zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Break the Chain: Volume 1

 A5, 28 (mostly) black and white pages
£3.76/$5.19 (+p&p)

The first volume of Break the Chain (created by Matt Sessions) is an anarchist’s guidebook to the punk rock underbelly of Jacksonville, Florida. My perception of Florida has come almost exclusively from the images on my television screen; endless sunshine, orange juice aplenty, home of Disney World – everything that my dreary British life is not.

It was quite the surprise to find that this Floridian zine is gritty, anarchistic and in grey scale. The overall appearance of Break the Chain is dark and distinctive. Particularly strong is the artwork from Stacey Matchett, a sort of grunge expressionism wherein the figures in all her drawings share the same tired gaze. Their eyes haunt and resonate.

The first interview is with Woven In, a surf-rock regular on the Jacksonville music scene whose responses to standard interview questions are refreshingly intellectual and offer a surprisingly deep contrast to her “beach-goth, post-punk dream-come-true” music. Not long after reading her interview, I was listening to her music on Youtube.

Also interviewed are black metal grindcore band, Wørsen. Whilst they do seem somewhat excited about the release of their newest album, the theme of their interview appears to be apathy. They say “[the gigs] tend to run together after a while”, and when speaking about their songs they make comments such as “It’s also one of the newest songs we’ve written, so I’m not burnt out on it just yet”. It’s a shame – had they been a little more enthusiastic about their own music, it would have been a lot easier for the reader to get on board with them. I found myself more interested in finding out about Sickmark, the German power-violence band briefly mentioned at the beginning of the interview.

All sense of apathy is quickly forgotten with the zine’s final interview: an in-depth conversation with Penelope Spheeris (director of landmark punk films such as The Decline of Western Civilisation and Wayne’s World). How on earth did the creator of Break the Chain pull that one off? It doesn’t matter, of course (but I need to know!).  Spheeris speaks with great articulation about the punk rock aesthetic, the importance of dedication and devotion to one’s work and the controversial impact of The Decline of Western Civilisation, which was banned after just one screening in Los Angeles. It’s a strong end note and an impressive coup for the first volume of Break the Chain.

Break the Chain is definitely worth a read. As someone across the Atlantic I enjoyed the zine as a brilliant showcase of the talent in Jacksonville’s alternative community, and I expect Jacksonville natives will enjoy it as a token of pride for their hometown.

Volume one of Break the Chain can be bought here .

Review by J.L. Corbett

Friday, March 2, 2018

Land Slide Dreams - Adam Void

Land Slide Dreams 

by Adam Void

Approx 21cm x 27cm, zine fold into 7cm x 10.5cm mini zine. 

$/£: trades encouraged

Another mini-zine by prolific artist and zine maker Adam Void, creator of the great Nirvana Rules and Misadventures & Musings from the Train Brain zines reviewed elsewhere on SZR. 

Landside Dreams opens out into a cut & paste collage that illustrates a handwritten text on the reverse side: 

These memories, brought back by a brief dream I awoke from just a moment before. The bed was just cold enough to not make it back. Sometimes you just can't make it back. 
Like the best kind of zines it's confessional and artful, drawing you in to another's vivid world. 

If you'd like a copy contact Adam at adam_void (at) yahoo (dot) com - trades are encouraged. If you ask nicely he might also send you some other goodies. 

Adam's been making zines since 2003. Check out his past publications page: adamvoid.com/index.php?/ongoing/publications - now THAT is a zine maker.

Review by Nathan Penlington

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Were Stan and Ollie Anarchists?

Were Stan and Ollie Anarchists?

Readers Digress! #9

12 pages, cardboard cover, a5

£/$: exchange encouraged, and/or stamps to cover postage

An interview between the infamous Radical Slapstick magazine and Oxbridge Milhaven whose spill-all book My Life in Hollywood exposes the 'true' secret history of the Golden Age of Comedy. 

Were Stan & Ollie Anarchists? What was the real motivation for the anrcho-surrealist political prankster Buster Keaton? Was Mae West a true libertarian?

This zine is another welcome addition to the Readers Digress! series, the former incarnation of The Bubblegum Dada Corporation. The series is intelligent, sharp, witty, playful, very much in the tradition of the dadaists, absurdists, and the 20th century avant-garde. 

The B.D.C. is a curiously offline enterprise based on the coast of England, but if you'd like a copy of Were Stan and Ollie Anarchists? you can now contact them at their newly acquired email address - bubblegumdadacorporation (at) gmail (dot) com - with offers to exchange creative endeavours, or an offer of stamps to cover postage.

Please say we sent you. 

Review by Nathan Penlington

Back of the gig #1

Back of the gig #1


A6, 8 pages.

25p + 75p p&p (or trades)

Don't be fooled by the title - Back of the Gig has nothing to do with music. But don't let that put you off, it's a sweet pocket sized handwritten zine (complete with
corssing crossing outs) filled with anecdotes and observations about haircuts & supermarkets, funny asides and musings about the mystery of the man at the roundabout. 

And 25p, what is to lose?! I look forward to issue #2. 

And while you're buying this issue pick up the greatest hits of Drink the Sunshine for no extra postage. 

To buy visit backofthegigzines.bigcartel.com/product/back-of-the-gig-issue-1 

Or if you'd like to trade email backofthegig at yahoo [dot] com

Review by Nathan Penlington

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