Thursday, December 30, 2010

CornDog Records

CornDog Records has existed now for more years than I care to mention.  We haven't been terribly busy recently so we've shut our website down and moved to this blog.

Over the years we've put out some really nice releases from the likes of Los Salvadores and ZEEB?  But rather than trying to explain all that in a verbose blog posting here's some text we saved from our (now defunct) old website:

Click here for the current Corndog Records website...

We are Corndog Records, who the hell are you?
CornDog Records was formed around 1998 (roughly) to help promote the small number of bands in Ipswich. The idea was to bring everyone together to share contacts, put on gigs and generally help each other out.

Us putting on a series of gigs that went pretty well, so we put out a compilation album called 'Grand Theft Ippo', which sold out pretty much immediately.

After a couple of years the number of bands in Ipswich went from a handful to well over 100. Corndog Records simply couldn't cope with the demand so we started a new site to help promote this new and busy scene. was born.

CornDog Records stepped up a gear and worked on setting up distribution for our first few large scale releases. We had a pretty decent distribution deal for a while, but didn't get on too well with what might now be called 'traditional channels' and things naturally came to an end.

As is often the case when trying to help other creative folk we realised that we didn't have any time left to work on our own creative projects.  That being said we're bound to do something again in the future...

We're not wishing to boast, but we have been quite busy with various bits and bobs in the past, and while our website might be gone there's plenty of versions available of it here -*/

Old Stuff...
In the past we've done stuff with these fine folk:
Dan Foden
Juci Da Funk
Junk Culture
Los Salvadores
Immortal Alice
Ok Hotel
Red Flag 77
Violent Playground

Beat Motel zine issue #10

The juice...
Wow, we made it to the big 'one-oh'! We've been sitting on this issue for a bit longer than we intended, but after getting 'zine of the year' in Big Cheese magazine and then a nice bit of hype from The Metro newspaper we decided we probably ought to give the world what it (apparently) wants - a new issue of everyone's favourite home for knob gags and shoddy belief systems.

Buy this issue of Beat Motel and you will be treated to:
  • Feckin' loads of smart/ funny/ dumb columns from our talented and (mostly) housebroken contributors
  • More release reviews (CDs etc) than you can shake an oil covered BP branded stick at
  • Interviews (yes really) with The Thermals and a few other bands
  • These Arms are Snakes tour diary
  • Mum Locked in Castle tour diary
  • An interview with an independent horror film director
  • Facts about farting
  • Misguided and partially stolen humour
  • All kinds of other random bits of bobbinous stuff that you've come to love and crave like the salivating dogs that you are
So there you have it, a clear rational argument about why you should invest such a pissy amount of money to buy issue ten of BEAT MOTEL (oops, sorry for shouting). And if you buy it and don't like it then you don't stand a chance of getting your money back, but as we print using recycled paper you can at least wipe your arse with our pages without getting nasty rectal paper cuts.


Zine cover price is £2, P&P inside the UK is £1.00

Now then Gadgie - The Book!

Book published in 2010 by CornDog Publishing, this intro was written by the author - 'Marv Gadgie'

Book price £5.00, P&P (in UK) is £1.50

So here’s “Now Then Gadgie”; a book what I did write all by myself. A book? Gadzooks! How did this come about you ask? The screen goes wobbly and we all travel back in time to 1997...

I had been living in Boston for about six months (a town I had never heard of until ... well, that’s another story) and the local punk scene was just getting back on its feet. In an attempt to contribute and document the wonderful world of fen punk I decided to knock together on a state of the art electric type writer a fanzine. Issue 1 was released in a flurry of underwhelming local apathy but all 35 copies were successfully released in to the wild and a second volume appeared.

There came a point however where I realised that there are only so many times you can fill a zine with “... then Urko took to the stage and completely decimated the entire venue leaving a dusty pile of rubble and broken and battered punters. Poindexter were alright as well ...” before it got a bit samey.

By about issue three then I started indulging myself (and Gadgie’s small but growing readership) in my love of dubious post apocalyptic world flicks – has anyone else on earth ever seen America 3000? -  even dodgier Sci-Fi like the wonderful Buck Rogers and the true life documentary Planet of the Apes and of course, Blondie. Issue 4 saw me invest in a PC! Taking this a step further and after much jovial discussion and encouragement from the ever amusing and sadly late Jas Toomer, I also began including tales from my youth in the pages of Gadgie zine.

And so it came to be, Gadgie seemed to develop a reputation for being somewhat irreverent and filled with tomfoolery from yesteryear (and more recent times) as I delved deep in to my memory to dredge up all manner of stories to entertain an ever growing readership. It was these stories that seemed to touch on something with the punks that picked up Gadgie, reviews were generally positive, and other zines (Suspect Device and Scanner in particular) invited me to contribute to their own pages, all of which encouraged me to go on. And on. And on.

Enter Mr Andrew Culture who became Gadgie’s number one fan and also PR man as he took stacks of the zines, sold them through his distro and returned for more with alarming regularity. “Marv, have you ever thought of writing a book?” he asked me one day and do you what? Yes. Yes I ruddy well had. I had in fact taken all the story type content from the zines, eliminated reviews, news, interviews and the ranting and raving that most “early issues” contain and had begun piecing it all together already. When completed it read like some biographical narrative tracing my life from the mean streets of late 70’s/early 80’s North East England to the modern day where

I reside in Boston as a happily married, father of one, PE teaching, punk rocking, fanzine writing, thirty something who really should know better.

That my friend is what you have in your hands now. Playing out on bikes, vanquishing the Bodo Glimpt sackys, the bum and tail show, psycho Science teachers, Cross Country fun and games, crawling through the dead cow tunnel, getting chased by Boss Eye and Gnome, Boston Youth Crew mooning the nazis, shitting in the pissoir, the dog shit den, the swimming baths locker rats, the frozen dog biscuit shop, people pooing on football terraces, asthma attacks ... it’s all there (all the, ahem, favourites) collated in to one volume. 

Marv Gadgie 

‘Now Then Gadgie’ is the best collection of childish tales and punk rock adventure ever to come out of The Fens. This book collects all of the best bits from the legendary long running zine ‘Gadgie’ and is guaranteed to make you laugh, chuckle, titter, guffaw with stories with titles like ‘poo sticks and clemmies’, ‘the wanger wanger’ and ‘the exploding Christmas tree’. 


Foreword by Andrew Culture
Trying to remember when I first found out about Marv and his zine Gadgie is a bit like trying to remember the first time I giggled at someone saying the word penis. I know it was probably a good number of years ago, I am fully aware that discovering it was like having an extra ray of sunshine enter my life, I know that I still find it as funny now as I did when I first learned of it, but I just can’t remember when the discovery was made. Ultimately the exact time and date I discovered Marv’s tales of youthful remembrance is about as irrelevant as remembering the first time I laughed at someone guffing; both have become fairly integral parts of my life and things I have no desire to be without.

I don’t want this introduction to give you the impression that Now Then Gadgie is a puerile publication – it’s something so much better – it’s a collection of anecdotes that contain something that we can all identity with. Marv’s stories appeal to young and old alike and show just how much skill the author has in his observations, they paint a picture of someone with a huge heart, and an even bigger capacity for mischief! 

This book is also proof that if you look at life with a slightly tilted head, you’ll have a lot more fun. So get yourself comfy, prepare libation, and digest some Gadgie…

Read reviews for the 'Now then Gadgie' anthology...

Corndog Publishing Zine Distro

CornDog Publishing Zine Distro was a zine distro that I ran for a few years, the distro started by accident after I ended up with boxes and boxes of zines from around the world that I had traded for with copies of my own zine 'Beat Motel'.  I think I was the first UK distro to have a full e-commerce site, and at it's peak CornDog stocked around three hundred titles from all around the world.

But CornDog was a victim of its own success and in the middle of 2010 I made the difficult decision not to take on any more stock.  It was a tough decision but one that had to be made - I ended up spending so much time stocking and promoting other folk's work (for no money, because zine distros never do make any money) that I had no time left to dedicate to any of my own creative output.

Now then Gadgie
As something of a parting shot I published a book collecting together all the best bits of one of my favourite zines, the book is called 'Now Then Gadgie' and can be bought from this very blog on this page-

Beat Motel #10
The only other thing I had in stock when I closed the CornDog Publishing Zine Distro doors was issue #10 of my own zine 'Beat Motel', and that can also be bought on this blog here -

Bye bye CornDog...
So it only remains for me to say fight the good fight, keep on developing this fantastic underground publishing network of ours, and above all keep it non-pretentious!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Zine Review | No One Rules Ok! #2

£1.00 for 40 A5 printed pages

I’m blogging this fanzine review because I’ve just put out a new issue of my own zine Beat Motel and gawd knows how long it’s going to be before the next issue comes out (if ever).

I’ve never heard of ‘No One Rules Ok!’ before and in what has become a very small and cliquey zine world that’s reassuring in its own right, what’s more reassuring is the fact that this zine is well-written, well thought out, intelligent and full of personality.

The biggest feature in this issue is a very long (but very cool) interview with Steve Ignorant of Crass – I’ve never been a fan of Crass but (as with any well written interview) there’s plenty here to hold my attention.  Steve Ignorant comes across as still very much having something to say, and zinester Justin is respectful, keen, but not in any way sycophantic.  It’s a tone of interview that works well throughout this issue of ‘No One Rules Ok!’ and makes the whole issue really enjoyable.

This music heavy fanzine (and thank god zines like this still exist) is also peppered with a few thoughtful paragraphs on various topics, all with the anarchic attitude that keeps me interested in punk rock based fanzines (as apposed to arty farty shite zines).  Bands featured include Drongos For Europe (surely the most zinester interviewed band ever), The Warriors, The Sex Pistols experience (surprisingly enlightening) and a hilariously excellent mini-history of Fire Exit.  Features include bits on Glasgow punk, Ulster punk and a smattering of book reviews.

I’m always a bit disappointed when zines don’t contain reviews of other zines as it seems a little ‘unhelpful’ to the cause, but then if I’m starting to expect anything at all from zines then I’m kinda missing the reason they exist in the first place aren’t I?!?

Grab a copy by emailing or by sending a quid (and fifty pence for postage) to Justin, 30 Humber Ave, Brickhill, Bedford, Beds, MK41 7EL, United Kingdom.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Bluetones + Married To The Sea live at Norwich Waterfront 12/12/10

Ah the Waterfront in Norwich, I’ve been seeing bands here for nearly twenty years and every time I walk through the doors I’m immediately filled with an odd sense of excited nostalgia.  My enjoyment of the first act ‘Married To The Sea’ reminded me that one of the things I really love about The Waterfront is that it’s the exact right size venue to showcase new bands.

Married To The Sea (MTTS to friends) played a sort of thoughtful bouncy slightly noodling indie.  ‘Indie’ has become something of a dirty word of late but I can’t think of a better description for MTTS – they were accessible but alternative, poppy but innovative.  They had a nice banter around with the crowd (including I think the first reference to American sitcom ‘The Middle’ that I’ve ever seen on stage) and surprised us all by brandishing an accordion for a few numbers.  All in all very enjoyable, and probably one of the most appropriate support acts for The Bluetones I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen The Bluetones many times!)

Having seen The Bluetones at least once a year for god knows how many years it always feels a bit like watching old mates turn up when they amble onto the stage, but not in a creepy stalker type way, more in a ‘distant cousin that you only bump into at family occasions’ type way (only with better music and less social awkwardness).  Singer Mark Morris seemed a little distant and unsure for the first few numbers tonight, that could be because his band were brave enough to start a set with a new song, or (far more likely) he was scoping the room, scanning the horizon, getting a feel for the crowd and many other clichés beside.

Playing a nice mix of songs from their considerable back catalogue there was something for everyone in what was a pleasingly mixed room age-wise.  Last night The Bluetones were ably aurally augmented by a big haired lad called Andy tinkling the ivories, which gave them the opportunity to unleash a few tracks that I haven’t heard for years, most notably (and warmly received) ‘Mudslide’.

By half time (a phrase wholly accurate given the amount of Norwich City and Ipswich Town fan banter rattling around the crowd) The Bluetones were comfortably in their stride, and reminding fans new and old why they continue to be an essential fixture in our lives.  Their initial hit ‘Slight Return’ was introduced with a somewhat apologetic caveat that it would be the last time the band would play it for a while, the reaction from the fans was mixed to say the least but it’s my opinion that in dropping this song they’re giving newer songs a bit more space to breath.  And that’s what keeps The Bluetones so damned interesting – they just keep getting better and better.  Stylistically, musically (and possibly ecumenically) The Bluetones noticeably change with each new album but somehow the old songs and albums retain relevance as signposts and teasers to what might come on the next recording.

Before this review disappears up its own arse I’ll end by saying that The Bluetones have now finished their set with ‘If’ for so many years that the opening bass riff has a Pavlov’s dog type reaction on my bladder.  I hear the song and my body knows on a subconscious level that soon will be the time for a quick wee before (in the case of last night) the long trudge back down the A140 to Ipswich and home.

Until the next time old friends; you’ve done yourselves proud.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The curious incident of the black ties and the fake taxi.

By Andrew Laws

A very odd thing happened to me in London last week, but this tale would be short and uninteresting if I was to tell you exactly what happened here in the opening paragraph of this story, so please indulge me for a moment and allow me set the background to this curious incident for you…

Occasionally my work takes me to places friends and associates would be most surprised where they to see me in.  Last week I was the official photographer for a prestigious Annual Dinner event in central London; it was for a client whom I have been working with for a very long time.  In fact this was the tenth time I have donned a dinner jack and Dickie bow and joined my client (and about six hundred of their guests) for a sit down slap up meal, an informative speech and some chuckles fed from a comedian.

Usually at these events nothing more is required of me than to sit, eat, nod appreciatively (regardless of my lack of comprehension of the speeches) and let loose a few barrages of belly laughter during the comedian’s spot, but this year I was asked to be the photographer.  If you know me then you’ll know this isn’t as strange as it firsts sounds – I am a professional photographer but my quarry is usually music related.  A room full of ladies in fancy dresses and gentlemen in matching black dinner jackets provided what could charitably be called a ‘new challenge’ to my photographic abilities.

After I had spent several hours capturing the ‘essence’ of the evening the meal had been devoured, the speeches had been spoken and when the assembled lubricated hoards had moved from the huge dining room to the huge bar/ drinking/ mingling area I declared my job done and took myself outside for a smoke.  Those of you who know me (in addition to knowing that I’m a photographer) will also know that I don’t smoke, well not normally, not really, not very often, at all, honest guv.

I made my way to the grand side entrance of the hotel hosting us and braved the ice and snow to shiver up a roll-up.  Because I have been associated with this particular client for more years than I care to tell you many of the guests know me, and my time outside was full of ‘hellos’ and ‘long time no sees’.  So when one middle-aged gentleman in a long jacket approached me and asked for a light I thought nothing of it.

As this long-jacketed gentleman started chatting to me a few things made me suspicious that he may not have just enjoyed the three courses, fine wines and small after-dinner chocolates the rest of the folk present had.  He wasn’t wearing a dinner jacket or black tie so you could call that the first clue that he was not ‘one of us’, and the fact that he was asking those exiting if they needed a taxi was the final and more revealing clue.

We exchanged polite nothings for a few minutes, me in my particular accent, and he in an accent originating some way ‘south of the river’.  His car was parked at the kerb and when he fetched a scarf from the boot I noted that his taxi licence plate was conspicuous by its absence.  That would go some way to explaining why guests at this dinner were not keen to take him up on his offer of a lift.  I guess there are many folk in London who try their luck at earning an additional income by offering their services as unlicensed cabbies in the evenings, and as this chap wittered on about nothing in particular my mind set itself to wondering what his day job might be.

My cigarette ran its course and as I turned to return to the warmth of the crowd indoors this man lent towards me and raised his eyebrows in a conspiratorial fashion that made it clear he much desired my attention for a moment longer.

“’Ere, are you ‘ere wiv your girlfriend?”

I replied that I was not, and went on to explain that I am happily married, but on this occasion I was not lucky enough to have my ken graced with the presence of my darling wife.

“You want company?”

I politely declined the offer and left he who made it to enjoy the night air without me.  As I wandered through the throng to the bar I smiled to myself – now I knew what this unsuccessful unlicensed cabby did for a day job; he’s obviously an accountant.  What a damning exposé of the affects of the current financial climate though; how hard are times for accountants that they are forced to approach total strangers and offer to incorporate companies for them!

Forwarding a domain name to a website using your account

I have used for UK domain purchases and management for many years and one of my favourite features of thier service is the domain forwarding.  Instead of setting up a domain on a web server and putting a code or DNS redirect in place you can point your domain name at an existing website from your control panel.

