standout on the hard vinyl 7? is undoubtedly the excellent ?Brannan?s Fall? that I recognised (despite my rough state!) from their set . The flexi , which I assume is a tour promo , is a good quality uncut vinyl in a similar style with 2 songs ?Stray Dogs? and !He Lives For Today? (which is also on the demo 7?) . This is a band that stick two fingers up at fake modern punk and will please all ye who like the Chiswick sound or the Templars but they don?t sound like carbon copies of either.
ANTIPATI ? Extra Allt! MCD (www.kjellhell.se)
Blagged a copy of this when doing my deliveries to the Kjell posse in Blackpool and it?s their recent 4 track 7? EP plus tracks from (I think) 2 split 7? EPs , one of them with LAST ROUGH CAUSE . A similar clanging guitar sound as PERKELE , a ballsy mastering job / production and loads of good ideas thrown in the mix , what?s not to like? In pizza box style slipcase that folds out into lyric sheet . I can?t understand any of the lyrics (apart from the MAJOR ACCIDENT cover) but this will still be regularly in my CD player . rocking stuff!!
EROTIC DEVICES ? We Vibrate! 7? (www.incognitorecords.de)
A multinational 3 piece clearly influenced by UK77 , recommended by Arthur from THE LURKERS , which is no surprise as that?s what comes to mind when playing this , although the vocals have a bit of an accent and are somewhat hidden behind the 3 chord wall of sound in places . A good single though which will please regulars at No Front Teeth . Cheers Mike !
PARANOID VISIONS ? Escape From The Austerity Complex CD (www.overgroundrecords.co.uk)
Turns out this long running Irish anarcho band have been making dents in the Irish charts (WTF!!!???) and here is their brand new album (out Sept) with a wide selection of stuff ranging from slow almost Killing Joke type numbers to Crass band 80?s dual vocal fare and even the odd poppy new wave tune ? yet retaining the darkness to match the title. Lyrically it?s bang on the mark , and it seems Ireland is a carbon copy of the UK with a fucked up govt making the poor pay for the bankers mistakes . It?s a grim tale told with the help of various well known names that include TV Smith , The Shend (from Cravats , or Eastenders if you?re uncultured) , Zillah from Rubella Ballet and Steve Ignorant . Being an anarcho band a large proportion of their audience will probably be downloading it like the penny pinching band destroying nerds they are , but they?d be making a big mistake as the packaging is superb ? the booklet is thicker than a working class Tory , and the vinyl version will have the first 12 tracks plus the booklet & CD ( as it?s a 69 minute epic and thus too long for vinyl in it?s entirety) . This was not something I could get into , my preferences being 77 style and Oi , but a great deal of thought and effort has gone into this and it?s good to see a band I actually agree with for once!
V/A ? 30 YEARS OF OI! ? NEVER SURRENDER CD ( www.longshotmusic.com ) . Released to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the first Oi album , or at least that was the intention . Not sure what behind the scenes problems there were but by the time this has come out a lot of the songs are no longer new , so regular punters may well already own the songs by Perkele , Control , Noi!se , Marching Orders (although ?Nation of Ghosts? had previously been vinyl only) , Last Resort , Booze & Glory , Gonads , The Ruckers , Evil Conduct , Patriot (at least a decade old to start with), Foreign Legion & Cock Sparrer (although the last two are new versions) etc , and even the brand new Argy Bargy song is now on their own CD . This is one of the very few minus points here ? those whose interest in Oi goes little further than a visit to Blackpool once a year will be knocked out by this as it pisses all over the mid-late 80s Oi! albums and there?s at least enough quality tunes to make another LP as good as Carry On Oi! even! Comes in a lavish fold out digi and a booklet with sleevenotes by various people in the scene , telling of how they discovered Oi! . The sound quality is spot on , a beefy mastering job indeed!
Some choices are baffling ? who for example would want a country version of ?Skinhead Girl? (by Sab Grey) but when it comes to bringing you the best bands in the Oi scene today Bushell has done an almost complete job . We even get to hear the mysterious Masons (did that album ever come out?) the Oi! supergroup (who by the sound of this track have the Rejects on backing vocals ) . The sleevenotes are careful not to encourage the knuckledraggers , Bushell clearly stating ?Fuck racism! Fuck fascism!? although he has promoted the odd questionable band on his site and last I knew he was a member of the English Democrats , now the political home of loads of ex BNP. Dunno how he squares that one but a good comp anyway and I am not even gonna attempt to pick standouts!
ATOMBUZZ ? F.e.a.r. CD
This comes in slimline case and the cover screams ?shout shout arrrggh? but don?t judge a book by the cover as this is not annoying talentless thrash with interchangeable adjectives concerning war . In fact it?s pretty hard to pin down. Some songs are a bit rocky with the odd metal lead but most of it reminds me of heavy UK90s streetpunk bands like Suicidal Supermarket Trollies , and you can throw in a bit of English Dogs , Poison Idea , and GBH (though this is definitely better than the stuff they did after the early 80s) without aping them in any way . It has a good crisp sound and the singer (when not straying into rock territory) has a good powerful voice & there?s some good basslines here & there.
