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Maximum Rocknroll #389 • Oct 2015

Incoming: Maximum Rocknroll #389, the October 2015 issue! On the cover we've got SICK THOUGHTS, ...

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New Blood! DETONATE, CASCARRABIAS, and ZOTZ

“New Blood” is our weekly feature spotlighting new bands from around the world! See below for info ...

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Top Tens from MRR #388 • September 2015

By popular demand, we present our reviewers' Top Tens from the current issue of Maximum Rocknroll! Here are ...

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Record of the Week: Basement Benders

Record of the Week: Basement Benders

BASEMENT BENDERS – “Native Tongues” EP Sometimes when you hear that a handful of your favorite ...

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Monday Photo Blog: Sergey Seregin

Sergey Seregin submitted some pictures from this summer's Raw Fest in Moscow for this week's ...

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Blast From the Past: Xcentric Noise


August 4th, 2015 by

this ran originally in MRR #339

by Andy “Shesk” Thompson

I’m listening to the Beating the Meat LP from 1984 to get me self in the mood, but it really pisses me off every time I hear it… It was a great compilation, a culmination of the stuff I’d done to date, all the excitement of receiving the tapes, the tape-to-tape duplicating, the stupid sound effects, the letters, the DIY!! When I went into a studio with the quarter-inch tape to put it together (Angel Studios near Hull, with Steve Larkman the engineer — I’m sure he thought I was nuts), I paid about £240. I designed the cover and wanted to do the usual inner sleeve — since packaging was always well important and far more interesting and exciting than a two-track single in a plain sleeve — but I had no money and accepted an offer to release it…and was ripped off, struggled to get any copies, the cover was just turned orange and had no inner sleeve, it never looked or felt right — and yet sounded amazing! There was no communication and it took ages for me to get back my costs for the studio, which only happened because I knew the guy at the distributor Jungle Records and he felt guilty, ’cos he knew I was on a loser. I managed to get a few copies off him, too, but not many. I dunno how many were actually made or sold.

And for the record, I made nothing from Beating the Meat and was forever pissed off that all those years had been hijacked!! Just one of my many regrets, but at least it got the bands heard again around the world! Please have it for free (download via mediafire.com) ’cos I’m not re-releasing it, not that I ever got the master tape back anyhow. I’ll be happy you just at least hear all the bands on it, ’cos that’s all Xcentric Noise was about — trying to pass on some of the excitement I was feeling, spreading this amazing music with message and passion and screaming anger and everyone doing it yerself! It was just so energising….

DISCOVERING PUNK

shesk_oldI first got into punk about May ’77, the moment I first heard it. I was only fourteen years old, previously had liked T. Rex and Sparks and some Bowie. I remember going into school the day after seeing a newspaper with the Sex Pistols in it, and talking music with my mate Mu. He said, “You’d love punk — listen to John Peel.” Bang, it was instant — a real slap in the face. My tranny radio and the pillow were my friends for a few years after that, and definitely the best part of the day! I guess maybe I’d finally found somewhere I felt I could belong, somewhere outside the norm.

I grew up in Little Weighton, England — a village with no streetlights, pretty cut off from the world. I guess I didn’t fit in with the norm, a kinda loner but with friends, the weird one, and the only one really into punk down our way. But ’cos I played football pretty good, I didn’t get fucked around, just the piss-takes like normal. They never got punk rock! I just ended up doing stuff all the time in me room while always liking and supporting the underdog (Hull City / Norman Wisdom [RIP] / Newport County); I was anti-injustice, anti-apartheid and anti-poverty, and I hated pop music, disco and shit soft rock crap.

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Blast From the Past: Bum Kon


June 16th, 2015 by

This interview originally ran in MRR #305 which you can pick up from our back issues page here

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I don’t know what it’s like now for kids growing up in this modern age—what with the internet, MySpace, mp3s, filesharing, YouTube, and whatever else—but back in my day (the ’90s) you found out about music from your friends. I’m talking about actual real-life in-person interactions (remember those?), or trading tapes through the mail. I’ve got a couple people whose taste in music I trust above all else, and when one of them whispers the name of a band, my ears instinctively perk up. That’s what happened when I heard, “Chris, do you know this group Bum Kon?” A little subsequent research told me they were an early Colorado hardcore band, that they had an EP from 1983 called Drunken Sex Sucks, and that they were named after a Korean policeman who went on a killing spree. Yeah, sounds like it could be cool… Now how do I track down a recording?