If you are forwarding a new domain name you can skip straight to number 8 on this list of instructions.  If you are forwarding a domain name that was previously set up on a web server (i.e you had set the NS/ name servers) you need to follow all the instructions below:
How to forward a domain name to an existing website:
  1. Log into
  2. Click 'My Account' (at the top of the screen).
  3. Click the 'D' button (Click here to administer domain names)
  4. Click the 'D' button next to the domain name you wish to set up forwarding for
  5. Click the big button that says 'Come back to Easily'
  6. At the bottom of the next page click the 'Process' button
  7. Click 'my account' at the top of the page
  8. Click the 'D' button (Click here to administer domain names)
  9. Click the 'W' button next toteh domain name you are working with
  10. Make sure the drop down box at the top of the page displays 'External website (Web Forwarding)
  11. Click the 'Change' button next to the drop down box
  12. Enter the exact URL that you wish to forward the domain to in the web forwarding box at the top of the screen
  13. Select 'None' for the masking option if you want visitors to see the address of the website you are forwarding to, or 'Frames' if you want them to see the domain name that you are currently working with.
  14. Click the 'Save' button
  15. You're done!  It's worth noting that changes in forwarding can take up to 24 hours to go through

If you get stuck the nice folk at are always there to help you out!  If you require help manaing your domains and website have a look at

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why do I have to copy weird text from a box when filling in a form on a website?

The warped text shown just above the submit button on a website is called a ‘CAPTCHA’.  Some websites ask you to type out the distorted text shown in a CAPTCHA box to prove that you are a genuine human being and not a malicious bit of software (a.k.a a ‘bot’).  The human eye can easily decipher the text shown in a CAPTCHA box, whereas software can not.  Unless CATPCHA text is correctly entered the submit button on a form won’t work, therefore if a bot can’t read the text then it can’t submit the form.

If websites didn’t ask you to take a moment to ask you to prove you are human the organisations behind them would be left open to (at worst) a cyber attack and/ or (at best) a large amount of spam from automated sources.

CAPTCHA forms also help protect websites from brute force attacks whereby a bit of code is used to repeatedly submit a form until the website breaks, and (sometimes) exposes confidential information.
So by taking a moment to copy the text you see in a CAPTCHA box before submitting information on a website you’re helping organisations protect themselves from hackers and spammers.

More about CAPTCHA

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why you should always ignore virus warning emails

In ye olden days of the Internet folk ran amok scared witless of terrible viruses that promised to destroy data, damage reputations and bestow cruelty on small kittens and cute puppies.  While it’s true that viruses do indeed present a significant threat there’s a very good reason why you should ignore emails you get from friends and well wishers warning you about new viruses hiding around every virtual corner.

The sad truth is that there are now probably many more of these virus warning emails whizzing around the internet than there are actual virus laden emails.  It would appear that the miscreants who like to cause a rum pickle for honest folk like thee and me don’t have to go to all the bother of actually writing viruses to disrupt email systems any more – they just write a virus warning email!  Why go to all the hassle of creating a virus that will send itself to someone’s entire address book when the owner of the computer will willingly do the job for you!?!

The chances are you are already protected by virus scanning carried out by your email provider, virus protection/ security software on your computer, and with any luck you are protected by your own common sense.  You are NOT protected by apparently vigilant friends forwarding you emails ABOUT viruses!  Incidentally if you use webmail like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail then there’s a very good chance you’ll never see a genuine virus email – they’re removed long before they reach your account.

New viruses (the ones that actually do cause damage) do most of their damage within minutes of being launched (released into the wild as it were), and after which point they are made pretty much inert by anti-virus providers figuring out how to block them.  So when you get an email warning you about a virus – more often than not an email which has been doing the rounds for YEARS – then it’s already far too late for you to take any action!

There are two golden rules that will protect you from viruses far better than receiving (or heaven forbid forwarding) these useless virus warning emails:
  1. Don’t open attachments that you’re not expecting
  2. Keep your anti-virus software  up to date

I’ll leave you with this final thought in the hope that it might not only get you to stop forwarding these pointless virus warning emails, but also in the hope that you will help spread the word – when you forward a fake virus warning then there’s a very good chance you’re exposing not only your email address to spammers, but also the email addresses of all your friends.  Have a look at the next virus warning email you get, I’ll bet it contains the email addresses of a lot of people you don’t know; do you really want to be the one who exposes the personal email addresses of your friends to people they don’t know?

Please stop paying any attention to emails that warn you about viruses, just delete them!  Break the chain!

Monday, November 15, 2010

11 business hints for newbie Twitter users

Twitter is now being taken very seriously by a great number of organisations, but quickly getting your Twitter activity up to speed effectively can be a challenge.

Assuming that you understand the Twitter basics here are eleven hints that will help you start to effectively explore what Twitter can do for your business:

  1. Messages posted (tweets) are more effective if they appear to have come from a human rather than being too flat and business-like in tone.
  2. is a lot easier to use than and has many features that Twitter doesn't (like team posting and scheduling)
  3. Tweets are more effective if spread out, do this by using the scheduled tweets feature of Hootsuite.  This is particularly useful for promoting newslettters on Twitter.
  4. Links in tweets are incredibly useful for driving specific traffic (visitors) to your site, but it is essential to link directly to the page/ content you are referring to.  It doesn't matter if the link is long because Hootsuite can automatically 'shrink' it for you
  5. Hash tags are a good way to draw people who aren't following you to your information.  Users clicking hash terms in other Twitter streams are automatically shown all the other tweets from around the world on the same topic, so hash tags are a good way to show thought leadership and market presence!
  6. It looks far better to have a great deal more people following you than you are following
  7. Make sure the messages that you post are as short as possible, that way they're far more likely to remain intact when people retweet them (forward them to their own followers)
  8. Retweeting interesting tweets by third parties are a good way to develop your Twitter stream as a source of relevant information for your followers, but make sure your own tweets outnumber retweets at least two to one
  9. Bear in mind that everything you tweet is potentially readable by anyone in the entire world, therefore if you need to talk to someone privately send them a direct message (DM)
  10. Hootsuite automatically displays tweets from third parties that are referencing you in a column.  You can also set up columns to track hash tags, these are very useful for keeping an eye on what everyone else on twitter (the TwitterSphere) is saying, it's your finger on the pulse!
  11. Have fun! Above all else you will gain (and keep) followers if you make sure the messages you broadcast have a human feel to them!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It wasn’t pink.

By Andrew Laws

As I’ve mentioned before; the atmosphere in The Steamboat is usually calm and relaxed, but sometimes a mischievous wind blows through the bar and even the most restrained of regulars can get a little wild.  I say a ‘little’ wild because while spirits might raise occasionally nothing really bad ever happens.

Steamboat Tavern

One of the most subdued of The Steamboat regulars is a bloke called Steve Soup, and he’s never so much as raised his voice above a murmur before, so when we were all getting a bit rowdy last Tuesday his little outburst took us all totally by surprise.  Let me explain…

We were all enjoying a quiet Tuesday night drink and it was such a slow night that Big James the barman was tidying up the funny little room behind the kitchen.  The funny little room behind the kitchen is one of those rooms that all old pubs have, a room where things get put when a home can’t be found for them anywhere else.  We heard James chuckling to himself and after much pleading he came through to the bar with a large cardboard box to show us what was making him titter so much.

This large cardboard box contained what we could only guess was a collection of lost property from a simpler age.  We all had a good rummage in the box and each claimed something that we either found amusing or desirable (mostly the former).  Then things started getting silly.  James started pulling out odd hats and garish scarves and doing impressions, none of us knew who he was trying to impersonate but that just made it all the funnier.  The more obscure and bizarre the impressions got the more we laughed and tried to join in.  If these scene had taken place in a primary school classroom and all the players had been of an appropriate age I dare say we were making so much noise that the teacher would have given us an ‘oi oi oi’ and demanded that we settle down.

But as we aren’t primary school children - and Big James has never exhibited any interest in scholarly discipline - we became louder and louder until a particularly thick pair of glasses brought our fun to an unexpected end.  James pulled said milk bottle bottom spectacles from this box of forgotten wonders, put them on and proceeded to do an impression of what I can only describe as Mr Magoo’s 6’ 5” younger brother.  Our howls of laughter were brought abruptly to an end when Steve Soup slammed the flat of his hand down on the bar and yelled a most vocal disapproval.  We all froze, people stopped drinking mid-sip, pool balls stopped rolling on the table, darts hung in mid-air and I dare say if the landlady hadn’t gotten rid of the old vinyl jukebox then a record would probably have stopped turning on it’s turntable!

Steve grabbed his cigarettes and minced out into the pub garden in lieu of an explanation, and once normally started to restore itself to the fringes of our stunned group I followed him.  I must admit I wanted to find out how we had upset Steve as much out of curiosity as compassion.  By the time I joined him on one of the old picnic benches he had sucked the life out of one cigarette and was hastily trying to get another one on the go.  Before I had a chance to open the interview Steve apologised, and told me that he wanted to explain why Big James had touched a raw nerve.  This suited me just fine so after I had made a trip to the bar and back to buy us both a fresh pint he told me this:

“You know me old mum still lives up on the moors near Newcastle right?  Where she moved after me old man died and me sister ‘ad ‘er first right?  Well I’ve not been up to visit ‘er as much as I should and she ain’t afraid of ringing to let me know.  So a few month back I went up for the weekend just to check she’s alright.  My sister don’t get there much ‘cause of the kids playin’ up.  Well I was helpin’ meself to her pantry just art-er arriving and I see all this cat food, bleedin’ tons of the stuff.  Now she ain’t got no cat as far as I know so I asks her why she had tons of cat food.

Hang on, ave I told me old dear’s blind as a bat? No?  Well that ain’t fair really- she’s just got proper bad eyes, poor dear can’t tell where the ground is when she ain’t got her specs on and ain’t much better with them, it’s a proper good worry.  So I say: I asks her why the cat food and she tells me there’s some strays who come to her back door and she likes lookin’ aaafter ‘em.  I notice that she ain’t got no catflap and she says she calls ‘em into her house at night and shuts then in with her when she goes to bed.  She says she likes the company in the house.

Fair enough I thought, but that really was a lot of food so I asks her how many cats she’s been feedin’ and she sighed a bit and shrugged.  Ses she don’t know because the little buggers move about so fast, then ses ‘not like the big lad’ and then tells me that there ain’t anywhere near as many littluns showin’ up since that big lad started commin’ a few month back.  Well ‘ow much do he eat I ask ‘er?  Gawd – about five or six tins and a big bowl full of crunchies every night she reckon!  Farkin’ ‘ell I say, and she clipped me round the ear for it.

She reckons this big lad is proper friendly once he’s been fed but she have to be careful because he’s nearly ‘ad her over a few times, but she likes ‘im because he’s big enough for ‘er to make out, and she’s ‘ad enough of standin’ on the other poor little buggers that come round her way.  I ask ‘ow big this big lad is and she reckon she can pat him on the head without bending down too far (because she can’t).

Then she tells me she’s worried about the big lad because he’s getting fat and she’s feelin’ guilty for over feedin’ him.  She reckon that when he sit on her lap she has to shift him off arter a while because he’s so heavy he hurts ‘er legs!

Well I can tell you I was a bit worried about my old dear, I reckons she’s losing it so I goes out to the pub near her for a swift one, but there was some fella there who couldn’t half talk and I were gone longer than I thought.  So when I got back to me old dears I rung the bell and she shouts saying to use the key under the mat cos she had this big lad on her lap.  Fairs enough I think so I let meself in and do know what I saw on me old dear’s lap?”

I said I didn’t.

“Stretched from one arm to the other, right across ‘er (who was sat in the middle stroking its belly) was a bleedin’ panther sound asleep!”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tapping into time

The Steamboat Tavern Planet
By Andrew Laws

One of the reasons I love The Steamboat is that it is just far enough away from the town centre to dissuade rowdy townie types, and close enough to the town centre that casual drinkers drop in as much out of curiosity as the need to quench a thirst.  I guess you could say that this pub sits in a cosy margin between light and dark – it’s tucked away from the beaten path, but not so hidden as to make it obscure.  But if you did say that then you’d be far from original because you’d be repeating what I have just said.

This ability The Steamboat has to draw passing trade from folk a little more adventurous than the norm means that regular drinkers like me are often treated to meeting people whom we will only ever meet the one time.  Some folk are passing through on their way elsewhere, and I guess some folk only manage to find this mysterious location just the one time.

The charm of this public house is that it is warm and welcoming to such a degree that strangers often find themselves holding long conversations with folk they have only just met.  The Steamboat nurtures niceness!  It would be rude for me not to give you an example of the loose tongue this atmosphere inspires, and as I don’t consider myself a rude cove I shall do just that…

A couple of nights ago I found myself sharing a bowl of complimentary olives and nuts with a tired looking chap called Clive Corrabinston; after a few polite conversational nothings he decided to share what was troubling his soul.
“Do you ever give money to beggars or homeless people?”  Was his opener, and I replied telling him that yes I did, and more often than not I stopped for a chat, because many years ago someone told me that a cruel chunk  of homelessness was its loneliness.  He appeared much relieved and went on to tell me this curious tale:

“I was in a town near Ipswich last night and as I was walking past an ill looking man sat on a bench he asked me if I had any spare change.  He had a kind face and looked so wretched sat there shivering in an old sleeping bag that I rummaged in my pocket and gave him the loose change in my pocket.  He thanked me and I turned to walk away, and if I had of walked away just then I would have avoided my mind being troubled by the tale he told me.  He asked if I was in a hurry and I answered that I was not, in fact I was walking to the library to kill some time before catching a train, so he invited me to join him on the bench.  I didn’t see what harm could come of it so I sat down and asked him how I could help.  He laughed, sighed deep and then told me there was nothing I could do to help him other than listen to his sad tale.

There was something silted and awkward in the way this man in a bag spoke to me; it was like he was choosing his words so carefully that he rehearsed every sentence in his head before speaking it out loud.  At first I put this down to him being drunk, he was supping from a can of strong cider that he was worrying in his hands between sips.  But as he turned his head to speak to me I saw that he had a spark in his eye, it was sliver of brilliance, like the reflecting edge of an exposed diamond hidden deep in coal.  I asked his name but he wouldn’t tell me, so I’m afraid I have no way of telling if his story was true, but the details he used and the mathematical and scientific sounding language he employed in the telling chilled me to my very core.

This man solemnly asked me if the large hadron collider at CERN had been built yet, I replied that yes it had, and I must confess I looked about the man for empty cans, I was wondering just how much he had drunk.  He took several sharp intakes of breath (like a child holding back tears) and held his filthy hand up to his mouth as he turned and looked so deep into me that a cold shiver ran down my spine.  He talked at great length about areas of research planned for the future at CERN; he claimed that there were experiments planned to take place deep beneath those Swiss mountains that were the stuff of nightmares.

What he told me next staggered belief – this man claimed that he was a particle physicist, and I’m sure you’ll agree that fact was remarkable enough on its own, but what he told me next worried me gravely; he claimed that pedantically speaking he hadn’t been born yet, and wouldn’t be for another ten years!

I was growing tired of what was becoming an increasingly far-fetched tale so stood to leave; he did not ask me to stay.  I reached down to pick up my bag from the pavement and this teller of tales grabbed my arm with all the power and resolve of a panicked man, and with watery eyes said,
“Turn it off, for the love of good make them turn it off!”  I smiled awkwardly and pulled my arm from his grip, he shook his head and looking down at his can of cider he quietly muttered,
“Please make them turn it off.””

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ask your body

A brand new hole
By Andrew Laws

I saw my mate Alan at The Steamboat last night.  Actually scrap that - he’s not really a mate; he’s more of an irritant than a confidant.  As you may have heard he’s just left his wife (the lovely Barbara) for someone he proudly calls ‘a younger model’.

I’m fairly sure you’ve never met Alan, and you should consider yourself blessed – he’s the kind of man who is blind to the disinterest and irritation of others.  It’s pub etiquette that if you’re talking to someone who you only half know and they’re nodding politely and paying more attention to their pint than in engaging with you then you should take it as a sign to move on and find some other poor sod to bother.

Last night Alan was rattling on to anyone who wouldn’t listen about this new woman of his.  I was about to tell you her name but in-between reeling off her vital statistics and bragging about how gymnastic she is I don’t think he got around to telling us her name.  That if nothing else should give you an idea of the sort of man Alan is.

Many years ago when I first moved to this area and discovered what a great little pub The Steamboat is Alan’s (soon to be officially ex) wife Barbara was nearly as much of a fixture at the bar as Alan himself.  We first started chatting when my Jane was still enjoying the novelty of being able to drink after recovering from a long illness (that is now thankfully a dot in our past).  At first we both thought we had something in common with Alan and Barbara and enjoyed their company, but as Alan’s eye started to wander I guess he stopped inviting his wife to the pub, and we all soon found out that without the cheery garnish Barbara brought to his conversation Alan’s company became harder to swallow.

Unlike most bar flies Alan doesn’t appear to need any sort of response or input from others to maintain his enthusiasm for a theme, and last night was a prime example of his complete ignorance of how one should act in polite society.  He can’t just hold an opinion as his own, in fact I don’t think Alan is entirely convinced by his own beliefs until everyone around him holds them as dear as he does.  He’s a reverse social chameleon.

The couple of friends I happened to find myself at the bar with last night had the foresight to put some money on the pool table as soon as they saw Alan stride confidently through the front door and slam his car keys on the bar.  I admired their well thought out escape from this conversational predator, although I didn’t look at them too kindly when they darted across the pub to their game the second the table became free, leaving Alan stuck to me like a loathsome loquacious limpet.  They didn’t have to suffer him trying to convince me that I was jealous of his new ‘bird’.  They were also lucky enough to escape the list of reasons why I should try something new, and why in his own words ‘I don’t know what I’m missing’.