£3.50 including postage from:
http://www.atombuzz.co.uk/ Free Listens here:
FAILSAFE no.? ? contact [email protected]
Yet another cracking issue of the nostalgics bible. This one starts off in fine form with Dave from The Straps covering everything from the Pack/Theatre of Hate/The Wall links , Dave?s other bands (the editor is brave enough to ask the Code 1 question, but gets sidestepped with politician like cunning!) , and it turns out one of the Straps hangers on was Liz Hurley! Also odd to see how many in Sarf London were punks before they drifted to the dark side (The punk on the cover of Straps LP is Ken McLennan apparently!) . There?s an interview with someone from Flipper (thank fuck there?s not a soundtrack CD!) , a US scenester Kriss Kross who makes the journey from hellraising young punkette to caring for the elderly , Gail from Lost Cherrees reliving the anarcho scene as well as bringing us up to date with what the members are doing now (2 of the singers are in my mate Clara?s band The pUKES which I never knew!). There?s another Xtract interview (different bloke) and some informative reviews that actually make you want to go out and buy the stuff , very descriptive and not afraid to criticise where appropriate
THE DROOGIEZ ? Struggle for Existence CD (Dr.oogs recs) (www.facebook.com/droogiez)
Long awaited 2nd album by these Germans who include in their ranks Lars from STOMPER 98 . These are quite a bit different though ? there?s no brass section and they sing in English , and have more of a nod to 77 punk . There?s some Newtown Neurotics style harmonies in there , some cracking bass runs and apart from the odd basic track like ?Liar? it?s good tunes throughout. Some songs look like they?re going nowhere then you?re hit by a killer bridge or chorus. ?Footprints? even has a bit of On File style crooning! Lyrically all good too ? original and sussed and fighting the real enemy all the way , with no time for violent bullies or those who seek to divide and rule .
THE DROOGIEZ / LAZY BASTARDS split 7?
This is one of those efforts where both bands are so similarly brilliant it?s hard to tell what?s what! I recognise the song ?Ruination Guarantee? from Droogiez previous album but this time it?s done by Lazy Bastards who add different harmonies and rocky lead guitar to it , while The Droogies cover one of their songs ?Sad Story? which sounds cracking , and they also give us another Billy Karloff cover , this time ?Backstreet Billy? (made famous by the Business , but Droogiez also covered ?TV Personality? on their previous CD) . Lazy Bastards? own song is also good. Top notch pressing quality too.
HATED TILL PROVEN ? Songs For The Short Of Attention CD (www.tnsrecords.com)
These were one of the better bands on TNS?s last comp and ?Black Bloc? kicks their own CD off . Thrashy and powerful with the odd ska breakdown , frantic drumming , some good riffs and plenty of shouting (although not quite as annoying as other new bands) . This sets the tone for the rest of the CD but there?s quite a bit variation in there too and even the odd NOFX style riff. Sussed lyrics attacking war , government media ? yes you?ve heard it before , but well written and direct. And there?s also an Exploited cover (?Fuck the USA? (USA replaced by EDL ) . One of the better TNS releases.
ONE WAY TICKET TO CUBESVILLE (contact [email protected] )
The offbeat humour of Dicky Cubesville gets even weirder here with an apocalypse themed issue starting in ?where else but Ashton Under Lyne with it?s pound shops , derelict pubs and throngs of track suited people street dining on Greggs pasties and cans of strong lager? (sure that isn?t Stanley?). The intro alone makes you warm to him as it?s dedicated to ?people who don?t go with the flow , people whose mouths won?t stay shut?. There?s a frighteningly accurate thesis on the world of work (?Time Wars?) documenting decades of working rights-stripping. Interesting DEZERTER interview giving us comparisons between communist Poland and capitalist Poland , a subject also touched on by Attila the Stockbroker in his interview.
It says 98p on the cover but email the address above for full details. Plus short interviews with a couple of new bands.
VIVA LE ROCK mag issue 7
It?s quite odd that a big professional mag like this seems to have bugger all advertising budget ? I had never seen one until the badgeman told me it had a free CD with a couple of new Rejects songs, so I searched and found one in WH Smiths . The CD itself is a right mish mash and includes all periods of the Rejects . I can do without the rock stuff and ballad but the 2 new songs are really good especially ?Happy Being Me? , thankfully they lack the murky rock edge of ?Unforgiven? (there are 2 or 3 tracks from that too).
The mag itself is also a right mish mash . At the start I thought ?fucking hell another Smash Hits!? with it?s short and irrelevant mini interviews that avoid anything important or controversial , but it gets better and there?s some far better ones with The Rejects (who manage to sound pretty fair/diplomatic on issues of race and Southall) , Killing Joke , Demented Are Go and more. The reviews also are good and manage to drag up a lot of new releases by old bands I didn?t know existed, although what the fuck Talk Talk (the band not the phone company!) are doing in a serious music mag I will never know. Anyway well worth the fiver!
TORTURE TAXI by Trevor Paglen & AC Thompson (Icon books)
Found this in The Works , cheap , and what a read. It centres on the USA?s rendition flights which sounds harmless enough but what that means is the secret world of airline front companies that carry out kidnap and torture . Regardless of whether they have the right man , local intelligence agencies acting on a CIA bounty will drag terrorism suspects off the streets of anywhere from Macedonia to Afghanistan , and transport them to ?black? sites across the globe - often Egypt which has bugger all human rights (this was written a few years ago ? I am not sure if things have improved after the unrest) . The USA gives these countries foreign aid in return for their intelligence agencies cooperation in setting up torture camps where the sick bastards string suspects up on hooks , leaving them in pitch black darkness for days with spooky music or loud annoying rap like Eminem . In one case a prisoner was left chained up naked and died of hypothermia . Another repeatedly had his cock cut by guards , others were left with only mucky water to drink in red hot temperatures. Needless to say just about everyone ?confessed? in the end , leaving the authorities none the wiser anyway.
The book also traces the front companies with the help of planespotters that ?own? the aircraft , one of which is in the sinister town of Smithfield ? a redneck Christian outback where only a few dare speak out against what is after all the town?s main employer.
ANGELIC UPSTARTS / CRASHED OUT ? The Dirty Dozen CD (I Hate People rec). A quality package here in DIGI with thick bklt containing the lyrics and both bands giving us the best stuff they?ve done in a long while. The Upstarts ?Red Flag? and ?King Rat? are great tunes, there?s the usual uncompromising lyrics (?Nazi BNP?) while CRASHED OOT side is thankfully less rock n roll than the last couple of outings, ?Alternative Generation? a semi- anthem , and sussed lyrics too.
ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE ? This Is War PIC DISC 7? (www.phr.cz)
Released as they gear up for their 2011 tour with MOTORHEAD and boy can you tell. The new song is much heavier with not much room for melody. Not bad but I prefer their more glam tinged rock n roll stuff. The B side is a bit throwaway ; an acoustic version of ?As Good As It Gets? from their previous album. A high quality release; unlike most pic discs it also has a cover of sorts.
BESTIA TRIUMPHAUS ? Vsicni v Jedny Hre CD (www.phr.cz)
The cover to this is pure black metal but the actual CD is a mixture of straight up HC punk , and numbers that give the musicians a chance to show off , like a Czech version of those late 80?s Alternative Tentacles bands . Many times here the well worked intro seems to be heading into a potentially great song , only to find it isn?t an intro , and it actually continues like that through the whole song.
BOVVER BOYS ? You Won?t Fool Us Now 7? (www.longshotmusic.com)
The band name may suggest tuff-guy Oi, the graphics may suggest Two Tone , but this is neither. In fact this is fairly catchy stuff that combines elements of late 70?s independent punk with 80?s streetpunk, and reminds me a bit of fellow Germans THE DROOGIEZ. Further hints are given with the cover of SERIOUS DRINKING?s ?Love On The Terraces? . Lyrically very erratic, covering everything from politics to a love song to mindless destruction, but a good EP on the whole.. Mine came on black and yellow vinyl with lyric inner ? good to see even in these hard times Longshot refuses to skimp on cost.
BUCK EEJIT ? We Are Buck Eejit And This Is Wot We Do & Live & Lit In The Doghouse CDR?s (contact Paddy via [email protected])
A raw but extremely promising Northern Irish punk band for ye?z here , both produced (or engineered) by Buck from The Defects and if you take them , add in the sounds of some other good bands from N.Ireland ( 1000 Drunken Nights , Runnin Riot and Violent Fuckwits ) , then it sounds (to me at least) something like this. It?s 80s influenced but not in a predictable Exploited way . good strong vocals spit out well funny (but often deadly serious) lyrics with titles like ?Cameron (You Cunt)? , ?Terry Hooley? (their less than complimentary but probably still affectionate ode to Good Vibes boss) and ?9-5 A&E?. The demo disc is better than the live one , but a few months down the line I can see em making a great punk album.
CAD ? Tazky Kov LP (My Sleeping Cat)
Czech crust band here. I am no expert on this music but despite completely refusing to allow into it?s midst any degree of melody, it does pack quite a punch. A powerful drum sound lays the foundations and you can tell they are good musicians. They flit between NAPALM DEATH type thrash to mid paced death/grind metal and there?s an info sheet that tells us they are drug free (maybe they drink virgin?s blood instead?) and have been going since 1994 and have shared split 7?s with Unholy Grave amongst many others. The songs contain odes to metal and anti war amongst the broken English translations I got on the promo sheet, and it?s helped by a powerful pressing too. Absolutely tuneless but I am sure my peeling-oranges-in-their-pockets mates will love this, as long as it?s 49p.
CHAOS UK ? S/T LP (www.phr.cz)
A reissue of the Bristol shouters first album that?s been out of print (even the CD version) for years. This comes on clear vinyl and looks almost identical to the original, although the lyric inner appears to be updated. These and DISORDER inspired the CHAOTIC DISCHORD satire machine , and by the time they?d got round to an album any harmony they may have let slip through on the singles was now gone. Yet the lyrics were very well thought out , even their ode to gluesniffers!
DAVONA PSYCHOZA ? Kriza Vedomia CD (www.phr.cz)
I approached this one with caution , the full colour picture of flowers , yes flowers , suggested my ears were about to be assaulted by emo fairies . How wrong can you be . Powerful hardcore edged punk with a driving drum sound and the odd Husker Du style riff . The very thick booklet contains lyrics translated into English and reveals the band to be sussed , concerned primarily with environmental issues (hence the cooling towers on the rear sleeve and Greenpeace on the thanks list. In digipack.
FUK ? New Wave Of British Punk Rock LP (www.phr.cz)
Well after NWOBHM and New Wave of New Wave , I guess someone had to come up with this , although if it means dressing like the 4 charvers of the apocalypse count me out! I suspect the cover is somewhat sarcastic but being ex CHAOS UK , they might be nuts enough to really try it! The lyrics are equally insane , a twisted portrayal of UK2012 that had me laughing out loud , titles like ?ASBO Hitler? , ?City centre Shitkickers? and ?Sexy War Victim? . There?s even a ?love? song about getting set upon by a gang of charver lasses!
Musically exactly like 1st LP Chaos UK except for sinister theatrical rock riffs that pop up here and there. On Ltd clear vinyl with top quality cover and inner .
HARRINGTON SAINTS ? Machine Guns & Molotovs 7? (www.longshotmusic.com) . Neatly packaged in gold embossed sleeve (and my copy coming on clear) , this is no departure from their past works ; just straightforward 90s streetpunk with perhaps a dash of DOA . The musicianship, production and pressing rage like a motherfucka . Just like their LP but cracked up another notch. Another excellent Longshot outing and a fine tribute to MRR writer Bruce Roehrs.
JOHNNY WOLGA ? The Punk Sessions 7? (www.longshotmusic.com)
No idea who the fuck Johnny is ? the name suggests either it?s gonna be an acoustic record (not true thankfully) or that he?s someone famous doing a punk disc as a sideline (no idea on that one). Anyway this takes us back to the days when punk was fun and tunes weren?t frowned upon ? early TOY DOLLS , DICKIES , THE SHAPES , FRESHMEN etc?.. Ultra catchy UK78 style power pop-punk here with a pub rock backbeat, slight dash of New Wave and Olga-ish vocals, There?s even a hint of SHOWADDYWADDY on the last track!!! If you?re a crusty or NYHC fan you?ll fucking hate this, but despite the risky OTT melodies it wipes the floor with what passes as ?new punk? these days . Comes in a Polydor mock up sleeve (& label) and on red & black splatter vinyl too.
