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The April zine scene

March 31st, 2009 · post by kathleen · 4 Comments

Starting a new feature on Last Hours Kathleen from Scratch That Itch zine has written seven new zines reviews surveying what’s going on with some zines in April 2009!

Lights Go Out #4

£1/28pp/buy through Myspace (?!) at
Did there used to be so many hate lists in zines or did Morgenmuffel #16 inadvertently start something? Lights Go Out is 40% ranting about stuff that annoys them, including t-shirt prices, tall people at gigs, MTV, umbrellas, poker… I can pretty much ring my Grandma if I want to hear lots of unrelated things get moaned about, but there’s a solid Strike Anywhere interview, 12 pages of reviews and a ‘go vegan’ article that isn’t as generic as they usually are. Also interviews with Kid Carpet, Just Panic and Jet from Gladiators.

Beat Motel #9

£1/40pp/PO Box 773, Ipswich, IP1 9FT, UK/
I really wanted to like this issue of Beat Motel – it’s got plenty of content, looks good and its title is in college font. But I found its procreation theme pretty underwhelming, mostly because as far as I can tell, every columnist is male and has written the same thing. It’s a subject that could be really broad and interesting, but with the exception of a couple of interesting articles, it just turned into a blokey sea of ‘kids change your life, best thing that ever happened to me’. Reading it felt a bit like sitting at the pub with a load of 30-something men all agreeing with each other. But the zine/labels contacts page is good and I know I’ll like #10 more. Incidentally, how do you get Penguin to advertise a book on your zine’s back cover?

Jerk Store (formerly Black Lesbian President)

£?/52pp/14 Spring Gardens Terrace, Cardiff, CF24 IQX, UK/
This issue starts off with a bitch about art students and perzines taking over the world of zines at the expense of music zines, which I sympathise with although I have to admit that I always thought Black Lesbian President was a perzine. Sorry. But I know better now, and if I had to read only one UK music-based zine it’d be Jerk Store. It’s nicely written and funny, the interviews are wide ranging and interesting (there’s Dear Landlord, Lucero, The Abortions, Get Bent, Cold Ones and Party Garbage [featuring Ben Snakepit, zine nerds]) and there’s a fuckload of well-written reviews. I can see why people who aren’t that into punk would shy away from music zines, because they can be full of dull interviews with bands you’ll never hear. But a good music zine, like this one, is readable even if you don’t know the bands featured, and it makes you want to find out when they’re touring and get out and see them. Alex implies that he won’t bother going to the London Zine Symposium again which would be a real shame, cos the zine scene would be total balls if all the punks fucked off.

Nazdrove Zine #1

free/20pp/get at a Nazdrove night or message them on Myspace at /Nazdrove
Na Zdrove is a club night and DJ collective from Sheffield specialising in gypsy punk, Balkan brass, Russian ska and all sorts of fast Eastern European stuff with trumpets on that make you dance until you’re in a can-can line with a load of strangers covered in beer. Two of the people involved decided to put out a zine to give out free at Na Zdrove nights, but it’s readable beyond that as the only zine I’ve read covering this scene of music. There’s interviews with bands that have played, a general scene report, recommendations from other DJs (“Musically it’s latinocore with a shot of Russian melancholy, lyrically 80% is sex, 10% about revolution and the rest 10 about sex and revolution”), an article about the ongoing and worsening oppression of the Roma in Italy and Balkan recipes including a vegan baklava recipe that alone makes this zine worth getting. If you’re into obscure Romanian gyp-hop this is a gift from heaven – if you’re in to Gogol Bordello and don’t know where to go from there, this’ll sort you out too.

On T’Road #11

£?/40pp/14 Hessle Mount, Hyde Park, Leeds, LS6 1EP,UK/
This new one from Luke Waterintobeer is the kind of zine you want in your bag when you’re on a long coach journey. It takes ages to read cover to cover and there’s enough variety of subject matter that you’ll find something to interest you – there’s tour diaries, travel stories, football, a zine scene report, live music reviews, record reviews and more. I like how Luke writes – he’s dead posi about sound people but not afraid to give out shit about people being tossers. It’s satisfying to see greedy or awkward bands named and shamed and makes the zine as a whole feel dead honest. I’d tell you to get this but you probably already have it, bring on #12.

Ricochet! Ricochet! #5

80p/28pp/8a Grove Lane, Camberwell, SE5 8SY, UK/
R!R! is the zine everyone wants to write with their best friend, but Paffy and Col are the only people who have ever pulled it off. It’s bent without being a specifically queer zine, it’s arty without being wanky, it’s injokey but in a way that’s actually funny… get this zine if you usually read Beat Motel. I’ve never really gotten over the recentish nu-metal issue which is in my all time top 5 zines, but this issue is quality too – it’s got lots taking the piss out of Camberwell being talked up as a cool gay area, some zine reviews including a total savaging of Niche Homo (I don’t have a copy to review here, but I read it with incredulity as it came off the presses downstairs, the R!R! review has it dead on), stuff about house gigs and reviews of old riot grrrl zines. Get it get it get it get it.

Ploppy Pants #9/ You Can’t Say No To Hope #12

free/16pp/317 Bucks Hill, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, CV10 9LD, UK/
A slim split zine from Roddy and Jon on the theme of ‘teenage metal’, including reviews of Ozzfest 2001, Leeds Festival ’99 and reviews of their favourite records from back then. Both halves of the zine get across that enthusiasm and excitement that takes over when you first hear music you really like – I particularly liked ‘Cradle Of Filth Turned Me Into A Punk’ in YCSNTH where Rob writes about the record he ordered from a Kerrang! review that ended up with him sucked into the world of DIY labels, zines and friendly letters. Also I always like a bit of reminiscing about Leeds Festival, the expensive, beer-sponsored weekend of corporate rock that has become something of a cultural milestone for anyone under 25 with a murky mosher past. What with this zine and Richochet ! Richochet!’s ‘nu-metal’ issue, I’m almost getting over the embarrassment of buying Linkin Park’s first album from WHSmith’s on the day of release.

Right, nearly all the zines I’ve reviewed this time were printed in my cellar. Help me to make the next batch of reviews less of a Footprint viral marketing promotion by sending me your zine to write biased inaccurate crap about – Kathleen, 16 Sholebroke Ave, Leeds, LS7 3HB –

I wrote these reviews in the middle of a night shift on a hospital discharge ward so blame any lack of coherence on the fact that I had to get up every 10 minutes to aid the incontinent and bewildered – including a fella who pissed in his water jug to the brim, putting me off apple juice indefinitely.

→ 4 CommentsThis entry belongs to the following categories: Reviews · Zine reviews

4 responses so far

  • Andrew Culture posted:
    Mar 31, 2009 at 5:04 pm. Comment #1

    Penguin didn’t pay me for that advert, I just really loved the book!

  • Andrew Culture posted:
    Mar 31, 2009 at 5:06 pm. Comment #2

    Oh, and Kath, I was a trainee nurse once too! In fact I taught Brian Eno’s grandma how to use an electric wheelchair!

  • Kathleen posted:
    Mar 31, 2009 at 5:56 pm. Comment #3

    That’s quite a claim to fame – were you a student nurse or auxilary? And fair play on the advert – I wondered when Penguin had decided to target the zine reading audience, ha.

  • Stephen posted:
    Apr 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm. Comment #4


    I’ve just posted you a copy of the magazine I edit, ICE CREAM FOR QUO. Hope you like it.