As far as Alan is concerned there is no such thing as long term love: couples only stay together once the kids have flown the nest because they don’t know what else to do, and they’re scared of the world outside their own marriage.  He told me Barbara hadn’t made him feel giddy and excited for years, and about how she had never ‘taken up the slack’ in their sex lives after menopause.  Seriously!  At that point I was starting to see a positive side for Barbara in all this!

He had the nerve to try and tell me that I’m fooling myself if I think I’m still in love, he accused me of being unadventurous and terrified of putting myself in a position whereby I might feel what he described as a feeling of exhilaration (but sounded more nauseous than wonderful).  He demanded that I prove I’m still in love with Jane, but I decided to find my coat rather than find an answer.

I had little to say, and in the end I started to feel so sorry for the guy that I took myself off home for an early night.  It makes me sad that Alan appears to have wasted his long marriage looking for reasons to be in love with his wife; I know some relationships come to an end quite naturally, and others have to end for rather more unpleasant reasons, but don’t you think it’s so sad that Alan left Barbara because he looked in the wrong places to find proof that he still loved her?

When I lay in bed at night waiting for sleep to take me, and Jane is curled up in my arms I feel such a sense of calm and peace.  From the top of my head to the tips of my toes every muscle releases its grip on the day, and with Jane’s head on my chest and my hairy fat old arm laying down the curve of her back in a perfect fit I don’t need to ask my soul how I feel about my wife, because my body is already telling me I’m very much in love.

Beat Motel # 10 reviews

This is an archive of the reviews from Beat Motel zine issue 10.  For more information about Beat Motel please visit


4 Minute Warning #10
£1.60 for 1cm thick of copied pages
You know that hackneyed cliché that when you’re waiting hours for a bus you’re likely to be surprised by three arriving at once?  Well in zine terms that’s how I see ‘4 Minute Warning’, only when the three buses arrive they’re each one hundred stories high; this is a whopper of a zine.  Zinester Mitch has an aversion to white space that I find most admirable, and with the amount of detail that goes into every page it’s really worth waiting an age for the next issue.  There’s so much goodness in the (form of bloody tons of interviews alone) that you could wait for plenty of buses while reading this and you would never get bored.  I don’t know what my current obsession with buses is, maybe this is how those folk you see at the depot writing down the numbers get started?  Maybe they make a mental note of a bus number with friends, maybe just occasionally on the odd weekend, then they find themselves on their own writing down a few numbers of the back of their hand just for fun, yer know, they could easily take it or leave it.  Before they can say ‘Olympian’ they’re spending every weekday morning avec notepad worrying panicky parents who believe everything they read about men in anoraks in the Daily Mail?  I could write you a long list of the bands that appear in this issue, but to be honest you’re bound to find something you like in here so just go and buy it.

Anatomical Heart #2
NOWT for 24 A6 Copied Pages
Bettie is back, and she’s feeling a little worse (I think).  This is a zine dealing with mental health issues in a frank and demystifying way.  It’s human, oh so human and casually brief mentions of attempted suicide really caught me by surprise.  In the oddest way Bettie manages to find light in the dark, a positive relief.  The drugs used to treat mental health issues get a fair amount of coverage in this issue, it’s fascinating in a way that managed to avoid being mawkish.
Bettie, Goosewell Farm, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4Rn

Chaos Grrlz Zine #4
£? For 56 A5 Copied Pages
‘Vegan Straight-Edge Feminist zine’ is a phrase that I hesitate to put right at the start of this review, in case it leads you to assumptions about the content of this zine.  While you’d be partially right but there’s more to this zine than just another manifesto to make everyone feel like they’re personally responsible for the shite state of the world these days.  The writing is all very positive and there’s a real passion for the music covered.  I feel like some sort of apish chauvinist bastard for not knowing what the word ‘patriarchal’ means though, and it pops up a lot!

Clipper Guts #3
50p for 20 A5 copied pages
Third issue of Joe9t’s cheery little zine.  This issue includes tales from the top of a bus, a natty little spiteful article about Top Shop, some pretty funny (in a good way) bits about music and plenty of zine reviews.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a zine grow so fast! Each copy is hand numbered too!

Crucial Zine #5
The guys that make Crucial zine are just a bunch of piss takers. It’s a really funny over opinionated A5 fanzine about hardcore, high fiving, being awesome and generally anything that they consider to be ‘Crucial’. They love skating, hard core, weed,  and mosh pits. They hate Metal (Apart from Dragon force and Iron Maiden.), Preaching straight edgers, Drunken assholes, and cunts (To find out if you are a cunt please see issue 3). They also turn the zine into PDF files (Can you see why that’s funny?) which can be found at, so when they’ve run out of hard copies you can still read them. get on it.
Ed Ache

Devolution #19
£3 for a bunch of glossy A4 pages
This title has gone way past being a zine but we like including it because it’s still very much a zine in spirit.  The music covers metal and the glammier side of punk, and the number of fashion articles included led one old punk I know to complain he’d clearly chosen the wrong genre of music to devote his life to.  Devolution is possibly the sexiest thing ever to come from Didcot.

Do The Dog Skazine #52
Do the dog is a long running zine (And record label) which never fails on quality. It’s an A5 zine printed on glossy paper, usually no more than 12 pages long, about ska. Both British and international ska are included, and it’s always a good (If fairly short) read. I’ve discovered so many really good ska bands through reading Do the dog that I really couldn’t recommend getting a subscription to it enough. Even though it’s fairly short on pages they manage to cram such a lot onto each page, it really does keep you up to date on what’s happening in the world of ska. get it!
Ed Ache

Drainor #1
£2.10 for 28 Glossy A5 pages
Utterly engaging zine about exploring drains and sewers.  Admittedly that sounds kinda grim, but the photos in Drainor make the crap chutes and storm drains look like ancient underground temples.  Some of the discoveries are simply astounding, like the huge tunnel that comes out behind the Niagara falls, how the hell was that built?  This zine suits me well, I love the idea of exploring underground tunnels but in reality I’m quite happy just reading about other people doing it!  This issue has already sold out apparently, but it’s still worth taking a butchers the website.

Erik Irke - Carcinogens
£1 for 32 A5 copied pages
Collection of Erik’s poems and a couple of short stories.  Erik writes with a brutal honesty but an intensely expressive style, one that can make some content (like the first story) oddly un-nerving.  This certainly ain’t poncy nonsense!

The Fossil #1
€2 (or free to biddies) for 36 Printed Pages
Some folk are built to be private and keep their thoughts and passions private, other folk would explode if they attempted such a feat.  We could the second group of people ‘zinesters’.  Fossil zine is the work of one woman in Ireland who really needs to let you know what’s on her mind.  There’s nothing that revolutionary in this zine, it’s just a lot of thoughts all free thinking people have expressed in a nice cheery way.  Well apart from the horrific stuff on genital mutilation and foot binding, but we’re never going to change this mess we’re in if we don’t face up to the hard facts.  I really hope this zine continues, we need zines like this so the world doesn’t think us folk that give a shit about humanity and the planet are a bunch of nut jobs.  The zine also features a ghost cat, but it kinda makes sense when you’re reading the zine.

Gadgie #24
£1 for 32 footprinted pages
This issue of Gadgie has been next to my toilet for so long the cover has gone crispy, which is kinda concerning and totally foul.  I didn’t think I’d see the day Marv published another issue of his fine zine, what with the other zine projects he’s been involved in of late (like the awesome ‘This is Boston, not Boston).  Euugh, I should never refer to a zine as a ‘project’, I shall flay myself, right after I’ve finished laughing my tiny monkey nuts off to Marv’s tales of youthful adventure.
Marv, PO BOX 93, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 7YB

Go Metric  #22
$? For 75 Printed A4(ish) pages
This has been in the zine box next to my shitter for so long it’s gone crinkly, I don’t want to think about why it’s crinkly, we’ll move swiftly on.  Go Metric is a cheery collection of toons and thoughts with a rough punk theme, the quality is high as is the enjoyment factor when reading it!  Considering this has been a mainstay in my toilet for about a year I should real have more to say about it I guess, although maybe the very fact I’ve keep it in circulation for so long speaks volumes?  Who can say, I’m hungry, I want a sandwich, although I may wait until I’ve finished parking my breakfast, although I guess I shouldn’t really be using my laptop while doing my dirty sinful business.
801 Eagles Ridge Road, Brewster, NY 10509, USA

Happy Times #5
£3.50 for 38 A5 printed pages in card
I’m known for being a fan of zines, and have been known to get rather enthusiastic when I find one I particularly love.  This zine came to me via the great folk at Sticky Distro in Australia and is a remarkable find.  Ilya has such a gentle human touch with his stories I defy anyone not to love this zine.  The last story in which Ilya decides to track down the incidental participants of an old family photo is one of the best things I think I’ve ever seen in a zine.  Happy Times #5 is good, it’s so good that you’ll want to tell the world!
Contact through

House of Approval
£2 for 50 A5(ish) printed pages
This is quite frankly a daft bargain for just £2.  Put together by the great folk at ‘Batch 25’.  This is a collection of short stories, each story accompanied by a different illustrator.  The stories range from the gloriously nutty to the amusing but slightly disturbing.  House of approval has really raised the bar for both illustrated zines and prose zines.
I can’t find any contact details, but they send these to me and I normally have them in stock at

Ice Cream For Quo #5
NOWT for 40 nicely printed A5 pages
For me a lot of the way I feel about a zine has to do with how well I get on with the creator, I don’t know if that’s somehow dumb or prejudice of me but zines are such personal things, to both the reader and the creator that how I feel about the zinester has to be important.  I must admit I just sat down to write this zine a negative review, somehow I managed to really upset the zinester Stephen when I asked if I could put the copies of Ice Cream For Quo that I traded with Beat Motel in my zine distro, and he seemed pretty horrified.  He then got even more miffed when I added the address for his zine to my zine contacts list, oops.  As I read his issue #5 (and other issues I was sent) I just couldn’t bring myself to hate it.  At first Ice Cream for Quo left me cold (no pun intended) and I could find little to identify myself with, least of all musically.  Then I found a friendly conversation with Poet Simon Armitage, someone I’ve found interesting since way back when Mark Radcliffe was still doing his evening show on Radio1, and Simon was a regular guest.  The interview made me smile, especially as zinester Stephen managed to ask Monsieur Armitage the kind of questions I would asked; identifying with unknown readers is a remarkable skill for a zinester to have.  I flipped the clutch on my chair (so the back would recline), put my feet up and spent a pleasant good while reading various other parts of this zine with a wry smile on my face.  I particularly liked the review of a Miles Hunt gig where Mr. Hunt had (in the words of the reviewer) a ‘cob on’.  I also loved Judith Samuelson’s short column explaining how she created a Goth happening in her sister’s bedroom as a young teenager, the column ends with Judith talking about sending a valentines card to some lad that ended up editing the Daily Telegraph.  The review section for ‘gigs I’ve not been to’ is utterly great too, for similar reasons.  It’s that kind of irreverence that appeals very directly to my sense of humour.  So there’s the review, this zine is great, and I’m a total wanker for deciding I wouldn’t like it, a lesson has been learned and I shall hang my head in shame.  Knowing me walking around with head hung low will result in some sort of forehead injury, I hope you’re happy Stephen, I’ve done penance and I’m looking forward to the next issue.  I would still like to stock in my zine distro though!

InItOnIt #22/ Thirsk First #2
50p for 20 A5 copied pages
Wow, I assumed Thirsk First was dead and buried; I’m really chuffed to see it’s back!  Paul InItOnIt’s half of this split is full of his usual insightful political rants and musical ravings.  I particularly enjoyed the ‘Why I Write’ section, and I agree with you Paul; we write zines because we have to, simple as that!  Actually the bit about the need to write is a little eerie as a short while after Paul wrote that column he must have decided to knock InItOnIt on the head, although I have no doubt we’ll be hearing more from the good chap, just in other zines.  Thirsk First is quite simply one of the greatest zines ever, even although this is only the second issue they’ve got a really strong style.  There’s everything I want from a zine, fairly brief columns (including one from Gudz that worried me so much I had to give him a call), little rants and itty bitty photos crammed in here and there to ward of the whitespace.  I’m still a bit bewildered by the fascination wrestling holds in this zine though.
Paul, 10 Regents Court, Princes Street, Peterborough, PE1 2QR

50p for 26 footprinted A5 pages
Yet another fine punk zine bites the dust, but at least Paul has gone out in his own unique style that we’ve become accustomed to; yelling his head off!  The rants are top notch and sometimes funny as fuck as usual and this final issue features stuff on PoundaFlesh, Nuclear Death Terror and The Departed.  There are also a couple of bits written by contributors that are top notch.  It’s too bad to see this come to an end, I was just getting into it!  Zinester Paul promises to keep up the rage on his MySpace page, so make sure you give that a peek.
Paul, 10 Regents Court, Princes Street, Peterborough, PE1 2QR

Issue #41 to #fuck knows
50p for about 16 printed A4 pages
Another zine that’s more regular than an obsessive fan of bran!  Zinester Neil takes us through the ins and outs of the Basingstoke scene with a gentle hand on your shoulders to guide you through the more complex parts of this great soap opera we call punk rock.  There are always an abundance of photos of punters at shows (mostly attractive young lasses for some reason) and I’m sure everyone that reads ‘Issue’ feels like they’re Neil’s best friend, which is kinda the tone the entire zine is written in.  Nice one lad, keep up the good work!
Neil Duncan, 25 Sarum Hill, Basingstoke, Hants, RG21 8SS

Kook #2
AUS$5 for 18 A4 Glossy Printed Pages
Kook reads like one person’s in-joke, but that’s not really a bad thing in a zine.  The humour is light and quirky and there are plenty of photos of lads with big beards so if you like that sort of thing these pages will enrich your day.  It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this zine, it’s just a bit brief and I can’t help but think that five dollars is really fucking expensive for eighteen pages!
PO BOX 360, Petersham, NSW 2049, AUSTRALIA

Lash Back #1
I’m not sure if I’m the right man to be reviewing an Irish feminist fanzine, but I’ll give it my best shot. This is nicely laid out with a glossy cover and 36 pages made of good quality paper. It is (As I have already mentioned) largely about modern feminism, and comes out of Dublin. This issue has an interview with Roisin Murphy from Moloko, a small zine reviews section, an article about STDs, and lots and lots of articles about all aspects of feminism. If you are an Irish feminist then I’d guess that you need this in your life. If you are a feminist in general, but are not Irish you will probably find it to be interesting and informative. If you have no interest in feminism at all, I’d save your three Euros.
Ed Ache

Lights go out #3
£1.00 (Bargain!)
Lights go out is an A5 black and white photocopied zine, printed on paper which is about as good quality as the N.M.E used to use when their publication was actually a newspaper (The ink however stays on the page) and is at present (In my opinion) up among the best fanzines out there. The print they use is very small which means that they can fit an awful lot of information onto a page. This issue includes interviews with Civet, Ten foot pole, Demander, Beat Motels own Andrew Culture, Pat Sharp and Children of Clegg. 8 Pages of gig reviews, 5 pages of record/CD reviews and 2 of zine reviews all as I say with very small print so they fit in loads and loads. Plus various columns and little bits of piss taking. It’s probably about three of four days worth of lav reading, and well worth the one pound you’d need to part with to own a copy.
Ed Ache

Lights Go Out #4, #5, #6
£1 for 28 A5 Footprinted Pages
Proving that less is sometimes (in terms of page count) more this top zine from Newbury is gathering pace like some sort of punk rock snowball, smashing down dull zine conventions and er, well, the snowball analogy has kinda ground to a halt there (I guess you could say it’s reached the bottom of the hill).  The amount of stuff zinester Mr.T manages to cram in these few pages is remarkable.  There are more rants than I’ve ever seen in a single issue of a zine (including the hilarious reply to the ‘go vegan’ bit in #4), there are tons of CD reviews (I send the poor bugger my own review backlog) and loads of really interesting live reviews. There’s a boring as arse interview with Jet from the (original) Gladiators in#4, it’s nowt wrong with the interviewer (although I would have asked her just one question, I’ll leave it up to your imagination what that would have been), it’s just that she’s not really grasped what’s going on and isn’t really going with the flow.  There’s a great tour diary, in fact I think bunging a tour diary in any zine always raises the bar in my eyes!  Lights Go Out is a class act and perfectly fits the half music/ half other stuff niche that I try to fill with Beat Motel.  Man, I really have used a lot of brackets in this review haven’t I (yes I have).
Mr.T, 19 Sorrell Close, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2NL

Mass Movement #22
£2.50 for 100 A4 Glossy Pages
Alas Mass Movement is the latest in a long line of zines to stop putting out paper issues so this is one of the last you’ll see.  From now on things are online and while there will still be a zine it will be a PDF, if you want to read it on the crapper I guess you could print it out yourself?  Bands covered vier away from the usual thrash/ horror field and get a bit more commercial with the likes of Gallows and Municipal Waste getting coverage.  The columns are all of the usual high standard, my favourites being George Tabb and Bitty.
Tim, PO BOX 193, Bridgend, CF31 9BN