THE LOWLIFES ? TV Addiction CD (www.facebook.com/ClubUndergroundSweden)
As anyone who has the Brewed In Sweden/Chaos in Sweden comps there is a typical Swedish punk sound these days , very UK80?s influenced with dashes of Oi , gruff vocals , hard as nails yet retaining a tune. And The Lowlifes sum up all those things on this 12 track CD . So if you like Old Fashioned Ideas , Vindicate This , the old 80s band The Bristles etc you will probably like this. Lyrically spot on as well with the title track saying ??There?s so many famous people on the TV / And they are the reason for your stupidity? . ?Rat Race? is a fine warning to workplace crawlers (it really does remind me of Asda esp the lines ?you?ll realise your longlife mistake/ you?ll be there alone, by yourself? (when I go in there I still see the same arselickers who will be there till the day they die , even if we had a decent govt that provided other jobs) , and for once there?s a streetpunk song about violence that actually talks sense . A basic but very good CD.
MARCHING ORDERS ? Nation of Ghosts 7? EP (www.longshotmusic.com) These first hit me with an excellent split 7? with ALTERNATE ACTION , and the split EP with CONTROL was cracking too and their LP had some really good tracks on. Not content to knock out the stereotypical tuff guy Oi of their counterparts this welds Oz?s answer to UK82 vocals to ultra catchy , original guitar bits . There are more ideas put into this EP than many Oi bands put into a full album these days. 4 tracks and pretty much all of em excellent . On grey vinyl too. Longshot strikes again!
MARCHING ORDERS ? Nothing New CD (www.longshotmusic.com)
Most retro comps are a mish mash of demos varying sound levels and filler , but thankfully this one is mastered brilliantly and has the same sound from beginning to end. Good production esp the guitar sound and quality Oi throughout , despite taking in early MCDs, split 7?s and a 10? . Lyrically gets a bit tuff-guy at times (or maybe Australia just has a higher than average amount of traitors/backstabbers) but it?s good to have an Oi album you can listen to the whole way through these days.
THE NERKS CD ([email protected])
Midlands punk band that recreate the spirit of the 80?s ? no fawning promo bullshit , just a handwritten letter explaining the songs , for example the case that Drongos manager had stashed a wad of cash in that went missing. Don?t expect nerdy pop punk like Screeching weasel/Queers like the name may suggest.. The Nerks include Luke from RIOT SQUAD and the music is good 80?s style obnoxious punk with big Oi choruses , although it loses it?s way in the middle with some throwaway chaos punk, before ending on a high
NOISE! ? Walk Beside Us PIC DISC 7? (www.longshotmusic.com)
Featured in a previous issue of Negative Reaction , this US band feat ex singer of AIRES & GRACES and these tread a similar path only better. ?Blame? is a fantastic song , a bit like LEATHERFACE at their best and the other 3 tracks don?t let up either, throw in the odd bit of CHELSEA guitar , great production and anthemic choruses and there you have it. At least the third different pressing of this and deservedly so , collector scum shall note this one comes in a ltd edition of 300.
OLD FASHIONED IDEAS ? Promises Mean Nothing (Switchlight rec)
Carrying on much in the same vein of their first album but with a mighty production job , this Swedish streetpunk band have the raw energy of EXPLOITED in their prime , compared with the ear for a tune of BLITZ. Simplistic 3 chord attack giving way to big terrace chant choruses . The singer will give cause for concern to any throat surgeon spitting out well thought lyrics covering football (though hard to believe the Swedes envy the Premier League with its rip off entrance fees and greedy players) , their local pub (and other good things they are trying to kill off these days) and even team building piss ups where the company concerned really does think that the staff are interested in something other than the free beer! Very very rarely will you get a 16 track CD that rocks like a mutherfucka throughout with lots of great little lead guitar bits like the very best of US80s punk. Comes in digi pack with good booklet with all the lyrics. Fucking great CD , best I have heard in a long time!!! The old ideas are the best!
PLEXIS ? Vohul To CD (www.phr.cz)
Despite looking like they?ve just walked off a photo shoot for Kerrang! this Czech band play some good 90?s style punk with a nod to bands like NAKED RAYGUN and the US bands of that time, with Czech vocals and lyrics of course. A powerful production job rounds it off nicely.
THE RUCKERS ? Take It Or Leave It 7? (www.longshotmusic.com)
Along with Combat 77 & Gimp Fist these had one of the best LPs on Longshot?s European sister label Contra, and this carries on much in the same vein . Sadly only one new song but it?s grand stuff, top notch streetpunk , starting slowly but building up to their trademark singalong chorus. The B side is a competent version of THE BOYS? classic ?Brickfield Nights? (now ?Berlin Nights? ) but Die Toten Hosen beat them to it a good while ago, so I woulda preferred a new song, but still a cracking little single, on orange vinyl too.
RISING STRIKE ? Bite The Hand That Feeds CD (www.tnsrecords.com)
Most new bands get on my tits to be honest, they all try a bit too hard to be original and throw in trumpets and GOGEL BORDELLO bits , a bit hardcore , a bit out of tune student shouting , only to end up a directionless racket just like all the others. Rising Strike are little different and yet so much better. There?s a good deal of get up and go here , powered by a shit hot production that thankfully lacks the radio friendly edge of their contemporaries. So many things going on (I even spotted a HELLOWEEN riff for a couple of seconds) but remembering to include a tune here and there. The shouting (think RESTARTS/ MORAL DILEMMA) gets a bit much after a while but even the vocals vary a lot from crust to streetpunk . So on the whole a decent listen, although like all student bands, I ain?t got a clue what the fuck they?re on about.
SANOV1- Delikatesy CD (www.phr.cz)
Fuck knows what?s going on here; parts of this are like death metal meets industrial whereas others are like late 80?s heavy hardcore. Like all PHR releases the production is shit hot, and the songs rip from the speakers , although the ultra shouted vocals get on my tits a bit.