Fast-forward a few years, and I make my way out to San Francisco, where Maximum Rocknroll has a library of over 45,000 punk records. Bum Kon was one of the first I pulled out to tape—along with Raw Power Screams from the Gutter LP, Rattus WC Räjähtää LP, the Feederz Jesus EP, the Stalin Mushi LP, October Days 12″, and a couple other as-of-then un-reissued classics. I don’t know what I liked more about Bum Kon—the breakneck-speed blasts of adolescent hardcore punk fury, or the genius art on the cover of the EP.

I soon landed a job working at one of the few remaining major independent music distributors in the country here in SF, where among my co-workers was not only Andrew Murphy, former Denver resident and proprietor of the Colorado-centric Smooch Records, but Bob McDonald, former vocalist of the band Bum Kon. It was during the mastering process for Local Anesthetic, Andrew’s compilation of early Colorado punk singles, that the complete, unmastered, and largely unheard-since-1983 session for the EP turned up. I expected it to be good, but fuck… this thing needed to be released. Though a couple other labels were interested, Andrew’s Smooch imprint was the natural choice. I was thrilled when he asked if MRR wanted to co-release it! Now, with the complete 25-track 1983 recording session out on CD, and the vinyl version coming later this month, we thought it was the perfect time to do an article for the magazine.

Andrew and myself conducted the following interview with Bob McDonald and Johnny Meggitt in August of 2008. Besides doing vocals for Bum Kon throughout their entire career (the EP and two LPs) as well as the illustrious and infamous Bad Circus, Bob more recently sang for the band Mr. & Mr. & Mr. & Mr. Evil, and fronts Hank IV (LP out soon on Siltbreeze!). Johnny is also a veteran of the early Colorado hardcore scene, having been in Child Abuse, Acid Ranch, Brother Rat, and Bad Circus. He was also the vocalist of the now-defunct Subtractions, and currently plays in the Get Offs. We spoke about Bum Kon, their contemporaries in the Colorado scene at the time, Bob and Johnny’s experiences getting into punk in Denver, and quite a bit more. Just prior to the interview, the four of us watched an old video shot at a show in Fort Collins, CO, in 1984. The footage featured performances by Bum Kon, Acid Ranch, and Peace Core, and interviews with members of the band and the audience.

Introduction by Chris Hubbard.

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Relatos sobre la Escena Subterránea Peruana: Parte III


November 17th, 2014 by

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Here is the Spanish-language version of part three of our three-part history “Notes on the Peruvian Underground.” This originally appeared in English in MRR #359. You can read part one in English in MRR #353 (parte uno en español aquí) and part two in English in MRR #356 (parte tres en español aquí).

Autor: shane g.g.
Traducción: Julio “el chibolo” Durán con aportes de P.J. Lucas

…Y luego viene un culo de otras huevadas

Hay tantas huevadas con las que podría seguir jodiéndolos que esto podría convertirse en una malacostumbre de ir contando historias sin parar y sin saber cuándo callarme. Sigo con ganas de empezar este último grupo de historias sobre la escena subterránea punk del Perú remarcando algo así como las diferencias esenciales entre las décadas de los 80, 90 y 2000, estableciendo una especie de división cronológica rigurosa entre un momento histórico y el siguiente, dibujar una línea clara en la arena temporal. ¡Los 80 fueron punk y hardcore y políticos! ¡Con los 90 llegó el grunge y esto llevó a un punk despolitizado! ¡A partir del 2000 hasta el presente surgen bandas indies y de fusión con mercados nicho para cada consumidor imaginable!

¿Pero saben qué? No es tan simple. No en Perú. Probablemente no lo sea en ninguna parte. La temporalidad es un asunto problemático. Y, de todos modos, las décadas y años y fechas son marcadores arbitrarios para señalar una diferencia histórica.