Maximum Rock N Roll #many
$4.20 for blimin’ loads of A4 printed pages
Now if you haven’t heard of this zine before then quite frankly I’m amazed, in fact I’d say you should probably stop calling yourself a punk, start listening to chart pop and get an office job selling numbers in order to get a big fat bonus at the tax payers expense, but that would be too harsh.  It would also be horribly elitist, and elitist is something Maximum Rock N Roll (or MMR to friends) certainly isn’t.  You don’t get in jokes and snooty reviews, but what you do get is a fat wodge of honest down to earth punk rock greatness.   The columns are top notch and vary from politically insightful, to rude and crude and right the way through the scale to down right hilarious.  The review sections are insightful, the interviews are huge and in depth, and the scene reports (probably my favourite section) are crammed full of really kick ass photos that give one a certain faith in the fact that everything in this world we call punk is doing just fine.  It’s a shame they don’t seem to send out free trade copies when you send in a zine of your own any more, but that’s pretty understandable.  MMR (see, you’re a friend already) can be a bit hard to track down in the UK but you can usually get copies from Punker Bunker in Brighton and from Jon at Active Distro.  Somehow the folk behind this zine manage to pump out copies at impressively regular intervals which is why I haven’t given you an issue number at the start of this review, I think the issue numbers are now in the lower three hundreds!  There’s not many zines that can boast such longevity!
POB 460760, San Francisco, CA 94146-0760, USA

Mild Peril #10
If you haven’t read Mild Peril before then Shame on you, go and sit on the naughty step to think about your actions! then buy the latest issue. Pete and dean release these so regularly that I wouldn’t like to say which issue their upto by now as by the time this issue of BM comes out they’ll probably have issued 24 more. Nicely printed (The blacks are all very black) A5 zine out of Norwich. This issue has interviews with:- Sinister 66, Digger and the pussycats, The Living daylights, Hipshake and Second Opinion. Plus loads of reviews, ranting articles, Vegetarian recipes, Sweetjugs pictures of fish and penises, and their serialised comic section Meat Wagon. These people have a real love for punk rock, and are heavily involved in the scene so there’s real enthusiasm about the bands that they cover. Good Good Good.
www. myspace/mildperilzine
Ed Ache

Mild Peril #11
£1 for 56 A5 Printed Pages
Putting the rest of the zine scene to shame with their punctuality and unceasing enthusiasm for all things punk rock this issue #11 of Mild Peril shows no slow down or decrease in quality, amazing!  Covered in this issue are Vodka Juniors, Frankie Stubbs, The Levellers (cool to see them reconnecting with zine world), Rusty Springfield, the Shuffle and zinester Pete’s own band Mustard City.  There’s some very kind words about the demise of my own punk rock shop (Know Your Product) and the next instalment of the weird cartoon strip thing.  Add into this mix a great Tour Diary and the fantastic Car Boot Sale update and you’ve got a strong contender for top five zines worldwide in my opinion.  Gotta say though, how come punk rockers can get up early enough on Sundays for boot sales?  Mind you, in my old band (Junk Culture) we had to flog stuff at boot sales in order to raise cash for things like strings!  There is still a smattering of odd comics in here featuring stuff like a Mermaid sucking someone off, well at least the artist has finally moved away from dog fucking!  There’s also a decent recipe for Thai Curry, in fact there’s so much cool stuff in here I could probably ramble on all day long, but I won’t.  There are even a couple of blank pages in the back of the zine, presumably for taking notes, not sure how deliberate that was though, doh!
Pete, 25 Swansea Road, Norwich, NR2 3HU

Moments of Struggle - An introduction to some anarchist history
50 for 16 A5 printed pages
Really nice wee booklet from Isy, the creator of Morgenmuffel. This itty bitty zine is a brief introduction to the history of anarchy, without any of the pretentious self righteous guff that is sometimes associated with anarchist history studies. There’s no preaching, nothing to make you feel bad, just Isy’s usual positive and excitable personality shining through. Really great.
Isy, PO Box 74, Brighton BN1 4ZQ, UK

Negative Reaction #11 & #12
£1 for 56 A4 Printed Pages
Now I’m not too sure on the price there, because if this really is just a quid then it’s a fucking steal.  In this issue Trev reviews the last 25 years of ‘shite’, it’s a hilarious rip at everything you probably already hated but were lacking the bile to accurately describe.  There are more great contributions from ‘Trev Tamer’ Dawn.  There’s intelligent knowledgeable interviews with 4Skins, Attila the Stockbroker and the Guinness book of world records longest interview contender courtesy of Oi Polloi.  Trev and Dawn have really outdone themselves on the pikey front with this issue, it made me appreciate my neighbourhood, which is officially one of the twelve most deprived in the entire country according to a local government report, and I was still reading about where they live thinking how rough it sounds!  There’s a ton of stuff from a chap who also contributes to Beat Motel, the erudite and embolitic rage of Mike Hunt. I really enjoyed the book reviews, decent book reviews in zines are about as rare as honest local councillors. In this issue I get the feeling Trev is getting a bit worn down by the review section, somethign that inevitably happens to all us zinesters, for the first few years it’s great fun ripping stuff to shit but it just ends up getting fuckign depressing.  Looking back over the previous ten issues of Negative Reaction they each had a quality unique to each other, in issue #11 Trev has brought them all together to give you his best issue yet, even if you don’t share his taste in music you still need to buy this zine, without zines like Negative Reaction we’re FUCKED!  If zines like Negative Reaction die out we’ll be in danger of living in a zine world consiting only of Vegan Menstural Knitting Straight Edge zines, fuck that.
Well a few months after writing that first part of the review I received issue #12 and the bad news is Trev is calling it a day.  Number  #12 is yet another classic, and while I’m gutted to see Trev quit the zine I’m chuffed sick he’s gone out on a high.  If I had a black armband I’d wear it around the office, but seeing as I work at home no bugger would see it.  Sorry to see Negative Reaction go Trev, but thanks for twelve outstanding issues.
Trev, 20 New Front Street, T/Lea, Stanley Co.Duhram, DH9 9LY

Positive Creed #11
50 for 44 copied A4 pages
Ah shit, this zine review section is just getting depressing, here’s another stalwart calling it a day.  Fuck.  Positive Creed really was one of the most positive zines on the scene, it was their kind words of encouragement that really made me feel putting out Beat Motel was worth doing.  Sadly this issue does have a slight vibe of ‘running out the clock’ to it, the presentation is straight outta Microsoft word and is a bit uninspired, but Positive Creed still has it where it counts, right there in the content.  I’m sorry to see you go fellas, stay in touch!
Steve C. Stone, 17a Chamley Avenue, St Thomas, Exeter, Devon, EX4 1RD

Prevailing Nonsense #3
NOWT for 20 printed A5 pages
It would be too cheap a shot to claim this zine is the product of a madman, but I’m finding it harder and harder to figure out what sort of mind could up with a zine as mad as Prevailing Nonsense.  I’ve corresponded with the zinester by email a bunch of times and he/ she seems reasonably level and can certainly hold a civil conversation with apparently ease.  But quite what depths of a possibly disturbed psyche are dredged in order to create something like this zine is something I daren’t ponder.  It’s illustrated pretty damn well, in a scrawly fashion that gives the reader the idea the impression the creator had to get this insanity down on paper before it consumed them.  Hmm, but this zine really isn’t that straight forward either.  There is the worryingly well thought out guide to gouging ones eye out in a café, but on the other side of the coin there is a reprint of a letter written by a death row victim.  You’ll have to track this down and let me know if it makes any more sense to you.  I’ll tell you this though, the zine world needs stuff like this to save it from being purely zines about menstrual cycles and having sex with shrubs.

Profane Existence #56
$5 for 84 Glossy A4 pages
Oo-er, I wonder why they started sending me this?  I’ve been trying to hunt down a version of this zine/ mag for a while, it’s one of the bigger American titles like Maximum RocknRoll and the (now finished) Punk Planet.  Although the format is magazine the feel is very much zine, the politics are strong without being browbeating, there’s some vegan recipes and some really great columns.  The artwork by Amy Toxic in the centre pages is really great.  I’m already looking forward to getting the next issue, especially as MRR no longer send out trade copies when you post them your zine.  Oops, I really didn’t mean to mention MRR in this review and now I’ve done it twice, oh well!
PO BOX 18051, Minneapolis, MN55418, USA

Oh poo, I’ve just gone and written another review for Profane Existence that reads like I’ve never read it before.  Oh well, I’ve put in the effort now and there’s no taking it back, so...

Profane Existence #57
$5 for 84 printed A4 pages
Not just a zine, but an ‘anarcho-punk resource magazine’, I know because it says so on the cover.  I’ve known of this title for years but have never managed to get my mitts on a copy, and then all of a sudden they start sending them to Beat Motel.  They’re either psychic (in which case I’ll rub my temples and repeat my wish for a bath full of single malt whisky) or Beat Motel has suddenly popped up on their punk rock radar (well it only took nine issues!)  Lazy reviews always compare something to something else much more well known, which is exactly what I’m going to do now, after all it’s a pretty good point of reference.  Profane Existence is a lot more political than Maximum Rock N Roll but not as hardcore as Reason To Believe (ooh a retro reference, get me!).  The design is a little slapdash, but since when did we ever buy zines for their professional graphic design?  In fact if a zine is flip hot in the graphics department it often makes me a little wary of it and Profane Existence is utterly accessible and dare I say it, ‘human’.  There, I dared, I said it, and now I’ll move on.  There’s no contents page, which is always a slight inconvenience with these huge zines, but maybe a well detailed contents page would be considered selling out?  Who’s to say?  Not a fool like me that’s for sure.  The content is undeniably along Anarcho lines and with sections on Vegan cookery and riot reports which in my mind gives it a slight edginess than some more formulaic (but well loved) zines like Maximum Rock N Roll.  Bollocks I made another lazy comparison, oh well, I’m sure you’d expect no less of me.  I’m going to quit this review while I’m, er, behind.  Speaking of behinds, maybe I’ll skip the order for a bath of whisky; I imagine it would sting my ring something rotten.
PO BOX 18051, Minneapolis, MN55418, USA

Roadkill Volume 1 Issue 1-5
NOWT for 28 Copied A5(ish) Pages
This zine looks like it could be the result of an explosion in a zine workshop, there’s nothing linear but it’s all cheery enough.  The humour is slightly odd – even by my standards – it reminds me a bit of the sort of zines kids at a private school near where I grew up made to rebel.  I LOVE the photos they found in a dumpster though, they’re really great!  The found photo of a basement of people in issue #2 is proper creepy, good work!  There’s also a light bit of reporting on the scene in Kentucky, I like it!
3308 Troost, KC, MO64109, USA

Robots and Electronic Brains #18
£1 for 36 printed A5 pages
If you referred to anything else creative as ‘reliable’ it would be a by-word for boring as arse, but this zine really is reliable in the coolest way.  There are always cheery insightful reviews, there are always zine reviews (very important), the interviews always delve a little deeper than most (there’s even an interview with me in this one!), and there are always smart old robot pictures!  There’s an epic conversation with a gig photographer in here that’s worth the measley cover price alone.  Get a little Robot in your life, it’s a suitor for your soul!
Jimmy Possession, c/o r+eb, 133 green end road, cambridge, cb4 1rw

Rum Lad #4
£1 for 40 A5 Footprinted pages
The first part of this issue of Rum Lad is taken up with Steve detailing in many brilliant illustrations his trip to the Mullheim zine fest in April 2008, I really wish I’d written up my own visit to the same place, I wish even more that I had been able to go in 2009.  It’s interesting to see that Steve appears to draw himself slightly differently these days, it’s a definite positive development.  I especially love the ‘two flavours’ of character styles in this issue, the large detailed and very clearly drawn by Steve charcters, then the smaller slightly more Morgenmuffel cheery sorts that play out the storylines.  It’s hard not to get excited when one sees oneself in drawn in a zine - believe me when I plead with you that I’m not showing off – but there’s a wee drawing of yours truly in this issue, wa-hoo!  There is also a well earned and affectionate look at one of my favourite zines (Gadgie), and more to the point the maniac behind it, the legendary Marv. There’s tons more to discover in this issue, it really is packed to the gills so I’m not going to tell you any more as half the joy of Rum Lad is discovering and interpreting it for yourself.
Gentle Steve, there’s really no need to apologise for taking a year over creating a zine, not when the amount of skill and care is sweet evidence of the hours spent creating!
Steve Larder, Somerset House, Cherry Holt Lane, Sutterton, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE20 2HU

Shebang #2
£fuck knows
An A5 zine printed on thick blue paper. The cover feels like it would make for good roach material, but I’m not going to put that theory to the test. Visually this reminds me a lot of Last Hours (When it was still a print zine) in that it has a good balence between hand drawings and typefaces (Which draw the eye in) and typed text (Making it nice and easy to read). This issue includes interviews with:- Tegan and Sara, Wild Beasts, Swallows, The Cribs, Vivian Girls, Pens and Scroobius Pip. Plus various articles, including one about artist Kate Morris, and a fair few music reviews. This is apparently the Fandom issue so many of the articles are giving big love to peoples favorite bands. It ends with a piece called ‘Why I Love Bikini Kill.’ All in all a good fanzine worth the time it takes to read by all means. If you can find a copy pick it up, you won’t be disappointed. But it looks like they only printed 400 of this issue so my guess is that you’ll have problems getting hold of one.
Ed Ache

TNS Records #?
NOWT for 20 Copied A5 pages
TNS stands for ‘That’s Not Skanking’ and I guess they started this zine with an aim to promote their label (of the same name), but like excitable kids they just can’t help themselves, they’re so enthusiastic about music in general they hype it all!  Loving coverage in this issue goes to a whole host of bands, including Sonic Book Six, Shadowcops and everyone’s favourite singalong-punks Goldblade.  I’ve had other dealings with the people that put this out and they’re top folk!

What Would Henry Rollins Do #1
£1.50 for 72 Copied A5 Pages
I got a helluva surprise when I opened this zine and the first thing I saw was a quote from the opening of an Orbital 7” I bought when I was about fifteen!  Not content with putting the rest of us to shame with the marvellous Mild Peril the folk of Nickers Off Ready When I Come Home have launched this bloody huge zine on the world.  In the reverse of what normally happens, this zine started online then went to paper, it’s cool to see that happening!  Some of the stuff in here comes from zinester Jack’s blog, while some people may frown at that I think it’s a totally valid way of getting your stuff read by as many people as possible.  This zine does suffer a bit from being photocopied, not only is photocopying almost always far more expensive than using FootPrinters, it never looks as good!  I don’t want to labour a point, but putting a zine together yourself can be maddening, I guess that’s why the front and back page suddenly make a reappearance half way thought this issue!  There’s a sort of American travel diary in the rear of this issue that I was really looking forward to reading. I couldn’t figure out who it was by at first and it doesn’t appear to have had even the briefest of proof readings, half the time I just couldn’t follow it, a real shame as it looked like it might be an interesting tale.  On the whole ‘What Would Henry Rollins Do’ is a very engaging read, and a zine that simply can’t be digested in a single sitting. I really liked it, and feel a bit of a twat for focussing a few negatives on what is reality a pretty damn great zine.  Zinester Jake is a little over apologetic at times, sometimes relating to his age, this is something he clearly doesn’t need to worry about, the maturity of writing and logic of opinion in the racism piece is spot on.  Jakes speaks in a positive, reassuring, sensible and level headed way.  I found the racism article quire inspiring, if I manage to carry on calling out the insanity of the BNPs message in Beat Motel then Jake deserves some of the credit.  Oh, and there’s also an interview with Henry Rollins of course!
Jake, 76 Lincoln Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 3LA

Why I Hate… #1&#2
NOWT for 8 A7 copied pages
Funny little mini rant zine, designed to be left in public for people to pick up and read.  These first two issues focus on Paris Hilton and Michael Jackson.  It’s not all just negative ranting though; it’s all a bit wry and tongue in cheek.  I would give you contact details but well, it’s all a bit hush hush just like YOU zine.  Oh hang on, I’ve just found a Myspace...

You Don’t Get There From Here #10
£1.50 for 36 Printed A5 pages
The latest issue of Carrie’s marvellous daily comic strip diary.  We get a taster of her Mexico trip in this issue, as well as a bewildering number of foodstuff’s I’ve never heard of!  This zine is nothing short of glorious and will enhance any modern home!
Carrie McNinch, PO BOX 49403, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA

A Zine for the Ladies #2
£1 for 44 A5 printed pages
This project from Hannah focuses upon the role which women have in the UK DIY community and interviews people on their work, their inspirations and their opinions on the extent to which sexism is prevalent today. It is laid out in an easy to read cut and paste style with computer-typed text and a good number of images and photos.
This issue features interviews with Talia of the Mingers, Cat McLean of the Stay Togethers, both Kelly Kemp and El Morgan from acoustic folk band Livers and Lungs and tattoo artist Kel Harris (amongst others). There are also short articles on the topics of prejudice within the scene. The interviews and articles are always thought provoking with well thought-out questions and considered answers. Another enjoyable read, but would perhaps benefit from reviews of music/zines produced by women in the UK.
xHannahx, PO Box 1398, Southampton, Hampshire, SO16 9WX. UK.
Review by Stephanos

There are SO MANY great zines out at the moment that I haven’t got space to review, like the new issue of Ont Road, Fear and Loathing, about a thousand editions of Issue Zine, R*E*P*E*A*T in fact so many it would be impossible to list them all so get out there an find them for yourself!