SCARRED SOCIETY ? S/T CD (www.scarredsociety.co.uk)
Brummy punk band that ? as far as I know ? formed out of the ashes of DOGSHIT SANDWICH ? They play heavy punk but unlike most of em (former band included!) have the odd tune in there . Plenty of twists and turns and even the odd DKs surf riff. Pure brickwall production and strong vocals (remember when there was little difference between Oi and the angrier anarcho bands, before the out of tune American college boys came along?) . Lyrics are really well thought out especially ?Down & Out? , a tale of a small businessman losing the lot thanks to the Tory arseholes? cuts , plus rants against punk rock popstars , blind patriots , overseas sweatshops etc .
STRONGBOW / RAZORS IN THE NIGHT ? Split 7? EP (www.longshotmusic.com)
A split EP is your chance to hammer your point home and give your all. I?m not sure if STRONGBOW from Germany manage that. The first song , ?Last Respects? is a slow sentimental folky tribute to one of their dads , something along the lines of what DROPKICK MURPHYS have done in recent years, or FLOGGING MOLLY?s more pedestrian numbers. ?Part Of The Problem? , their 2nd effort is more in the vein of their last album, mixing SOCIAL DISTORTION and BOUNCING SOULS. In contrast RAZORS IN THE NIGHT from Boston are yer typical hard edged Oi band that you would find on Headache records in the late 90s. Lyrics about being a pisshead and hating the fakery of LA. In flashy gatefold-with-inner packaging and blue /black swirl vinyl , musta cost a fortune to produce!
TOM77 ? Prisel Cas CD (www.phr.cz)
A folk punk singer from the band No Sympathy , the info sheet hails him as the Czech TV Smith , and that?s probably not far off the mark . My tolerance for acoustic based music is in very short supply , and not helped by the songs being in Czech , but I guess these tunes would work well punked up in a band.
UCHAZIM ? Marnostroj CD (www.phr.cz)
As the bleak packaging would suggest , this makes Joy Division look like The Dickies. A mixture of death metal , black metal and the darkest reaches of Killing Joke . The kind of band who?d apply for jobs in the mortuary . I couldn?t get through even half of this.
UNDERCLASS UK ? Kill The Poor CD (www.facebook.com/underclassuk)
Didn?t realise this band had a history dating back to the early 80s in one form or another. Anyway if you have seen the 90s punk and Oi videos feat Wattie of Exploited , Oi The Video etc , and the later Streetpunk The Movie then Underclass singer and mainman Stu is the geezer who directed those. Musically it?s like a cross between a straightforward 80s punk and , well the info sheet did put the idea in my head , WASP ! Now I am no fan of the latter so although bits of this are very good and well recorded , it doesn?t quite gel for me , partly down to some repetitive choruses too. Lyrically well sussed (how he managed that when he lives in BNP/Working Class Tory Central beats me!) attacking the real enemy , the rich and corrupt govts that send the working class to die in their wars , the state of football today , and yuppification of London. Comes in unusual slimline DVD style packaging with lyrics , although it?s offered as a free download if you go to their Facebook page (don?t encourage the sad bastards is what I say!)
URBAN COMMANDOS ? Art! Terrorism CD (Give Yasel A Shake Records) . Caught these supporting Total Bloody Chaos at the Black Bull and a CD was thrust into me paws by John the singer . These play original 77 style punk with a touch of glam and unusual oblique lyrics . A mix of local folklore (?Jimmy Was a Bankrobber?) and a reaction against our fucked up political system (?United We Stand?).
Tunes aplenty , bringing to mind the days of early BOOMTOWN RATS mixed with SLAUGHTER & THE DOGS mid paced numbers like ?Quick Joey Small? . Refreshing to hear a band who don?t lose all the tunes in a 100 MPH attack with a shit out of tune vocalist like so many around today.
VICE SQUAD ? London Underground LP (www.phr.cz)
An album that the band released on CD a few years ago and perhaps escaped the attention of a lot of you , not having a proper label behind them. Now this Czech label has released it on LP . Vice Squad come in for a lot of stick for their rock edge (and only Beki remaining from the 80s line up) but she has always been clued up and outspoken in the lyrics and they always manage to crank out a good tune here and there. Most of the verses sound great but the choruses tend to be one dimensional with the same backing vocals and repetitive words (?Punks United? a prime case in point). Still not a bad LP though.
VINDICATE THIS! ? Stronger than Yesterday CD (www.myspace.com/vindicatethis)
Yet another Swedish band that sound like they take their cues from the UK bands of old. These have a really good sound like a cranked up TEMPLARS or a harder version of an old Chiswick band. The gruff vocals make it sound a bit samey after a while but on the whole a good show . Also available in the same style is their ?Hard feelings? 7? on ltd RED V.
ZEMEZLUC ? Hledani CD (www.phr.cz)
The veteran Czech punk/HC band are back after several years , which has been spent writing songs by the look of it ? 24 tracks on this new CD with their usual crisp /powerful production , slight melody in places and the odd good riff . 80s style streetpunk meets HC , sorta like the old German bands like Blut & Eisen except with a Czech accent , ie a heavy edge but not enough to make it unlistenable. Great packaging ? I bet the booklet cost more to produce than the actual disc!
V.T. MARVIN ? Neposlusni Tenisti CD (www.phr.cz)
If you thought Geoffrey Oicott were bad for bringing cricket into punk , then fuck me here?s a Czech band obsessed with ?tennis. Oh dear! Musically tight , basic fun punk that probably grew up on a diet of The Dickies or Toy Dolls , these have been going since 1991 apparently . Thankfully (in this case) the lyrics are in Czech !
V/A ? LONGSHOT SAMPLER (www.longshotmusic.com)
RAZORS IN THE NIGHT and BROADSIDERS are both pretty good but they could be almost any 90?s US streetpunk band , so my money is on NOI!SE and SYDNEY DUCKS here with some cracking Oi / streetpunk.