El noise y el grind y el crust core en Lima, por lo general, se asocian principalmente con los 90. Era una mancha de chiquillos (Leo Bacteria, Richard Nossar, Oscar Reátegui, José Morón) la que ayudó a formar estas mini-escenas. Pero lo hicieron solamente después de entrar en el “rock subterráneo” a fines de los 80 cuando ya había degenerado en facciones porosas de hardcore, punk, metal-crossover, y, por supuesto, de cholos, misios y pitucos. El resultado fueron varios proyectos noise: Atrofia Cerebral, MDA, Insumisión y Dios Hastío. Este último está aún activo y dejando sorda a la gente en mugrientos locales del centro de Lima. También hubo otras bandas más nuevas que surgieron con una combinación de influencias hardcore, punk y rock garage. Aeropajitas, Pateando tu Kara, Héroe Inocente y Manganzoides se impusieron como algunas de las favoritas en Lima en distintos puntos de los años 90. Todos ellos aún participan en tocadas de vez en cuando.

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¿Eso significa que todas las bandas de los 80 están muertas? Pues casi. Algunas resistieron por un tiempo o hicieron retornos inesperados. G3 agregó un segundo guitarrista e hizo un giro evidente al grunge en los 90 básicamente hasta que se separaron en 2000, y luego Gabriel y Gonzalo empezaron Inyectores. Leusemia reapareció en 1995 con un nuevo álbum y ha seguido tocando desde entonces con distintos miembros. Los únicos miembros originales que han durado son Raúl Montañez y Daniel F., siendo este último uno de los pocos subtes de la generación más antigua que ha podido ganarse la vida tocando rock’n’roll sin tener que tener un trabajo formal (y uno de los resultados es que se ha hecho unos cuantos enemigos). Voz Propia debe ser una de las bandas activas con mayor continuidad que surgieron de la escena del rock subterráneo a mediados de los 80–acaban de lanzar su décimo larga duración, “The Game is Over” en 2011. Read the rest of this entry »



Relatos sobre la Movida Subterránea en Perú: Segunda Parte


November 10th, 2014 by

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Here is the Spanish-language version of part two of our three-part history “Notes on the Peruvian Underground.” This originally appeared in English in MRR #356. You can read part one in English in MRR #353 (parte uno en español aquí) and part three in English in MRR #359 (parte tres en español aquí próximamente).

Autor: Shane “Gang” Greene*
Traducción: Julio “el chibolo” Durán con aportes de P.J. Lucas

No se trata solo de la música, hijos de puta

Se trata de los patas flacuchentos a los que les gusta poguear, pero que no pueden cachar; de las gorditas con pelo azul que les gusta tirar; del pituco huevonazo ovejita negra que busca la manera de cagarse en su papi banquero; del cholo bicho raro clase media al que le gusta la distorsión más que vestirse como bacán; de los lameculos introvertidos y las marimachas salidas del closet que te mandan a la mierda; de los ideológicamente descontentos; de los socialmente discapacitados; de los mentalmente inestables y de los materialmente detestables; de los retorcidos pero no precisamente idiotas. Tipos raros, maricones, borrachos y fumones. Así es, Dr. Allin, lo ha formulado usted muy bien, de verdad, muy bien. Y no olvidemos a los aburridos estudiantes de arte y futuros intelectuales.

Sabemos que el punk no se trata solo de la música. Se trata de este tipo de reuniones poco probables de gente desagradable que la música termina agrupando. Se trata de los misfits (con ‘m’ minúscula). El punk encuentra la manera de faltarle el respeto a las fronteras, incluso (o quizás, especialmente) cuando determinados punks comienzan a gobernar el inconformismo y se lo imponen a los recién llegados que andan desprevenidos. El punk va en busca de hogares destruidos y familias perfectamente equilibradas al mismo tiempo; busca personalidades al borde de la anti-socialidad y las coloca en la misma sala con los seres humanos más lindos y generosos que ofrecen todo su amor incondicional. No hay lugar al que uno vaya en donde no existan misfits. Extrañamente, tampoco existe un lugar específico en donde encontrarlos. Simplemente, aparecen; y el punk les ofrece un lenguaje, un contexto, un par de amigos: otro desadaptado que puede o no ser de confianza pero con el que puede ser chévere huevear un rato. Es todo un poco como en el cuento de Bartleby, ¿no? Preferiría no hacerlo, huevonazo…