Anal Thunder
4am illusion.
CDLP - Full house records.
In issue 8 of Beat Motel there was a quick capsule review of this album which read “Holy shit this is great! If you like (Or are in) I.C.H then you need to hear this album, Stonking”. I am in I.C.H and would like to congratulate Andrew on his most accurate review. Every now and again you hear a punk rock record which stands head and shoulders above the rest, and this is that record. Anal Thunder are a six piece band hailing from Finland (The only other Finnish punk band I can think of are the Fuckmes who are equally good, but much grimier). They play tight punk rock with hooks, breaks and melodies It’s well produced without being emotional (Exept for the piss take emo track how’s my make up). The inlay looks great, all the lyrics scruffily written on tiled toilet walls.They have a nice sense of humour too, Dance Motherfucker has got to be a joke! The first song of the album is just a rant about what the first song of the album should be... entitled ‘The first song of the album’. In which they tell you that “You need to pick a song with some serious hit potential” “Fuck Critics, Fuck Radio and Fuck You, but most of all fuck all these pussy arsed bands with their commercial master plans.” Right on. Preach that shit minister!
Bands with no record label backing and terrible names need to try that much harder. Believe me I know!
Ed Ache

American Steel
Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts
CDLP - Fat Wreck Chords
One day my mate Simon and I are going to star in a Hollywood teen comedy. He’s gonna be the goof ball that loves the popular girl who doesn’t know he exists, while he remains totally unaware that his childhood friend Betty Boring-Face from next door has loved him all along.
I’m gonna be a Swedish foreign student called Sven who comes to College on a sports scholarship ‘cos his Dad pressures him to become the NBA all-star he always wanted to be in his youth, but couldn’t due to injuries he sustained during a pornography making incident. As a consequence Sven’s dad has a strong anti-sex stance and pushes poor ol’ Sven into concentrating on sports rather than his raging hormones. Erection related hilarity ensues. All Sven really wants to be is a ballet dancer.
Our mate Shawn is gonna be the sensible but cool one, because he’s held a job the longest.
“Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts” is gonna be the soundtrack and it will all work out in the end when we organise a totally rad house party to show all the cool kids just how awesome we really are, but when the popular girl is got and acceptance is found, the trio realise that they never wanted to be cool anyway and that all they ever wanted was right there in front of them all along.
The goof gets with Betty Boring-Face (who has an endearingly embarrassing coke spillage incident at the crucial moment), Sven kicks his Dad in the face with some bad ass ballet shit and Sensible-But-Cool guy looks on over everything with a knowing nod and a smile as we fade to black. American Steel play us out.

The people or the gun
CDLP - Sideonedummy
I’ve never had any objection to Anti-flag, but at the same time they’ve never been my favorite of bands either. I’m guessing that you’ve already got your preconceptions. Either love ‘em or hate ‘em I’m sure that you’ve heard them before and will have an idea of what this record sounds like. So it was with a pretty good idea as to what I was going to get when I slipped this into the player. To be honest it’s more of the same. This is very well produced fast melodic punk rock with heart-on-sleeve politics and not a hint of humour. Stand out tracks for me are ‘Sodom and Gomorrah, Washington D.C (Sheep in shepherds clothing)’ A damming indictment against the use of the bible to control the populace., and ‘You are fired (Take this job, Ah, fuck it)’ another song about the failing economy. There isn’t a single track on it which isn’t overtly political motivated, much of it is about the economic crisis and American governmental policies. I think the line from ‘The Economy is suffering... let it die’ ‘We’re so fucked’ sums up the message of the whole record quite nicely. Although not altogether surprised by this record, I have found myself going back for repeated listens. The songs are well written, and quite singable, and there’s passion and integrity abounding. If I had one complaint it would be that they use the word ‘Yeayah’ a bit too much for my liking, but I can’t hold that against them. Good stuff, much better than expected.
Ed Ache

Apologies I have none.
CDEP - Unsigned.
Apologies I have none are a duo who I believe are from Southampton (But don’t quote me on that.). They use an acoustic guitar and a drumkit, and they both sing. I’m told that they both play both instruments too, which is pretty impressive. I like this E.P a lot, in fact this is the third copy of it that I own. Anyone familiar with the output on Plan-it-x records might have a fair idea of what these guys sound like (Plan-it-x are an American record label who put out quite a lot of lo-fi acoustic music recorded in bedrooms). Emotional and raw would be two pretty good adjectives. The whole E.P is very listenable, but the outstanding track is ‘Bent Strings’ with it’s arresting chorus vocal harmony, and Stza Crack style screeching at the end, it’s completely beautiful. I know I am not the only one who has become obsessed by this track for at least a week or two. Top Stuff.
Ed Ache

Apologies I have none.
Two sticks + six strings.
CDEP - Unsigned.
This really looks the part. Rather than the stamped masterbag and a CDR approach that they used for ‘Done’, they’ve gone all out and got the sleeve printed and the disc professionally pressed. The E.P itself is less raw than done, but equally emotional. There’s a punked up version of ‘Bent strings’ without the vocal harmony which at first seemed to me to be a strange move, but it does sound more rabble rousing than the original and has grown on me over time. Other favourites include ‘Green green Mabley green’ and ‘Apologies I have one’. The latter of which has what could be the catchiest damn one word chorus I’ve ever heard, The word is ‘No’. To have three favourites on a five track E.P may seem a little over the top, but it really is good. Go buy it, it’s cheap, and when I did they sent me a copy of ‘Done’ for free.
Ed Ache

Bad Moon
The Real Sound Of Mooching
CDEP - Bad Moon Music.
The press release for this may as well just tell me that I’m going to fucking hate it. ‘For fans of Neil Young, Doors, U2, Pearl Jam and Bill Hicks[?]’ it says. That doesn’t bode too well. It’s as if they took these as influences, watered them down, found some guy that couldn’t sing as a front man, and used Nicklebacks rejected songs. It’s not even like any of the songs are short enough that you can just put up with it (5 tracks in 31 minutes anyone?). The front cover has the words  ‘Play me you fucker’ written on it, but they were even too bollockless to let people see that so it’s been censored. They’ve put a sticky label with the bands name on it over the bad word, and what a totally forgettable name it is too. See, you had to check the header for this review to even remember what they were called. Self indulgent, out of tune, dull, and forgettable. Ignore!
Ed Ache

Good old fast punk from some good old punk chaps that love making good old zines.  This is a pretty great sounding (and fun) debut, and whilst I hate to say it’s not really my thing I’m afraid that’s the truth. It’s a bit like when people like comic books, I can appreciate there’s a lot of love and passion going into their creation, but I am left a little cold.  So kudos for a kick ass records, and I’ll go flay myself for not liking something I really should.

Bear Driver
Paws and Claws
Seductively dreamy floaty pop from Leeds.  A bit like Polyphonic Spree but without the cloaks, or The Doves but less ethereal and more down to earth.  This sounds exactly like the sort of band John Peel would have loved.  Listening to bands like Bear Driver reassures you there is innocent beauty in the world. Mind you, if I had received this CD on a rainy dull day it’s tweeness would probably have annoyed me.  Sounds like there’s a Uke in there somewhere, they really are the instrument for a new Melania!  When I first saw the name I thought it said ‘Beard River’, which would have been cool.!

Brewtal Thirst
Unquenchable EP
CDEP -  (Wet Brain)
Old school street punk with a huge addiction to drinking beer. It’s not a bad thing, there used to be a day when all I would want was one more beer at night, those days are gone for me, but I am glad to see for some the passion for music and beer is still very much alive. It’s reasonably rough and very 80’s in sound, but it’s not too shabby overall. I’m enjoying listening to it and it’s definitely something I’ll play quite a few times and recommend to people who like the older punk. I can see this band playing dirty rocker/biker pubs, which sounds good to me. If you’re into stuff like Cock Sparrer, Crass and beer then Brewtal Thirst would be right in your pint glass!
Mr. T

Bubble and squeak
Duncan Redmonds Collaborations 2004-2008
CDLP - 10 past 12 records (Under licence from Boss Tuneage.)
Duncan Redmonds was/is the drummer, singer, and songwriter for Snuff and is involved in a host of other projects (Including but not limited to:- Guns and Wankers, Dogpiss, Billy no mates in their various incarnations, Pot kettle black, and the pissmops) . For a Snuff fan this was never going to be anything other than great. Although not strictly a Snuff fan myself (At least, not an obsessive one) I have always liked the sound of Duncans voice, the way he writes songs and in particular their vocal harmonies. I have to admit that after the few tracks I had heard on Myspace I had been looking forward to this record for quite some time. So how excited was I when it turned up on my doorstep? Very! On the day it turned up, as luck would have it, my old friend Charlie Swallows came round to see me. Now, he IS a die hard obsessive Snuff fan, and was as excited by the prospect of this as I was, if not more so. It’s fair to say that expectations in the room were high, but we were not disappointed.  This is (As the title suggests) a collaborative effort. Mr Redmonds has spent four years travelling around with a laptop tying up loose ends, giving people his riffs to see what they could do with them, recording on the fly because it would be neigh on impossible to get all these people in one room. Some of the recording is a bit sketchy because of this, but I can forgive him that.
People involved include:- Wes Wasley (Billy no mates UK), Frankie Stubbs (Leatherface), Fat Mike (NOFX), Simon Wells (Snuff), Loz Wong (Snuff), Will Farley (Billy no mates UK), Lee Murphy (Snuff), Ian Murphy (Section 13), Ken Yokoyama (Billy no mates Japan), Barrie Oldfield (The ABCs), Dickie Hammond (Leatherface), Lee Ernimez (Snuff) as well as ‘Hard Skin’ and ‘Nomeansno’. How could you possibly go wrong. This is Duncan at his best.  ‘La La La Dickhead’ beats ‘Timmy the Turtle’ (Duncan and Fat Mikes past collaboration) hands down, and the last tune is something truly special, however I can’t quite put my finger on why. It’s just fucking huge. Bubble and squeak sounds like a comp featuring a lot of Snuff, a bit of Leatherface, and some Hard Skin. Which is essentially what it is, but that makes it brilliant. Beg borrow or steal this album from somewhere (If you have a passing interest in Snuff!) It’s great.
Ed Ache

Captain Black No Stars/Rasta4eyes
Boss Sounds of the Boom and Bust
CDsplitEP - Do the dog records
It’s a bit difficult for me to review this one with out bias as I am friends with ‘The Captain Black No Stars’ and get thanks in the inlay (Oooooh ‘ark at me!), I will however try my best. The E.P opens up with the rhythm from the Ethopians classic ‘Train to Skaville’, westernised and cleaned up a lot.  I hate to say it as he’s a lovely bloke, but Ady’s singing voice leaves a fair bit to be desired. However his lyrics are good enough to make me overlook that on record, I’m just surprised at the decision not to include them in the inlay.The inclusion of the keyboard and lack of horns make this sound more like skinhead reggae than ska. Tony Rebelation has done a fine job on the production too.
Rasta4eyes are a much more ska based band who remind me of the couple of tracks that I’ve heard by ‘Six Nation State’. They have a good horn section, and some good catchy tunes. I can’t help thinking that the name’s a little bit of a curve ball, seeing as how they’re more ska punk than rasta ska. They have a very pro looking myspace and a lot of gigs coming up, go see them and make your mind up for your self.  I hope to see both of these bands playing outdoor ska festivals on sunny days in the future.
Ed Ache

Cartoon Violence
Whatever Happened To The Likely Lad.
CDLP - Do the dog records
Fronted by the keyboard player from the welsh ska band 3 Minute Warning, Cartoon Violence are one of the better new signings from Do the Dog. The album is well produced and the songs have an instant catchieness. There’s no horns but the quality of the keyboard player and the songs themselves more than make up for that. The best track by consensus (Well, my Ex and I agree) is the self titled Cartoon Violence. This is bouncy, singable, cheerful, light hearted summer ska with a very British feel, some of it’s a little bit zany with track titles like Vauxhall Nova (‘She keeps running me over in her Vauxhall Nova’) and Kite (‘Gonna fly my kite as high as I like and you won’t stop me try as you might’) but on the whole it’s a pretty solid record. I hope this lot are at Kippertronix!
Ed Ache

CDLP - Brew Records
One of the many bands to forgo a full line up and play with just drums and bass guitar.  The comparisons with Lightening Bolt are obviously going to be made, but this is more Big Business, a dirty heavier shade of noise.  It kinda got on my tits after a bit though, I imagine it’s more of an exciting prospect in the live arena.  I really shouldn’t write reviews after spending an afternoon reading P.G Wodehouse, it makes me a plummy  notator!

A good cast is worth repeating
CDLP - Engineer Records
Craving claim that they are “Late 70’s, 80’s, 90’s. We are not going to be influenced anymore.” The production on both the album and the artwork that gracefully frames it are of very high standard, unfortunately the content lets it down somewhat. Making me think of early Nirvana, the album being recorded between 2007-2009 sounds like material from 92 with an upto date production and mastering value. Grunge is meant to be dirty, leave it that way.
Track 1 should have caught my attention as with any CD, but I honestly don’t think I could “help myself” when from 0:22 to 0:32 is the majority of the song, way to save on recording time! record 10 seconds and loop it!
Track 8 caught my attention however, the balance between very subtle vocals with the power of the thumping bass and guitars.. its a shame the whole album ended with a ‘shuffle/country’ type song which made me feel a bit ill.
Overall.. Please do not quit your day jobs.. unless it is of course being in this band.

The Coathangers
CDLP - Suicide Squeeze
Like travelling back in time to Riot Grrl to listen to a band that sounds like a lo-fi mix of Television and The Raincoats.

The Cute Lepers
Can’t stand modern music
CDLP - Damaged Goods Records.
This is good stuff. Very listenable, if a little retro (but then what did you expect with an album title like that). The Cute Lepers are a new wavey rock and roll band from Seattle, featuring members of The Briefs (Who everyone likens to The Adverts). Their sound falls somewhere between Richard Hell, David Bowie, and Lou Reed with a vocal delivery not dissimilar to Elvis Costello or Mark Bolan. there’s lot’s of female backing vocals, the guitar sounds are sharp and angular, and they use a lot of choppy rhythms. Not to say that it sounds dated, well, alright, the songs do sound a little dated, but I’d guess that that’s intentional, and even so,  the production is tight and clean enough to bring it right up to date. Favourite track on the album is track 5, ‘Prove it’, although I have no idea what it’s about, it’s got a great riff in it. I’ve had this record for a few weeks now and I’ve been back for repeated listens which is always a good sign.
Ed Ache

The Cut Ups.
The high and mighty
CDLP - Household Name Records.
Household Name seem to release a lot of stuff that sounds like this. The cut ups are a band from Exeter who make very clean sounding punk rock. The singer can sing, the band can play but still there’s little that makes this stand out from the pack. It vaguely reminds me of the Weakerthans in that it’s well written and tuneful, but not too fast, gruff or loud. I think that the third track (Last night I dreamt I saw Fugazi) is fairly telling of what they’d like to achieve. The album does have a production sound that makes it sound quite American. Unfortunately it reminds me more of Hopeless records than it does Dischord. However if you like the idea of Fugazi with a very clean production sound but without the groove, the integrity or Ian Mackaye this could be for you. I have to admit, I don’t think that it’s for me.
Ed Ache

Death Zone
When The Punks Of The World Unite
CDLP - Self Released
Punk as in spiky bright coloured hair, leather jackets and and tartan trousers! It’s UK82 style stuff with a bit of rock ‘n’ roll swagger in the riffs and a bit of a Motorhead-ish feel at times.
I always find this sort of stuff is great live but a bit pointless at home, but if you’re into bands like Exploited, Casualties, etc. then you might well enjoy this. Nothing to write home about but there’s nothing essentially wrong with it either, you know exactly where you are with this sort of stuff. Punk for the punks, need I say any more?

Dirty Revolution
It’s gonna get dirty
CDEP - Do the dog records.
Well, Pauline Black from the Selecter put it quite well when she said ‘Original ska that’s got something to say and not just a lot of fat, boozed up geezers, past their sell buy date, going through the motions!!!’ This is up beat anti Nazi welsh ska with biting social commentry. Song subjects include celebrity, police, anti racism and love, but mostly love. Reb’s breathy voice harmonises well with stu’s fuller bassier vocal tones and the playing too is solid. A decent E.P for lovers of female fronted punky reggae/ska.
Ed Ache

Dirty Tactics
Despite the use of the horrid ‘up and coming’ phrase in their press sheet his band is pretty good!  Fast summery punk seems to be the flavour of this summer, and Dirty Tactics are a lovely ingredient in the mix!  Fast but ‘clean’ and shiny Hardons stuff for fans of love and fun!