V/A- NO FUTURE CD (contact - [email protected])
Released Emotions were a late 80?s UK label dealing in 77 punk and guitar driven pop punk and now they are back with this tribute to SEX PISTOLS , CLASH & THE DAMNED. There?s been so many 77 tribute bands you know the songs backwards, so this didn?t exactly fill me with excitement, but anyway it?s a peculiar mix of straight forward numbers like (who else) SEX PISTOLS EXPERIENCE?s ?Anarchy In The UK? (sounding just like the original) and LEATHERFACE?s ?Melody Lee? right through to totally off the wall offerings from TERRY EDWARDS (Serious Drinking)? take on ?Bodies? and THE URCHIN STRING QUARTET?s orchestra version of ?New Rose? (neither of which I ever want to hear again though!) . THE CLASH section is generally unpredictable (No ?White Riot? ; instead we get THE BLAGGERS (?Guns Of Brixton?) , STEVE DREWETT (horns version of ?Capital Radio?) , ANHREFN & THE PRICE (?Bankrobber?) and ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER (?Washington Bullets?). THE DAMNED section is a bit of a letdown on the whole with either poor song choices or lacklustre versions of the originals (Leatherface aside). One for the collectors!
V/A ? THESE TROUBLESOME THINKERS 2CD (contact [email protected] ).
You certainly get your money?s worth here with 42 tracks on this double CD of (mainly) new punk bands . As always with the ?new school? there are large chunks of this that seem like a competition to be the world?s worst singer , which is especially frustrating considering most of these bands are very good musically. However , Hated Til Proven , Stand Out Riot and Dead Subverts get it off to a good start , and there are some very good highlights in the unexpected form of Random Hand who?s ?Tales Of Intervention? is definitely the best thing I?ve heard by them, and the TNS camp?s own Revenge of The Psychotronic Man , a DOA guitar fuelled raging hardcore number. There?s a new Down & Outs number which doesn?t quite match their earlier stuff , and a bizarre collaboration from Freaks Union & Dead Pets members with depeche Mode style keyboards (ooer) but if you think THAT sounds bad , wait till you hear From The Cradle To The Rave (rave) and China Shop Bull (hip hop) . The rest of disc 2 is mainly new school punk / HC with those awful vocals apart from the odd dash of psychobilly/trash (X Ray Cat Trio) , anarcho punks ICH (not as good as their album) and Faintest Idea (not the best track on their album). Still great value for money at £6 and you get to hear all the bands you?ve read about at a fraction of the cost of their own CDs.
BARBIES DEAD ([email protected])
Up to number 32 now , and while it isn?t the thickest of zines he must still be losing money at 50p a shot. The usual mix of down to earth / sussed politics (not enough of it this issue) , honest rec/CD reviews , gig reviews (Plymouth punks picnic/ Motorhead,Subs.League/
Girlschool etc. There?s a whole 2 pages on motocross or something which was wasted on me (and most of his readers I suspect) but hey when you do a zine you write about what you do I guess.
EVERYTHING YOU HATE ([email protected])
A commercial suicide issue (no.12) from Liverpool (expensive to produce and bands you?ve never heard of)! Yet he manages to hold your interest, with descriptive reviews, sussed politics and (unlike me) very open minded too! Feat Town Bike, Crocodile God, Gay Truckers, Ex gig review, Canadian punk book review and Ladyfest gig review plus Pete Bentham & the Dinner Ladies tour report
FAILSAFE ? contact [email protected]
Get in there quick cos this geezer takes ?The Scene? to the extremes , dishing out copies at enormous cost (to himself) to all the bands he picks up along the way. It?s retro central but certainly not dull. His research is amazing , often startling the bands themselves, and we get great chats with Mackie from BLITZ / EPIC PROBLEM , KARL from XTRACT and EXPLOITED (circa Horror Epics) giving us the goss on onstage violence , Wattie & Co getting jarped in Spain by antifascists reading too much into an online photo where the geezer next to him is seig heiling (mind you he did say that the London rioters last year should fuck off back to their own countries on Facebook which is not really the way to disprove rumours of racism!) , ONE WAY SYSTEM (who to their credit keep it going no matter how many singers it takes!) , BLITZKRIEG & SPASMS . Lavishly printed , top notch photos and all interviews are taped and flow naturally. Great zine, pick it up while you can..
FLABBY DAGGER no.2 ? contact [email protected]
The UK?s most mental zine here, a sort of disturbed Harry Hill knocking up warped collages , drug crazed graphics and injokes. Also an interview by ex NR man Gareth with The pUKES , a ukulele covers band feat Clara of Zero Tolerance/Intensive Care/The Subs fame
GADGIE ( [email protected])
No 26 features the Peterborough/Boston scenes (zines/bands), Jas Toomer (Fracture writer) memorial , a hilarious trip to see Tragedy in London, scrapping with Nazis who came to start bovver at their local venue, funny and informative reviews.
NOW OR NEVER no.20 ([email protected])
Professionally produced anarchist mag that thankfully steers clear of the boring theory and academic bollocks of most , preferring instead to unleash some warped humour , outspoken rants and some hilarious pieces on the riots esp the free board game in the middle. There?s the odd incrowd joke I didn?t get and do we really need 4 pages on homeopathy (hippies!) but in the main an informative and well funny read.
POSITIVE CREED no.12 ? contact [email protected]
Back after many years is this Exeter based zine , this time giving us decent interviews with Sham 69 (Dave Parsons) , GBH (Jock) , TV Smith and Paul Slack (now in Monica & The Explosions) . All the people interviewed are clued up and the interviews don?t shy away from politics. There?s also some reviews which are honest although at times a tad baffling (Social Distortion last LP 8/10, fuck me , lord help me I never get that old to enjoy stuff like that!). Also a good article on the modern world which is spot on . But hang on a minute I hear you say, don?t YOU do an online zine? Yes , but I still think they?re shit and paper zines are the business so good to see another one back.