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Todo esto también es cierto para los punks que crecieron en la cloaca de mierda que era Lima durante las décadas tumultuosas del Perú de los 80s y 90s, en las que ser un desadaptado podía significar que te mataran, te arrestaran, te detuvieran o te metieran en cana. O que te obligaran a esconder la cabeza bajo la tierra. O que te hicieran pensar si era mejor hablar de paz en medio de la puta guerra. O buscar refugio en tu distrito residencial de clase alta, relativamente seguro, alejado de la masacre de miles de indios pobres y provincianos en el campo. Muchas decisiones que después tendrías que asumir. Yvivir cuestionándoselas o terminar como un muerto más. Muchas decisiones que, en realidad, no ofrecían opciones.

Es imposible ubicar una personalidad única, mucho menos un perfil simple de quién o qué es un “punk peruano”. Sí, surgen patrones estructurales mayores. Más gente de clase media y clase alta que gente de clase baja; más blancos o mestizos que indios; muchos más chicos que chicas. Y no hay duda de que el punk fue y sigue siendo casi completamente urbano; o que, hablando musicalmente, es profundamente Euro-Americano en la mayor parte de sus manifestaciones pasadas y presentes. De hecho, solo unas pocas bandas selectas (Del Pueblo o Seres Van de la década de los 80) estuvieron lo bastante inspirados para crear una nueva textura musical agregando instrumentos andinos o afroperuanos (quenas, zampoñas, charango, cajón) a ese género emergente llamado “rock subterráneo”. Batería, guitarra, bajo y un pata cantando con un micro. Ese es todavía el 1-2-3-4 del rock’n’roll casi a dondequiera que vayas.

Pero a pesar de todos estos factores estructurales, las personalidades punk son, en verdad, y de una manera fascinante, difíciles de definir. Como “un traje que no le queda a la persona para la que fue hecho” –la etimología de misfit avalada desde el Siglo XIX–, los punks peruanos no se adaptan bien a nuestras variables científico-sociales cuidadosamente modeladas. Sus pensamientos son demasiado irruptivos; sus actitudes, demasiado disruptivas. Quizás prestando atención a las posibilidades polisémicas de sus deshonrosos apodos podemos apenas aproximarnos a una descripción de su inadaptabilidad.

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Está Leo Escoria, porque está ‘astalasuevas’, y también Leo Bacteria, porque era infecciosamente gracioso hasta que se suicidó (Que En Paz Sigas Jodiendo, Leo). También está Daniel F, porque es feo. Está Chiki, porque cuando era adolescente se parecía a Chiquidrácula, el personaje de la televisión mexicana de los 80. Está Loquillo porque, según dicen, es un loco de mierda, y el Negro Brunce, porque es negro y porque ‘Brunce’ es probablemente el apellido peruano más raro que haya existido. Está María T-ta porque le gusta mostrar las tetas en público y Támira porque es un poco tímida y artística (así que no necesita apodo). Está Mono Blanco, pero no tengo idea de por qué es un mono blanco, y Chancho Viejo porque, asumo, es un cerdo no tan joven. Está Sandro Dogma, más modesto que dogmático, pero con el valor necesario para llegar desde Lima hasta Nueva York sin un puto sello en su pasaporte. Están el Chato Víctor y el Chato (Inchaústegui), porque los dos son bajitos. Está el Gordo Gabriel y el Gordo Memo, porque, bueno, son recontra gordos. Está Pedro Tóxico porque es una linda persona que escribió esa letra hermosamente venenosa para el clásico de Sociedad de Mierda “Púdrete Pituco”. Está Boui (no Bowie) porque es alto, delgado y de piel clara, se tiñe el pelo de blanco, y se mete un culo de cocaína. Está Miguel Det (no Death) porque tiene una parte metal, otra parte punk, y todas las partes oscuras. Y porque, francamente, son palabras que no tienen sentido fonético desde otro punto de vista lingüístico, que se pierden al ser traducidas para el público gringo.