For the win
CDLP - Do the dog records.
Chris Murray has a lot to answer for now days. Sorry, I just had to get that out of the way. Drewvis plays ‘Acoustical Ska’, and the first thing that strikes me about this record is how good the acoustic guitar sounds. it’s a very full production sound for such a basic set up. The guitar and vocals are the driving force, and although there are also bass lines and a few keyboard parts thrown in for good measure both are set quite low in the mix. The vocal harmonies are well executed throughout. On the whole this is a very listenable record. I’d be interested to see him live to see how the songs come across without the backing.
Ed Ache

The Emos
Quicker than Khan
CDLP - TNS Records.
The Emos are a trio from Bolton. Don’t be fooled by the name, this is fast grotty punk rock, with a decent sense of humour. The production is rough at best, and the songs rocket through at lightning pace. 13 songs in 19 minutes (Bad Moon - Learn a lesson from these boys!) All the songs have amusing (Silly) titles such as ‘Chickentikadonnerchipssaltandchillisaucemate’ and ‘Pelt that rabbit in it’s big white face’. The last three tracks ‘Punkolution’ ‘I hate punk’ and ‘Squat Punx’ are about how ridiculous punks are (A subject quite close to my heart). This is cheap and cheerful but quite listenable, and I’ll bet that they’re much better live.
Ed Ache

For The Lost
This is our fight
CDLP - Engineer Records
Chains, Blood, Scribbled Text, Hammer.... this is going to be heavy!
Okay the CD starts off with a lovely intro, straight into the main song.. first thing that has pissed me off already is the drum production.. its clear some triggering has been used on the kick drum as it sounds fake and quantized... drums are a bit overkill in this track and don’t ease up throughout the song.. Guitars remain the same heavy self with some cheeky riffs thrown in tracks two (I smile at your terror) and five (Case Against You).
Track 5 (Case against you) sounds like a really good song but it also sounds like the drummer is playing along to something else... hmm this seems to be an on going thing
The beginning of track 4 sounds like someone building a shed. - aha drummer!
I’m going to round this up now as I am getting a bit sick of it. I would honestly keep this CD in my listening collection as I like the musical content and the guitars/bass have some excellent parts (Retribution being a favourite off this CD) my advice is to quickly nab the drummer (Oli)’s double pedal away from him until he can behave!

Do That Again. AGAIN!?!
CDLP - Boss Tuneage
Another of Boss Tuneage’s retrospective releases, this time from Scunthorpe’s predictably pleasant pop-punk band GAN, a band who according to the liner notes played their last gig at the same pub I bought my first pint in, the events separated by a few months, so it will be hard to hide my nostalgia for the UK pop-punk scene of the 90’s while writing this review!
GAN started out life the way all the good punk bands do; as bored teenagers in a run down and mostly shit town where people had to make their own fun and found a way to do so by picking up guitars and drum sticks, as opposed to hanging around outside the off license begging passers by to get them some fags and booze (though they may well have done that too – old punks mocking chav’s take note, music taste aside, there aint much difference!). They managed, somehow, to get themselves signed and got a record out and that album, along with a bunch of singles makes up the 24 tracks you’ll hear on this release.
The melodies are emotional without sounding wussy, the beats are fast and the lyrics deal with everyday life and friendship in a way that lacks all the annoying self-consciousness of more recent pop-punk bands doing the rounds. Anyone who was into this sort stuff at the time is going to love the nostalgia trip regardless of whether they have heard this band before or not, but anyone who wasn’t but is into bands like Leatherface, Goober Patrol, Vanilla Pod, Beauty School Drop-Outs etc. or just pop-punk in general will find something worthwhile in this album. It is so perfectly of it’s time that it has to be heard, especially by the one-million-and-one ‘pop-punk’ bands that have sprung up recently, just so they can see how it used to be done if nothing else.

The Hickey Underground
Blonde Fire
Slumbering malevolent sludge rock with curious guitar-vocal symbionce and a hint of Suede.

The Hope
A Bullet Called Hope
Fast as fook rock with maximum riffage and some killer vocals. It’s rock and roll with a metal edge. Very powerful stuff, although not really for me. I can appreciate that it’s decent, well recorded and can see how this would appeal to the rock fans out there. Power is just dripping through this, it’s as hard as Superman’s erection would be. I’m not going to think about Superman’s erect manhood, but I expect you now are – ha ha! Decent enough yeah, not for me, but if you like your rock come metal stuff, then check out The Hope.
Mr. T

Good Good Desperation
I must admit when I saw the phrase ‘Psych-Rock’ on the press sheet I was expecting the kinda psych that a lone loonie in a crowd might make to put a gentleman sportsman off his game, but what we have is something that could be more accurately described as ‘psyche rock’.  Listening to this album is like being inside someone’s brain, someone who is a bit dozy, but then they do declare themselves to ‘rooted in shoegaze’, I wonder if they intended that pun?  My overall impression of this is that most of the tunes sound like the tracks that pop up on the Monkies film ‘Head’, when the Monkies very self consciously tried to elbow their way into the Psychedelic scene.

The Huguenots
CDLP Hydra Head
Pre members of Piebald, The Explosion, Converge and The Never Never.
This is nasty! To me it sounds like Sikth or a hardcore version of At The Drive in. Lots of guitar riffs that are totally dissonant and make no sense. Tuneless screaching vocals throughout and fast beats that are difficult to tap toes to. I think that the word I’d use to describe this lot is challenging! Not for the faint hearted... or your nan. If this sounds right up your back alley go seek them out. Or even better, go and listen to the new 3hostwomexicansandatinofspanners record ‘Everything is fucking shit’ It’s much better than this!
Ed Ache

Herald Moth
CDLP - Graphite records
Brand new album a good couple of years in the making for British Alt-Metal troupe InMe and it definitely represents a step forward in terms of complexity and instrumentation for the band.
The pop sensibilities and danceable hooks of tracks like “Nova Armada” and album opener “You Won’t Hear From Me Again” combine widdly post-nu metal guitar riffs with slightly off-kilter rhythms and the odd bit of well placed synth, while heavier numbers like “The Art Of Moderation” offer up some riffs that proper metal bands would be happy to call their own.
By far the poppiest song on the album, “Single Of The Weak” is a kind of mixture of electro-pop and modern metal that will no doubt go down a treat with the current readers of Kerrang etc.
This isn’t my cup of tea at all but I reckon if I’d heard it when I was 14 I’d have been well into it and I have to say that it is notably better than 90% of the stuff in regular rotation on Scuzz, because for a pop-metal album, it’s pretty ambitious stuff and strikes a well thought out balance between technical metal riffing and melodic mainstream hooks that are going to please the current fan-base and win over a whole bunch of new kids as well. I expect to be seeing the video’s on T.V soon enough, whereupon I will commence ranting about the state of rock today, but until then this is actually a really good album for its type and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s into stuff like Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall and all that other stuff that makes me glad I’m not in school any more.

Jack Rundell
The Snicks on my Mulligan
I was dreading this. I expected it to be abominable shit. My first thoughts upon putting it on were... this sounds like Magnetic Fields, oh no it’s country, hold on is he singing in an American Accent? Why’s he doing that? Isn’t he from Ipswich? I’m guessing that he’s reached the same conclusion that The Shivers and The Broken Family Band reached, that you can’t play genuine sounding country music without an American accent. According to his press release he’s the U.K’s most talented and exciting singer and songwriter. I think that’s pushing it a bit far, but it’s not bad at all.... If you like Country... and Magnetic Fields... and sarcastic Englishmen singing in American accents... which I do. So I guess that’s O.K.
Ed Ache

Jimmy the Squirrel
CDEP - Do the dog records
A great many of the recent signings to Do the Dog records seem to suffer somewhat from a slightly weak production sound. This E.P is no different. That’s not to say that it’s unlistenable, it’s just nice to hear records with some balls sometimes. That’s not very constructive though, lets see if I can do a little better. Jimmy the Squirrel are the band fronted by Liam O’Kane (See review for his  record else where in this issue), and are not all too dissimilar from his solo output. The subject matter on show here ranges between governments, not selling out,  relationships, and working in shit jobs. Stuff we can all relate to. The band are competent, some of the grooves are nice, but the main stand out feature is Liams voice which they really make the most of. It would be good music to listen to while sitting in a sunny field while getting inebriated with your mates.
Ed Ache

Joe Coffee
When the Fabric Don’t Fit The Frame
CDLP - Scream Records
Featuring Paul Bearer from Sheer Terror, Joe Coffee are a bit like a Milloy Mixed with Fucked Up, especially with the vocals.  Not at all bad, but not exceptional.

John Player Specials
Identification EP
CDEP - Do the dog records
From Wigan the spiritual home of Northern Soul ‘John Player Specials’ are a five piece ska band. Comprising of two guitars, drums, bass, trombone, lead singer and two backing vocalists. On the inlay to the album they appear to be playing acoustics, and ukes, but I’d be surprised if the record actually uses these instruments (Sorry I lie, the last track definitely does feature a ukulele) as it sounds decidedly electric. It’s not a bad E.P but it does suffer from the usual U.K ska thing of having a very seperated and slightly weak production sound. If they were to add a couple of members to their horn section and balls up their production this lot could be a class act. I’d imagine that their live show would be worth seeing.
Ed Ache

Kismet HC
In The Key Of Strife
CDLP - Fight for your mind records
New album here from self-styled “anarcho-hardcore”  stalwarts Kismet HC and it’s treading familiar ground. It’s straight forward hardcore punk but has a kind of mortarhate records feel to it a lot of the time. It offers nothing new, its fast thrashy part/chuggy breakdown part as you’ve heard fifty million times before but it’s done well and it’s done with conviction and that’s what counts with stuff like this. There’s even the odd part that throws a bit of something else into the mix, for example the opening riff in “positive day” sounds more like Black Sabbath than straight punk and overall there’s enough variation to keep me listening.
The lyrics deal with, as you’d expect; Imperialism, feminist principles, societies various hierarchies -  standard anarcho stuff and you probably already know how you feel about it.
It’s a stand out album from the majority of stuff coming from the UK anarcho scene these days though, tracks like “pro choice” have a genuine passion in them that puts Kismet above the hoard’s of anarcho bands singing about socio-political issues just to tick all of the the boxes on the political punk check list. Bottom line is if you like your hardcore to sound like punk and also like it to be angry about things that matter in the world rather than angry about relationships, you will be into “In The Key Of Strife”. If you think Gallows are hardcore and politics is what happens on the news, you aint gonna get it. Either way you should probably give it a listen.

Snake Magnet
Bruding malevolent crush-punk sounding like a mix of These Arms are Snakes and Lightening Bolt.  Slightly too erratic for my tastes but really fucking inventive and exciting!

CDLP - Engineer Records
At the moment I have a keep pile (of CD’s that I will listen to again) and I have a pile of crap that I will no doubt throw in the recycle bin momentarily!
This CD is actually going to go into the keep pile!.. I really like it, its quite unique combining the classical string instruments along with the more traditional rock instruments, yes yes its been done before with the likes of Apocolyptica but this isn’t in any way metal or heavy, if anything it gives it a technical/funky/fusion feel.. nothing like I’ve heard before, swapping about time signatures, harmonics, pizzicato strings, acoustic guitars and some really nice drum work.
Many different styles are explored in this CD and it seems to be primarily split with an interlude track as in the second part of the disc it starts to use more synthesizer along with more traditional ‘street musician’ type tracks with variuous finger percussion.
In conculsion alot of the tracks on this CD could be easily used for soundtracks to films, some for adverts, and all for some easy listening, no hang on.. for listening to whilt you are chilling!.. that sounds better.. I’ve always hated the term “easy listening”.. Not one to impress your friends with but neatly packaged in a colourful casing with surprising contents.

Liam O’Kane
Happy Days Sad Songs.
CDLP - Do the dog records
Liam O’Kane is the lead singer/guitarist and I would guess the main songwriter in ‘Jimmy the Squirrel’. All I knew about him until listening to this is that Babar Luck name checks him on the track weekend fathers. So... what does he sound like then? The best descriptive word I have for it is nice (A word my English teacher always told me not to use... Ha Ha in your face Mrs Owen). Liam has a really good singing voice that reminds me in tone (And this is not an intentional slight on the man) of the guy from 80s pop duo Erasure. Instrumentally it’s acoustic guitar, a bit of melodica, occasional bass, snare drum, bass drum, no hi hat. The lack of hi hat is noteworthy because it means that although there is a rhythm section the guitar does most of their job.
Ed Ache

Hermes Pan
CDLP - Sturdy Records
This is kind of presented to us as something fresh, bold, original and daring. Outside of the  promotional bullshit though it’s what we call ‘indie’, and if we want to get more specific, we call it ‘pretentious indie’.
‘Hermes Pan’ is out on July 13th as a limited (thank fuck) seven inch and on general release online as an itunes download.
I may sound overly bitter about this single but this is simply because I’m so tired of the likes of the BBC and other mainstream media dressing mutton up as lamb, as they desperately flap around trying to find something that they can hold up as relevant and exciting, while still appealing to the increasingly brainwashed masses who discovered music festivals 3 years ago, and have since proceeded to ruin them for everyone with the designer wellies and ridiculous sunglasses recommended to them by some bullshit newspapers ‘festival survival guide’.
The music offered on this, contrary to the review samples I’ve been provided with, is not “a bit mental,” and if I ever find the cunt that described this as “the icing on the cake that only the aurally anorexic could fail to tuck into” I’ll shove Ponytail’s ‘Ice Cream Spiritual’ so far up his arse that he’ll be finding out how long a real musical feast takes to digest for weeks afterward.
I do not believe a single note of the 3 songs available here and I can only hope that on their other releases, which I have admittedly not heard, Loqui offer something at least remotely like the “on-the-edge-of-sanity vibe” that they are masquerading as having here – because on this release? They sound more like an evening with the student’s union. 

The Magnificent
Pay The Crimes.
CDLP - Boss Tuneage.
This reminds me musically of one of my favourite bands from when I was a teenager. Namely ‘These Animal Men’ (With out the eye liner or the lipstick!), and vocally of  a cross between Tim Armstrong and Mark E Smith. It’s a lot like punk rock, but it’s a bit more tuneful, a bit more rock and roll, and a bit more well thought out than most recent punk records. Had this been released in the mid 90s they would probably have been darlings in the NME, but unfortunately the NME became a pop (Or more acurately Poo) mag at around the time that Blur and Oasis made it into the public eye. So... yes... To me it sounds like it should have been part of the ‘New Wave of New Wave’ but being as it’s about fourteen years too late to be grouped in with those bands and many people won’t have a clue what I’m talking about. It’s a good rock record that neither fits into the genres of metal or punk, and that’s quite a rarity these days.
this review was done on the first listen. After repeated listens I’d say that it sounds more like a less punk, English (Slightly watered down) version of Rancid.
Ed Ache

More than a machine
CDLP - Household name records
We’ve kind of missed the boat on this one, seeing as how it seems to have been released in 2007. This is punk rock for people who don’t like their punk rock to be too challenging. It’s very clean and well produced (Steve Whitfield the producer has also worked with Terrorvison and The Cure) and technically the band are very good. The playing is tight throughout, and the frontman has a strong voice (And a fairly strong northern accent). It’s not particularly bad, but I have to admit that there’s nothing here that really stands out to me. Most of the songs have one verse which gets repeated two or three times and a catchy chorus. It’s good well structured proficient punk rock, and they’ve got the formula down, but then so do a lot of other bands.
Ed Ache

Creating problems while practising solutions
CDLP - Household name records
Still behind the times, but less so with this release from 2008. Milloy seem to have a running theme with their inlay artwork. It looks like it’s been done by an overeager graphic design student. You generally can’t read the track titles, there are irrelevant pictures on every page of the booklet, and none of it really seems to gel. They look messy, and are really just style over content (Without the content). Anyway, enough about the cover art, on with the disk. They do have a great guitar sound, and their frontman (Check inlay) Jim’s voice is still just as strong. It’s tight tecky punk rock. I wouldn’t be surprised if these guys get (got?) Radio One/MTV play as it’s pretty inoffensive, and clean sounding but then to be honest that would only serve to make me like them less then I already do.
Ed Ache

Some very nicely done party ska from Norway, like a cross between old Mad Caddies stuff mixed with Gogol Bordello, and with a dash of Mariachi type stuff.  This is proper loud party music and there seems to be far more of it going on in mainland Europe, it’s great to see it making an impact over here!  I can’t tell you much more as the tight buggers only sent me a single track!

Girls love that shit
CDLP - Partyhouse records.
Norwegian ska punk with a bit of funk thrown in for good measure. A slightly off puting slogan I grant you, I wasn’t sure what to make of it myself.. I mean, the band name gives away nothing, and the record title’s rubbish. So it was with slight trepidation that I popped this into my diskman. I have to admit that it put a smile on my face almost instantly. The first track ‘Like lovers do’ has a Spanish almost oompah feel to it. It’s very well produced and a little bit like ‘Reel big Fish’. they have a two piece horn section comprised of a saxophone and a trombone, and in most cases the sax seems to take the lead. Track four ‘Idaho’ I enjoyed so much that I saw fit to play it again straight after the first listen, and looking at the press release it would seem that that’s the proposed single, so I would guess  that’s the point. I can’t make out all the words and I don’t have an inlay booklet, but from what I can make out, and from the song titles (‘Like Lovers Do’, ‘All Nite’, ‘Valentine’, ‘Festival Fuck Fest’, ‘Summer of Position 69’ ect) it would seem that most of the songs are about fucking in some way or another. Summer of Position 69 is the other track that got a few spins. It’s filthy, and a little misogynistic, but damn is it catchy. If I had one complaint about it it would be the whole Ska Rap crossover thing, but that’s a personal complaint best not aired here. If you like the idea of Ska/Punk/Rap that sounds a bit like Reel Big Fish, knock yourself out!
Ed Ache

My First Tooth
My First Tooth & The Rubies
CDEP - Alcopop! Records
With production so lush it’s the musical acousticy equivilent of diving into James’ giant peach.  Listening to this band gives the same reassurance that everything is okay as read the aforementioned book.