RANTAPHON 6 (contact [email protected])
This one starts off like a friendly , rambling zine like Gadgie or something , innocently name dropping scene players & telling you the latest news ; lulling the reader into a false sense of security before it unleashes it?s venom towards rip off merchants , punk rock stars and dodgy politics . This is just like the old days when editors just said what they thought regardless of the offence (or physical injury) it may cause! The reviews are detailed and objective and take no prisoners , take for example this from Steve Ignorant?s book review , when he mentioned the threatened eviction from Dial House ; ?do punks owe us a living? No they fucking don?t you scrounging dossser? and on Steve?s suicide attempt ; ?so pathetic it?s hilarious? , and on Colin Conflict ; ?Stiggers tells it like it is , namely that Colin was a dodgy violent thug of a cunt , so why stay with them so long Stiggy?? . This is a massive read with no stops or starts , just one long rant in miniscule type face (one of the few like this I made sure I did read) which takes us from news to book reviews , gig reviews , zine reviews , politics, articles etc all told with a brutally sarcastic sense of humour. Shades of my old zine in that he?s forever on all day binges culminating in gigs , only in his case taking a notebook to retain some memory at least! Approaching levels of hate previously only reserved for Steve Ignorant we get a page ranting against an anonymous letter I printed in the last zine and a page on Brace Belden from MRR who sounds quite funny (if suffering from the same obsessive smugness you get in shite mags like Razorcake) , and I even found meself reading some of the comic reviews.
RIOT 77 no.15 (£4ppd UK from [email protected])
The king of all zines is back! No wonder so many have packed in when the competition looks like this! Top quality pics, well laid out, crammed with reading and the only glossy mag with an ounce of charisma. The interviews get right into the heart (and soul) of their subjects and you get the feeling that if he interviews a band that DON?T have anything to say, he?ll just bin it. Gets off to a great start with WAYNE KRAMER. Now I?ve never took any notice of MC5 in fact I just had em down as a Stooges type sleazy rock band , but this was a true eye opener. Turns out Mr Kramer is as clued up as they come and has even teamed up with Billy Bragg for a project called ?Jail Guitar Doors? to fund musical equipment for prisoners to try and get em away from crime and give em a purpose in life. Cian?s immaculate research also turns up Wayne?s involvement with GG ALLIN (something else I never knew), as well as his reinvention on Epitaph and his more recent collaborations, his views on unions, war and shitloads more. There?s also gig reviews aplenty , straight to the point (yet detailed) music reviews galore and interviews with KEITH MORRIS (OFF!) , GLEN E FRIEDMAN , DEVILS BRIGADE (Rancid spin off feat Matt Freeman) and NORTON RECORDS. Hugely disappointed to read in the Off! interview that Circle Jerks once played a Republican gig (along with Vandals & Dickies) but somehow Keith Morris came out of it with his sanity intact and gives an interesting and fairly clued up view on America today. Reviews , well I can?t see his fascination with the college punk of No Idea recs, but in the main he is spot on. It looks like every shitty label in Eire and the UK seem to see his glossy big print run as a way to stardom even though they have nothing to do with punk, but thankfully Cian only gives them a few lines each.
SUBCULTURE SPIRIT no.1 ? [email protected]
A bit odd reviewing this as I think it?s sold out, but it?ll give you an idea of what the zine?s like anyway, as she has done several more issues (which I haven?t got round to yet as I?ve been bombarded with back issues of MRR, other people?s zines etc, spoilt rotten me). Various smaller bands from across the globe like THE OFFICIAL , ON THE JOB , ULTIMATUM (who generally come across well) mix with more known ones like LONG TALL SHORTY & FRANKY FLAME. After the epic chat with Franky in my HAGL 20 year anniversary issue , I thought there?d be no stone left unturned but no , Jenny (Woo who has a track on the Bruised Knuckles/Savage Amusement comp CD, tis her zine) manages to prise out of him loads more stuff incl his upbringing , love of glam , more stuff from his U Boat days, acting , Oi , pub entertaining, the internet etc, another massive interview. Also quite intriguing was the Long tall Shorty one , I started off very cynical as due to the odd line in ?Anti CND? then a song by subsequent incarnation Joe Public , I thought they were a typical mindless Cockney Wanker (Viz) sort of band , but he actually comes across as fairly likeable if a bit mixed up at times ? yeah be sceptical about middle class types who?ve never lived in the real world, but I for one would rather have a middle class ?do gooder? than a warmonger sending the working class to die in wars that have bugger all to do with us. We don?t get to the bottom of the Joe Public song ?One Out All Out? though so I will still consider it a scab anthem until I find out different.
A cracking zine , especially for a first issue , professionally put together and very thick, with glossy cover.
TNS no.13 contact [email protected] it?s FREE with LL SAE
This one is the compilation special that gives us a rundown of the bands on their new 2CD comp (see elsewhere). Also there?s short interviews with BRAINDEAD , ENTEZ ANOMICOS , AUTONOMADS & BLACK STAR DUB COLLECTIVE although the questions are a bit Smash Hits , I woulda preferred them to be a bit opinionated like the columns. There?s also a bit on Manchester Social Centre, good to see places like this can still exist after 30 odd years of Tory rule (I include New Labour in that of course). A couple of pages of reviews , still with the policy of only reviewing what they like so those of us (99% I bet!) who like to see some harsh criticism had better buy Rantathon instead. There?s a bit on Strummercamp fest and the usual columns. One in defence of mainstream music , which is pretty odd ? the writer is obviously clued up on other matters but has a weakness for horrible corporate gigs at the likes of the Arena. Since 1980 I doubt if I could name 10 good chart records and even the bands that made em (Primitives etc) churned out half arsed shit on their albums, so I think Andy was right all along with his title Mainstream Music Is Shit ? supposedly sarcastic though? Andy does a bit about teaching and like all public sector workers it?s a familiarly grim tale. One of the worst things Tory Blair did was to swamp teachers with bureaucracy , I know one who works about 10-15 hours a week unpaid overtime. The best column is a great piece by Jim Sorrow that starts in his childhood where the family hide behind the sofa when the debt collectors call, and ends with ?I cannot stand to watch DFS , CSL or any of the other cunts selling sofas on TV . Why do these people look so happy? Sofas are for hiding?
BOXMAN by Harry King
Dunno who does their PR but titling a book about a safe cracker ?a beautiful book about a beautiful man? is mind boggling ! This is a basic tale of a US criminal and his associates and reads like a basic guide to American corruption in the old days with bent cops , bent judges and somehow Harry only going down for a few yearly stretches out of a possible 100. Everything from safe cracking to shoplifting to fencing to burglary to crime politics . A good basic read but lacking a flowing story.
CHAVS ? THE DEMONISATION OF THE WORKING CLASS BY OWEN JONES
Many books have appeared taking the piss out of our Burberry capped friends, but this takes a different line and attacks those in the middle/upper classes who stereotype all of us like that in order to make it easier to attack the working class (just see their all out attacks on the welfare state). It interviews all manner of people, from the sussed & likeable to Blairite tossers like James Purnell, exposing loads of myths along the way & providing some interesting statistics ? one of which being that those evil benefit fraudsters cost the country £1 billion quid each year, compared to the £70+ billion a year robbed from the country by rich tax dodgers . Guess which group is targeted!
Although analytical in style , it is written in plain English and is the perfect antidote to all the boring incomprehensible political tedium written by intellectual show-offs.
I heard Owen Jones on a radio phone in and it?s inspiring to note there are young voices in politics who AREN?T shameless New Labour types who would sell their grandma for a sniff of power.
NEWS OF THE WORLD? Fake Sheikhs & Royal Trappings by Peter Burden
You may have seen Confessions of a Fake Sheikh , the autobiography of News Of The World?s chief investigative reporter Mazmer Mahood ? it?s in just about every bargain bookstore in the country, and no wonder, for it is a sanitised and (considering the potential) pretty boring record of his various investigations.
Not so this book , a warts and all account of what really went on behind the scenes at Wapping, from phone hacking (and how it was done) to the equally outrageous shit stirring , fakery and weird obsessions of editor Rebekkah Brooks. In fact phone hacking is pretty insignificant compared to some of the other things this lot got up to. Here?s just a few?
Mahood (posing as a millionaire oil sheikh who wanted to buy a casino) took his sidekick to America to meet a friend of the Royals. His sidekick tried to get the ?target? to ?arrange? some girls and drugs for his fake sheikh , but he replied ?I am not a pimp and I am not a drug dealer? . So without any joy , Mahood went to an agency , got two girls sent up to his sidekick?s hotel , photos were taken and in a huge spread the next Sunday was an expose on how the Royal friend had organised the girls !!!
In another sting, Mahood and a sidekick investigated a UK chef participating in a French swinger?s scene, got some raunchy photographs and handed the story over to then editor Patsy Chapman. The paper notified the target that it was going to be splashed in the paper that Sunday, and the chef begged them not to as he would be banned from seeing his children and he would hang himself if the story got published. Patsy said ?if I took notice of everyone who said that I wouldn?t have any stories? and published it regardless. The chef hung himself. A similar fate had earlier happened to a lay preacher (also exposed for swinging activities). Neither of these were causing any harm to anyone and ended up dead just to satisfy the titillation of the paper?s easily amused readers.
But there is plenty of humour in the book too. After trying to get a story on rent boys in a YMCA and not getting anywhere one of the reporters dressed up in 3 disguises (3 rent boys) and the ?story? was splashed anyway! During Harry Potter mania Rebekkah Brooks gave the office nerd the job of Harry Potter correspondent , forcing him to come to work dressed like the posh kid, even during the more serious happenings of Sept 11th after which the poor bloke went on the sick then left the paper. Even as far back as the late 70s reporters were dressing up as cash in the hand builders to do a welfare expose. But the all time classic has to be when a reporter and photographer were sent out dressed like Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick to Bodmin Moor to get a story on the panther like creature reputed to have been spent stalking the moor. After getting bugger all except a dose of humiliation, the photographer went to the zoo, took a close up picture from underneath of a puma, and doctored it with Photoshop (removed the railings) , passing off a whole load of nonsense that ended up a massive splash in the paper!
Many other stories were made up (Wayne Rooney slapping his wife, amongst many others), some were stolen from other papers (the only consideration being how much would it cost them in damages vs how many copies the paper would sell because of the stolen story) and a central theme running through the book is a former news editor?s quote of ?This is what we do ? we go out and destroy people?s lives? .
So if you want scandal and outrage , fuck the mindless Sunday papers, buy this great little book. It is, after all, at no one?s expense except the corrupt bastards who pollute this industry.
HATE by Matthew Collins
Now a Searchlight contributor , I didn?t realise how Collins got there and this tells of his life on the other side, running with the NF and the BNP for half of his adult life. Graphically speaking their language , he tells us how he fell into their clutches , the camaderie and acceptance offered to someone who was ignored by his family , the sense of purpose he suddenly felt, even though he was never really sure why he was doing what he was doing. All the tales of violence, intimidation , unprovoked racist attacks that you would expect , right down to mundane stuff like office work, going through newspapers looking for black on white crime and anything else likely to stir the shit locally. After loads of battles and the odd race riot eventually comes the thing that partly led to his defection to Searchlight ; a BNP attack on a library where defenceless women were hospitalised, although he hangs in there a while afterwards , bemused at the infighting between the various characters in the NF & BNP, beginning to report back to Searchlight , and giving them, amongst others, the scoop of a Tory MP fraternising with racist headcases and loyalist paramilitaries . (The MP in question must be partial to the old libel writ as he is referred to Mr X throughout!). There?s the odd bit about C18?s rise and fall too. On the whole an interesting read and thankfully not written in the language of an academic bore.