Battle for the sun
Hmm, I’ll warn you right now I’m about to slip into ‘wanker mode’.  Even although Placebo are self releasing this album (very smart) they appear to be hell bent on sticking with the nasty tricks learnt during their time at a major label.  I’m fully aware this is complaint of the most bourgeois bastard nature, but this disc was accompanied by a snotty note telling me that is was watermarked with a specific disk serial number, followed by a stern warning that they’ll hunt me down using this system if I leak anything on the internet or make any copies.  The footnote on the stern warning informs me that under no circumstances am I allowed to rip this album to my iPod, at the risk of sounding like a shitty ungrateful child; I consider the ripping of CDs I have reviewed to my personal iPod totally fair.  It’s worth noting that once these tracks are on my iPod it’s not really possible to transfer them to anyone else’s computer.  So in exchange for giving Placebo publicity I’m getting nothing, now if I really love a band I’ll do anything I can to promote them – and this album is really very good – but if they’re going to punish me before I’ve committed any crime to protect what in reality is a couple of quid they’ll lose from me not buying the CD then I’m not so inclined to sings their praises from the rooftops.  I am fully aware that piracy is a problem, but I don’t think punishing reviewers (the people here to help bands) is the answer, in fact I don’t think there is an answer and any wild stab at finding one is probably quite counter productive and damaging to the relationships that keep bands in tea and biscuits.  As a final insult I’m asked to keep this CD under lock and key when I’m not listening to it, Jesus – this is an album, not the Holy Grail!  I’m a reviewer in a zine, not a MI5 operative!  I shall not keep this CD, I obviously won’t rip it, I’ll do something productive with it and use it as a bird frightener at my allotment.  I would like to make it totally clear that I believe the blame for this silliness rests with the band’s management, the PR agent (who shall remain nameless) has always been the very definition of gracious and helpful, helpful to such an extent he/ she puts every other PR I’ve ever dealt with to shame, by a long way.  What happened to you Placebo, you used to be cool, what did I ever personally do to upset you so?

Mustard City Rockers
Get Involved
CDLP - Gratuitous beaver records
The Mustard City Rockers make a surprisingly small sound for such a big band, and this album is a little bit quiet, but there my criticism ends. This is an inteligent and witty folk record. The band use guitar, drums, double bass, banjo, mandolin, washboard, penny whistle, accordion and the odd kazoo.The musicianship is all solid. They have three distinctly different vocalists  (Chris, Dempsey, and Lucy) and although none of them have what you’d call technically good singing voices they all have their own personality, characteristics and charm. Dempsey has a guttural punk rock snarl, Chris is a country crooner, and Lucy sings the sweet (Sometimes crazed) backing vocals. Chris and Dempsy take turns in lead vocal duties and the split is roughly even. I have to admit that I generally prefer the sound of Dempsys voice, but my two favorite tracks on this album are Chris numbers (‘Bathtub’, and ‘Tunstead Girl’). They write songs about their home town (Norwich) and surrounding areas, girls, drinking and the odd political number, but what they are really good at seems to be the good old traditional story song. It’s nicely packaged too. Although I would have liked to see the inclusion of the lyrics alongside cartoon pictures of the band inside the inlay, it’s a small gripe as you can clearly make out most of the words when listening to the record. My advice would be to go see them live and if you like what you hear, buy this.
Ed Ache

Nine Days To No One
CDLP - Engineeer Records
A very neat CD by these guys, the bulk of the tracks lead into each other giving a live feel but also that of an Act I, Act II theme.
There’s no soft intro, it literally blows your bollocks off and if like me you had your HIFI up load (like its meant to be) this is the CD that will do volume justice!
Track 2 (Alban Mount) takes everything down into what seems to be a ‘breakdown’ song, this is a perfect opportunity to sit back down in your chair and take notice of the effort that has clearly gone into both the musicianship and production.
Overall I’m not sure that I would have put the last track “Screaming Blue Messiah, The Light Of A Thousand Sins” on the CD at-all.. so far the it has been a journey between songs getting heavy in epic proportions and swiftly changing dynamics to present itself as a soft piece with a ton of melody, the last track however seems to solely rely on a rhythm driven guideline and just doesn’t fit.
Went to check out these guys on their website to check out any potential new material but couldn’t get to it - Seems they are too busy rocking out!

No Hope Astronaut
All Exits Fade/My Friend Eject – Digital Love
split CDEP - Animal Farm
My Friend Eject have easily got one of the silliest band names I’ve ever heard. Their music sounds like the bands people were rabid over around 2000/2001; stuff like Thursday, At The Drive-In circa ‘Relationship of Command’, Biffy Clyro etc. and present us with an extremely polished, though far too clinical and calculated summary of that style so commonly described by lazy music critics as “angular”.  It’s not that it’s bad so much as that it’s so transparently aimed at mainstream success with a style that has pretty much already had it’s moment, that it’s hard to take it seriously. It feels like listening to one of those semi-finals of ‘battle of the bands’ type acts; thoroughly polished and well-rehearsed but lacking the inspiration and spark that sets great bands apart from merely competent bands.
No Hope Astronaut offer something a little bit more pleasing to my ears, pretty much the same sort of music as My Friend Eject but with a bit more going on. They remind me a lot of Pretty Girls Make Graves only, y’know, not as good.
The whole release oozes teen angst on every track (“fuck you mum!”) and will no doubt please avid fans of bands like Thursday, Biffy Clyro, Jetplane Landing etc., but I cant help but feel they’ve missed the boat by a good few years where their dreams of mainstream stardom are concerned.

Punks Not Dad
In Me Shed
CDEP - Xfist/In me shed
The cover of this single tells us that this is the “official song of National Shed Week 2009” and that alone had me chuckling all the way up until the point where I actually began to play it, whereupon I realised that I had actually volunteered myself to review what can only be described as the most pointlessly generic punk release I’ve heard for a long time.
I of course appreciate that this was intended as a very tongue-in-cheek single, and one which no doubt every punk rock dad in the land will appreciate, but there is really nothing for anyone else to enjoy about it. It’s so tedious and overdone that you may as well just imagine you’ve already heard it; riff, lyrics and all, and save yourself a few minutes which might be better spent listening to something that hasn’t already been done better a million times before. Having said that this is easily the best present for Fathers day that you can possibly get for any punk loving dad, so just treat it as the novelty item it obviously is and leave it at that.

Punks not dad.
We Are The Dads
CDLP - X Fist records (A division of Boss Tuneage.)
Aston Stephens is a fucking star. Boss Tuneage appear to be happy to release the records that people like Household Name wouldn’t touch with a bargepole. Don’t believe me? Check out ‘Anal Beard’ brilliant they may be, signable they are not. The same goes for this lot. It’s comedy punk rock, leaning heavily towards the comedy. Track titles like like ‘Gaye Adverts Eyes’ (With the classic classic line “I had a safety pin stuck in my heart and I can’t forgive, I loved Gaye Advert and she loved T.V.Smith”) and ‘Banned from the Barfly’ give you some idea of what to expect. These are genuine dads with a love of the first wave of punk, who sing songs about getting old, loving their sheds, and how the kids these days just don’t get what punk rock was all about. I’m going to e-mail ‘Gay Advert’s Eye’s’ to an old friend of mine now. I’m sure he’ll find it hilarious. (He did!)
Ed Ache

Let The Dominoes Fall
CDLP - Epitaph/Hellcat
There comes a time for all career bands where, having released a number of classic albums they face the unenviable task of having to please hardcore fans while still attracting a new audience; a mission which most bands tend to fail at (arguably all of them!). 2003’s ‘Indestructible’ was an album that failed to achieve that goal for Rancid, for while it attracted many new fans it largely alienated their core audience; what with the blatant hobnobbing with dickhead celebrities (Kelly Osbourne? Come on!) and the obvious attempts at chart success, a lot of people were left wondering how bad the next Rancid album would be, and you know what? It aint that bad.
I say this of course under the assumption that we all agree there can never be another “Lets Go” or “...and out come the wolves”.
Are we agreed? Good. Having said that then, there is a lot to like about this album. It encompasses everything that makes Rancid a great band, there are several fast paced punk anthems that might not  achieve the inspirational quality of earlier classics but will still get anyone jumping around in a live setting, as well as a few quality ska tracks and even the odd folky number for good measure.
All in all this is a perfectly passable album but not one which is offering anything to     challenge any of the classic Rancid albums.

Revenge of the Psychotronic Man
Make Pigs Smoke.
CDLP -TNS Records.
I saw, Manchesters most idiotic band, Revenge of the Psychotronic Man play in Sudbury a few years ago, It’s a Mecca for punk rock you know! I was impressed enough by them that night to part with three or four quid for a six track e.p and a full album. A steal by anyone’s standards. This album proves that they still have whatever it was I saw in them that night that made me part with my money. The title’s ridiculous, the cover’s ridiculous (It’s a black and white picture of one of their mates wearing a pig mask and skoking a cigar), The song titles are fucking ridiculous. (‘’, ‘Mainstream music is shit’, ‘The fuck it button and’ ‘donkey.yeast.infection’ are good examples chosen at random from the track listing), but it’s great. There’s a nice instrumental ska tune, but on the whole the music is just fucking fast paced pretty heavy punk rock. It’s not even wacky, it’s just fast as hell. They have a real a real sense of humour, but it’s not a novelty record. It’s just the little touches. ‘No pigs were harmed in the making of this album’ ‘Only Mikey Wong was forced to smoke against his will’ hidden away behind the spine where no-one ever looks. things like that. If you haven’t already heard them listen to their myspace. If you already know them and like them, buy it it’s good. If you’ve heard them and don’t like them just ignore all of this!  I’ve been travelling about a bit in a van with a few of my mates. Out of eight C.Ds I put on over the course of a day this was one of three that we listened to all the way through. High praise indeed.
Ed Ache

Robb Blake
One man ska explosion.
CDLP - Do the dog records
Robb Blake is the kind of man who turns up to a festival with 78 pints of real ale in a big plastic container, and is willing to keep your girlfriend plied with booze. A lovely chap who loves his drink, and that’s quite evident here. Most of these songs are about drinking. On first listen to this I knew there was something a little bit odd about it, but couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. It took until the second track (Drink it Dry) for me to realise (And even then only because it opens up with the drums on their own) It’s a drum machine, or Cuebase running programmed midi drums or some such thing. They’re very well programmed, but still sound very quantized, which for a style of music as loose as ska seems a little alien. However, Rob has a good voice and it would appear that he played all the instruments himself which is commendable. It’s probably fairly telling that my favorite track here is ‘Waiting for the rain’ which is the only track on the album that he does with just an acoustic guitar and his voice.
Ed Ache

The Skints.
CDEP - Do the dog records
If you haven’t seen The Skints yet you clearly don’t go to that many punk and ska gigs. As a live band they’re a most enjoyable prospect. There’s just one problem (And it’s true for a great many bands in this country at the moment.) If you’re a middle class middle England white kid, why sing in a Jamaican accent? This is something that has been increasingly bothering me over the last year or so. I know that I shouldn’t have worked up such a bee in my bonnet about it because apart from this one thing the Skint’s E.P is exceptionally good. The songs are catchy and singable as well as being easy to dance to. There’s a good balance between the faster songs like Little Flag and Jungle plane wreck and the slow burners like Murderer and Sociopath. I like it, I really do! It’s just that to me music should always be as honest as possible and there’s something decidedly deceptive about this.
Ed Ache

The Shadowcops
A Big Pot of Hot
CDLP - TNS Records
TNS weren’t a record label which had really appeared on my radar before. They well and truly have now. Both this and the ROTPM records are blistering. However where Revenge of... go for all out balls to the wall speed, The Shadowcops have opted for a heavier, more mid paced variety of punk rock harking back to the 90s rock bands like The Wildhearts, Therapy? and dare I say it a little Janes Addiction. They do very well to take these influences and not turn into turgid imitators though. They’ve got one fat fuzzy guitar sound and they know how to use it, this record is just stuffed full of massive riffs (I’m sorry... That’s all I can describe them as.) They’ve got a tight rhythm section and the duel lead vocals keep things interesting. The songs are well structured and the lyrics too are worth a mention for not being your usual punk rock bollocks. I hope to see this lot live sometime soon, they’re much better than a lot of the shit I’ve heard recently. In fact I can’t find a bad thing to say about them, track it down. It’s very good.
Ed Ache

The Shitty Limits
Beware The Limits
CDLP - Boss Tuneage
Chances are that if you haven’t actually heard The Shitty Limits, you’ve heard someone raving about them, such is the hype surrounding this UK garage-punk band.
This then, is “The-Hotly-Awaited-Debut-Album”  from the band, who have been gigging around the UK for a long while now, building their reputation with the odd 7 inch release, all rabidly received by their increasing fan-base.
I’m always slightly wary of bands that are touted as the new saviours of punk, it’s usually a recipe for disappointment, but after seeing the band live supporting Career Suicide I had to agree that the band really do have something.
It’s not so much that The Limits are playing something unlike anything you’ve heard before; their music is one part garage, one part punk and one part hardcore, but it’s the passion and conviction so evident in it’s delivery that sets the band apart from the rest.
What has been missing from the UK punk scene for some time now is a band that has a genuine belief in what they are doing, a band with passion and energy screaming from every chord and in The Shitty Limits that’s what you get from every track.
Having said that though, the 12 tracks on here tend to blur into one, as its all quite formulaic but where this would normally be a problem it isn’t the case here. Once the blinding rock’n’roll finally grinds to a halt, you just hit play and do it all again.
It’s infectious, it’s passionate, it’s raucous, it’s’s just straight up one of the most exciting UK punk albums in years and if you don’t get on it sharpish, you’re gonna be feeling really quite silly in 6 months time when you’re the only one who hasn’t.  

Armchair Supporters
CDLP - Boss Tuneage
A band featuring members of such respected names as Snuff and Blocko really ought to be something a cut above the average, but with their second album Southport have failed to come up with anything special.
For those who aren’t familiar with the band, they play the kind of pop-punk which really has more in common with the indie-rock of bands like Idlewild than it does with anything punk, not that this is a bad thing in itself. Boss Tuneage have been largely specialising in this kind of music for years and have put out some quality examples of it in that time, so when they describe ‘Armchair Supporters’ as one of the best albums they’ve ever put out you would think anyone would be inclined to agree. Unfortunately I just cant find anything in any way striking about this disc to make it stand out above any of the masses of similar albums which have been made over the years.
The album does have its moments, “Calypso”  was a particular highlight, with it’s slightly unusual guitar style raising my interest a little but over all there is nothing here other than bland indie-rock with some really ill-advised organ sounds occasionally failing to offer anything other than mild irritation (it’s ‘mod’ apparently). I wanted to like this record, I really did, but the honest truth is that there is nothing here to get excited about. Shame really.

Sounds of Swami
Halcyon Days
7”EP TNS Records
Although I’ve read various good reviews of this lot, I’d never actually heard them before, so this has been my first exposure to them, and I’m very impressed. It’s a real box ticker. Six tracks in under ten minutes, produced well enough that it sounds good, but not so well that it ends up sounding all shiny and flat. They manage to cross a hard fast U.S hardcore sound of old with a bang up to date British punk rock feel. The songs are unpredictable without being too disjointed (A little like ‘At the Drive in’ playing ‘Minor Threat’), swerving between heavy riffery, gang vocals and good harmonies. ‘Bandwagon hi-jack’ seems to me to be the highlight but from the, frankly fucking blistering, opener ‘Briefcase of ignorance’ to closing track ‘Your name not here’ this is a quality E.P. It’s a constant onslaught too. There are no gaps between the tracks (blurring the boundaries between where one ends and the next begins), It just keeps bludgeoning away. Check out their myspace for upcoming gig dates, and a better idea of what they sound like. It won’t hurt and may even improve your life. I received this on a CDR with a photocopied cover, but it looks like when it’s released it will be a 7” which is a bonus for any vinyl lovers out there.
Ed Ache

Stand out riot
Carnival Militia
CDEP-Bigtone records (In association with TNS)
This reminds me of a lot of the ‘Skacore’ sound that was very popular around 2003/2004  ala ‘Adequate Seven’, ‘Howards Alias’ and to a lesser extent ‘The Filaments’. I’m guessing that they’d include the ‘Mad Caddies’ in their list of influences too. A lot of younger bands coming up through the ranks at the moment missed out on the third wave of ska first time round, so I reckon that there’s going to be a bit of a revival of this sort of thing in the not too distant future. It’s produced by Tim G who has worked with ‘Random Hand’ and ‘Sonic Boom Six’ to name but two. So as you can imagine it’s sickeningly well produced. The guitars are crisp, the horns sound huge and the vocals are right up front. From what I can make out the whole band are taking either music GCSEs or A levels. So although they’re all quite young, they’re massively technically proficient, and this shows through on the record which is tight as fuck. There are quite a variety of sounds on display too, with a four piece horn section, violin, occasional flute and keyboard adding nicely to the standard punk band backbone. The artwork is done by Combination 13 and is, as usual, well laid out, very colourful and eye catching. If this lot have the longevity to keep at it I have a feeling that they could do quite well for themselves.
Ed Ache

The Steady Boys
CDLP - Do the dog records.
Far from what you might expect from the album title this here is unashamedly skinhead mod ska. No horns, no keyboards just stripped back guitar, bass and drums. At times like Madness at other times like The Jam. One things for sure, they wear their influences on their collective sleeves. the guitar sounds are thin and a little distorted which works well with the full bass tone. If this had been released in 77 I’m sure it would have sold in its thousands. Unfortunately I fear that they’re about thirty two years too late.
Ed Ache

The Stupids
The Kids Don’t Like It
CDLP - Boss Tuneage
This is the brand new album from Ipswich natives The Stupids, their first since 1987! The press release tells us that the band are not only back but are in fact better than they were before. Many would argue of course that this is not in any way a difficult task, but I’ve always liked the older Stupids material. Mostly on account of the fact that it was pretty stupid...
The band are known for being fast and daft mainly, but on this new release there is definitely some development. The first few tracks are blisteringly fast pop-punk with a bit of a Leatherface influence in the breakdowns and with this simple fact alone The Stupids show themselves to have become infinitely more complex than their earlier records! A few tracks in though and we get what we came for; thrashy, shouty hardcore. Just what we expect from The Stupids, only this time around they can actually play their instruments properly and it shows.
The album is really enjoyable throughout, it’s the kind of punk album I put on before going to a gig, it gets you in the mood for drinking and having a laugh. It’s never too serious but it’s always fast and aggressive and has plenty of samples of the band pissing about in the studio, in typical Stupids style. Those clips really aren’t that funny though and at times are a bit annoying, especially the one right at the very end of the album. In fact the whole of the last track is a bit dodgy as it seems to be wanting us to take it seriously, such is the sudden increase in complexity, but frankly this isn’t going to happen after half an hour of pissing about so I’m just gonna write off track 16 all together.
All in all this is a pretty decent and fun old school hardcore punk album with a melodic pop edge which will definitely please fans of the older Stupids material as well as anyone into stuff like 7 Seconds, NOFX etc. Well worth a listen.

Teenage Bottle Rockets
They came from the shadows
Who misses pop punk? I DO! Who wants some dumb, melodic, three chords? I DO! This is just good, old fashioned pop punk like Screeching Weasel et al. used to do. And nothing else, it really is nothing more than that. It’s melodic, poppy, dumb, and fast. Brainless and joyous. What more do you want?
Sam Page

Ten City Nation
At The Still Point
CDLP - Sturm Und Drang Recordings
Bury St. Edmunds has produced an unusual amount of notable bands for a tiny town in Suffolk, one of these being John Peel favourites Miss Black America, the indie band which split up, developed testicles and became Ten City Nation.
Last years debut album on Repeat Records was full of promise, an album that combined the raw aggression of The Stooges with the melodic sensibilities of Idlewild with devastatingly catchy effect. This years follow up keeps all the promises of its predecessor and adds extra dimensions to it.
Opening track “Flashing Lights”  sets the bar with its raw, garage-esque stomp and adds a touch of something more ethereal in the lead parts, which combines with the vocals to create something which shouldn’t quite work but does. It’s got everything from Placebo to early Nirvana all mixed up with pure punk rage; delicate and savage all at once.
A bit further in, “Take Me Down”  introduces us to the other side of the album, a track that sounds like Smashing Pumpkins mixed with “The Wind Cries Mary” only English and with a bit of a Brit-Pop feel to it, fantastic stuff.
All in all, Ten City Nation are one of the best Indie-rock bands around at the moment and the fact that this stormer of an album is self-released is virtually criminal when you consider some of the shit that gets hyped up in that genre these days (I’m thinking mainly of horrendously dull yet obsessively hyped NME darlings ‘The Cribs’ at the moment). ‘At The Still Point’ combines all of the aesthetic sensibilities of the last 20 years of indie music into one essential outburst that is all the bands own. It makes indie worth hearing again and demands to be heard. Luckily for you it will be available as a free download at on 3rd August.

The Thermals
Now we can see
CDLP - Kill Rockstars
Fun summer poppy punk along the lines of the Hard Ons, LoveJunk and with maybe a sprinkling of Dinosaur Jr style spite.  Pretty good stuff, about as catchy as crabs, and you’re just as likely to get infected on first exposure.  Although it might not mean much to most of my readers, this band also deserves kudos for putting some fucking effort into thier press sheet!

Very likeably English sounding Ska with a traditional English pub circuit feel about it.  Nods at the past but maintains a modern sound. ‘Just got paid’ showcases the band’s ‘Kinks’ type sense of humour, great!

Varsity Drag
Rock And Roll Is Such A Hassle: Live In Europe
CDLP - Boss Tuneage
I cant say I’ve ever heard of Varsity Drag before but the album cover tells me that they feature ex-lemonheads member Ben Deily. I never really got what all the fuss was about with The Lemonheads though, so this didn’t get us off to a good start.
The 15 tracks here were recorded at a gig in Austria and are of a good enough quality to not have any of the annoying remoteness of some live albums.
I don’t feel like this album is really the best place to get a first impression of the band though, so rather than make judgements I’ll just describe what the band sound like:
Pop-punk of the indie influenced variety with hooks galore, big choruses, tight melodies and that awkward kid in high-school theme in in the lyrics. That’ll suit me just fine.
I was ready to hate this album before I’d even heard it but it’s a very good example of why we should never judge an album by it’s cover (unless the cover has the word “westlife”  on the front of course).
If you know who this band are and you’re into them I would definitely recommend picking this up, you’ll be getting your monies worth.  

Well that’s all for now folks, as always there’s a ton of neat stuff coming out all the time that we’ve probably missed, it doesn’t mean we hate you, although maybe it does, you’ll never know.


Frank Turner
Leeds Cockpit
21st October 2008
Ballad Of Me And My Friends
Imperfect Tense
Nashville Tennessee
Worst Things Happen At Sea
Back In The Day
Vital Signs
Once We Were Anarchists
The Real Damage
A Love Worth Keeping (little piano it bit straight into...)
Father’s Day
I Knew Prufrock...
Long Live The Queen
St Chris Is Coming Home
Love, Ire & Song
The first time I saw Frank Turner was at the Underworld a few years back when he was opening for Reuben and Engerica. I had never heard of him and I can’t remember too much from the night, but I remember him saying, the next song was about last weekend, and he launched into The Real Damage, a now Turner classic. I came away with a smile and Tat came away with a bloodied head (there’s only so much crowd surfing an audience will take).
Anyways, skip a few years and Jon hands me a copy of Sleep Is For The Week and Love, Ire & Song and I’m hooked, I manage to catch him at Reading on the Lockup to see that he’s been very busy since that night in Camden.
Apologies for the rest of this review, I don’t want to come over biased but I had a really good night.
I’ve only been to a club night at the Cockpit and I was very impressed with the live setup, good stage, good size and importantly a great sound. First up was Emily Barker an Aussie who moved to London some years back, had never heard of her but was impressed. I’m not well enough versed in folk to really comment but enjoyed her set, however I think she should have ended on a more upbeat song to give her a good send off.
Next up was Chris TT, now with band. I’ve seen Chris before at the Steamboat in Ipswich a few years ago and ended up buying his 7”, I remember something about an ‘Eminem Is Gay’ song but not much more than that. The addition of his band has really broadened his sound and no doubt his appeal, with interesting arrangements that are welcome in a day of cardigan copycats. Look forward to hearing more from him.
Then after a quick changeover, Frank runs on solo and belts out a raucous rendition of Ballad Of Me And My Friends, which leads swiftly into Reasons Not To Be An Idiot with his band now lit up and rocking. It’s the first night of the tour and the Cockpit is sold out, Frank and co are in high spirits, and the crowd is belting back as much as Frank is sending out. The set is a good mix of tunes from Love, Ire & Song and Sleep Is For The Week with Nashville Tennessee a welcome addition from the latter years. Still, the dude in front of me is screaming out for ‘Thatcher Fucked The Kids’, and then explaining to everyone around him that he was one of those kids, but I don’t really think that’s going to happen. Anyways, a lot has been said about the mix of people at Turner gigs, and from my position at the side I can spot a skinhead in a leather jacket, a couple of Mohicans, some metal t’s and an abundance of plaid shirts. I love that Turner almost brings together niches and the comradeship of everyone that see’s him; I think it’s his honesty and sincerity to a genre of music that is far from his origins.
Back to the gig, The Real Damage commands an ecstatic sing a long and follows into a sweet (not ‘dude, that’s sweet’ but sweet like apple bonbons) keyboard introduction to A Love Worth Keeping. Turners in between song jests keep the continuity flowing smoothly throughout, but it’s his preface to Long Live The Queen that really swells the audience, a song written about his good friend Lex who recently lost her fight with breast cancer. All the money from the single release is going to Breast Cancer Research, so if you haven’t bought it yet do it.
Turner ends with Photosynthesis and then returns with an encore of Love, Ire & Song, my favourite Turner song, which see’s him ditch his acoustic halfway and grab the mic for a animated finale. Chris TT and Emily Barker also joined in on a couple of the last songs on keys and banjo but I can’t remember which ones, it was good though!
Overall the night was good fun and bodes well for the rest of the tour, although my mate Sheddy went to the Nottingham show and said they had to cut the set short as Turner had food poisoning. In fact, Sheddy is a trainee health inspector, hmm maybe they should have got him in!

Mum Locked in Castle
Leon Smith
@ The Blue Room
Monday 30th March 2009
Drafted in roughly and hour before he mounted the stage Leon Smith gave off the air of someone that has been belting his heart out with an acoustic guitar day after day for years.  Apparently he hadn’t picked up his guitar and rumbled his vocals chords for some months, not that anyone could tell.  Since I last saw Leon his voice has developed a real power and passion, think along the lines of Tom Gabel of Against Me!  Leon is one to watch, and one that will be most enjoyable to watch.  Next up were a sort of local super group, made up of members of Red Lights Flash, Flacidashtrack, Grogan, Power and Damn This Town.  ‘Bokuchan’ were marking virgin territory, with this being their first ever gig.  With three guitars and free flowing rhythms they sounded nothing like I’ve heard in this town before.  They verged on heavy, had experimental juxtaposing riffs, and the low vocal harmonies gave them an ethereal air of smouldering malevolence.  I only really have one minor niggle, the vocals were a little ropey at times, but this appeared to be more a case of lack of confidence rather than lack of ability and I look forward to what will inevitably (based on the band members track record) be a veritable Wilhelm Scream of vocal dexterity next time I see them!  Mum Locked in Castle feature an Ipswich legend, none other than Whinney from Dyslexic 7 and Power.  He’s been away at University and has made an Ipswich stop on his band’s UK tour to show us all that the ‘boy done good’.  Mum Locked in Castle defy convention, structural logic and even their fingers by swerving violently between genres, often mid song, and occasional mid-bar!  What sounds like a daunting inaccessible concept on paper is in reality utterly engaging and accessible.  A nod has to be given to their singer who has found the perfect range, he sings with phenomenal verve and confidence, whilst never straying into cocky waters.  I got the impression he was the singer in a band that wanted to be our friends, not to prove their superiority.  I had forgotten just how much fun it is to see Whinney play, he not only makes it look effortless, he also makes it look like he’s having more fun with a lump of wood and six strings than anyone thought possible.  This band is a celebration of the joy of playing music, and it’s an infectious attitude that soon engulfed the room and by the end of the set I felt more like I’d been at a fantastic party than at a gig. 
Andrew Culture

A. N. Other
Always Never
@ Tiverton Underground 2
Friday 3rd April 2009
Underground is a bit of a redundant moniker these days.  Back in the early nineties we ran these shows as a reaction to the stranglehold a handful of individuals had over the live music scene in the town.  Years later we returned to find these chaps had moved on leaving us older, wiser, better equipped and with no competition.  Unfortunately, Tiverton Overground just didn’t have the same ring to it.
We put on free shows.  Tony at the Racehorse has very kindly let us use his place for nothing.  We get a biggish function room with a bar and all the electricity we can suck up.  Obviously, the man’s still running a business so the pressure was on to pack the place with people who would a) drink a lot and b) not break anything.
I opened the show to a full house with my acoustic guitar, being between bands at the moment.  It’s difficult to review your own gig objectively, but I think it’s fair to say that everyone was in awe of my performance and desperate to shag me by the third song. 
Always Never are a fucking big draw round our way right now.  Four hoodies with more chops than the meat counter at Morrison’s, illuminated by backlit camera phones and mini DV recorders held aloft by the teenage faithful as they powered through a seriously good set of grungy metally stuff that manages to be aggressive and progressive at the same time.  Go to for more info.
A. N. Other are a pint of bitter to Always Nevers’ lager top.  Big beefy hard rock riffing from manly bricklayer types that you’d trust to wave in your HGV.  If Black Sabbath had AC/DC’s energy they’d make a similar racket.  There was a subtle but noticeable change in the audience demographic as older punters drifted in from the front bar and younger ones escaped for long-delayed cigarettes.  It’s fair to say that the band flagged a little as the set progressed.  Tony was jet-lagged to fuck and I think it hit him round about the sixth or seventh number, but the audience were still baying for more at the finish and they’ll definitely be appearing at another Underground in the not too distant future.
For the next one we’ll have a band from Oxford featuring ex-pats Chris Seaton and Jon Little on guitar and drums, and a bunch of 13 year olds from Tiverton High School.  Those of you on Facebook can find the Tiverton Underground group for dates and times, alternatively email or phone 07774 964 057 for text alerts.
Jason Wray Stevensson

Pulled Apart By Horses
Adebisi Shank
Royal Park Cellars Leeds
Nod your fucking head! I don’t care how tight those jeans are, or how hot you are in that plaid, just nod your fucking head, or shuffle, step or anything. Adebisi Shank are thrashing out groove after groove and soaking them in well, everything, including a mask, yep! Its sorta like if Blakfish didn’t have any vocals, and instead shot at you with infectious poppy riffs, but laden with effects, not the kind of Russian Circles slow building play a riff, loop it thing, play something else, this feels somehow natural, which is a bit odd. I’m in awe, just grooving away at the back next to wall, in fact, I reckon everyone else is just a bit in awe, and that’s why there not moving, maybe they’re reacting in there mind, like whoa or taste, perhaps. Anyways, I spoke to one of the dudes after the show and he said it had been their worse show of the tour, maybe just a bad vibe, he also informed me this was the third time they had been down to play Leeds, but something had always gone askew, in fact they only just made it this time after their van broke down on the way up north, however rescued by a roadside assistance jobby with the last name of ‘Randy’, amazing!
Pulled Apart By Horses, Leeds locals, induce the sweat next, well a little bit; there are grooves to favourites Meat Balloon and I Punched A Lion In The Throat in an impressively energetic set. The crowd are better this time, still I can’t see much behind me thanks to the credit crunch low roofing, or Victorian midgets that previously ran the pub in its Victorian era heyday, maybe. They sound better live then they do on record, and with some superman esc guitar changeover during the closer the singer is let loose on the crowed with a beard and a mic. Its all-good fun till someone gets hurt, but they don’t hurrah! These guys are sure to be huuuuge this year with all those hooks and shapes, which is proper good!
Blakfish are the kind of band that just reminds you that your band are shit, but in a really nice way, like over a crème tea or something. I just fail to understand just how they can make what they make, one of them is tapping while he’s singing, but they aren’t a Nordic metal band! Fusing dirty riffing, with dirty ‘I was a miner’ lyrics, a poppy accessible amount of distortion, and delivered without any form of pretentiousness they really have built a little skyscraper, and its free to go up in the elevator! Their set is hindered with mic problems that at times cuts away a lot of the beautiful harmonies, and at some stages just all vocals (at one stage they try singing through their guitar pickups!), but their onstage banter and 80’s metal band riffing in-between songs, keeps the sold out crowd smiling. All the songs are new tonight with only one oldie, inducing grooving/embracement/endorphins. The new songs sound fucking class, and it would seem that their new album out in May will destroy a lot of things, but with globalization and capitalism suffering from ‘teething’ problems, what will this thing be? Place your bets now! 

Dirty Magic
White Stallions
The Infirm
@ Tiverton Underground, The Racehorse, Friday 3rd July 2009
I love the Infirm.  Occasionally I hassle an out of town band to play just so I don’t have to leave Devon to see them.  I’m lazy like that, and it’s for Tiverton’s own good after all.  They’re a 21st century punk band with a masked lead screamer and gallons of sub bass pouring out of an evil black synth.  Think of Atari Teenage Riot fighting Crass for spilling their pint while Ministry hang around to roll the losing side and you’re almost there.
White Stallions are a metal covers band featuring bits of Always Never, Rise of Lazarus and the Junkies.  When they took to the stage there were five of them but by the end there were about seventeen.  I’m far too old and out of touch to recognise most of their set but it’s probably healthier than bottling it up.  Have to mention Matt Lockyer’s manscara/guyliner at this point – dude had eyes like a smacked spider.
Crediton’s Dirty Magic are a proper rawk band not a million miles away from ‘Electric’ era Cult or indeed our own A.N. Other.  They play like pros and sound tight as a camels bum in a sandstorm.  With a new album out soon recorded at Studio 69 they should become favourites on the biker rock circuit before long or my mum’s a virgin.
Tiverton Underground is on the first Friday of the month at the Racehorse.  On August 7th we’ll be bringing you Always Never, By My Sword and A.N. Other.  Those of you on Facebook can find the group, alternatively email or phone 07774 964 057 for text alerts.
Jason Wray Stevensson