Es verdad. Hay un culo de misfits en el País de los Incas. Programen una visita; organicen un tour; sáquenle unas fotos a estos jodidos nativos que viven en la Cagada Ciudad de los Reyes. Read the rest of this entry »



Download from the Vaults!
Maximum Rocknroll #13 • April/May 1984


July 29th, 2014 by

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DOES PUNK SUCK??? Well, does it? We now travel back in time to 1984 to hear what Doc Dart, Tim Yo, Pushead, Allison Raine, and Frank Discussion have to say about punk’s future… Also included in this discussion from Maximum Rocknroll issue #13 — now available to download in its entirety here — are Glen E Friedman, Rev Nørb and many other punks from all your favorite bands and zines. It doesn’t stop there! This issue also features the WIPERS, COLERA, AMEBIX, NIHILISTICS, UGLY AMERICANS, SECOND WIND, and a devastatingly vast array of reviews and scene reports, ads for records that now cost a lot more than they did in 1984, and so much more! 

DOC DART/CRUCIFUCKS
I appreciate the opportunity to comment on a subject which is as perplexing as it is challenging. First of all, the labels which have been tossed (punk/hardcore) about in a feeble attempt to pigeon-hole bands and audiences alike, are a source of aggravations and alienation for me. There was a time when I didn’t mind and was sometimes proud of being called a “punk.” The music was new and exciting and the label at least set me apart from the mundane and often sickening mass of idiots that refer to themselves as Americans.

Now, more often than not, I’ve found myself confronted with an equally mundane and sickening mass of twerps, some of whom refer to themselves as “hardcore punks.” They are usually not in the majority at shows but their techniques of drawing attention the themselves borrow from some of America’s most inane traditions: football, fashion show, the Marines, and Quincy. It’s no wonder that people who might otherwise be interested in good music, or even starved for good music, often go away from “hardcore” shows wishing someone had warned them that the circus was in town.

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Doc Dart

For many people, music is a potential vehicle for social change. Obviously, it has thus far worked much better for the government than it has for positive change. My suggestion is that you mindless violent, fashion-conscious exhibitionist, whose prime motivation is to assert your “manhood,” please just frequent shows that showcase bands with your mentality (need I list some of them?), and allow the rest of us to transcend these ridiculous labels (such as hardcore), as well as your pitiful lifestyles. There would be much more support for a “scene” that valued intelligence, compassion, education, action, and most of all, creative music. I know of many people who would show much more interest (myself included) in something positive and ever-changing, as well as diverse, and free of labels that only serve to stifle and stereotype behavior. I’ve seen signs in a few cities that this is possible. Madison, Wisconsin, is a good example. As far as I’m concerned, “hardcore” is another word for stagnation. Can we call it music if it’s good? That would make it an even rarer phenomenon, but at least a growing one. It was the prohibition of good music that spawned our so-called movement; so why shouldn’t we claim ours as music, and dismiss the mainstream as “hardcore shit”? And anybody in your crowd that goes out of their way to act tough or to spend five hours perfecting their appearance could be encouraged to assume their rightful place among mainstream Americans with traditional values. Eliminate five ignorant twerps and maybe ten good friends will take their place. The ignorant will return when intelligence becomes “fashionable.” Don’t be misled in thinking that I have hope for the future, because I don’t, but how can anyone give up with so much at stake? Ever get the feeling you’re living in a cage and then wonder why everything outside is deteriorating faster than you?

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Tim Yo

TIM YOHANNAN/MRR
One of punk’s main thrusts was “anybody can do it.” But democracy often leads to mediocrity. If many hardcore bands now sound generic, should we be re-thinking our commitment to “democracy” and return to elitism in music, as some would like to see? Or should we say that democratizing music was just the first stage, and now that we’ve got  “a band in every garage,” let’s move on to stage two: quality and imagination.
This is the big hurdle: how to maintain the spontaneity and passion of garage music, while becoming more proficient musically, and while trying to break formulas of song structure and lyrical approaches. Hopefully, we’ll see more bands keeping the emotion, noise, and commitment of hardcore (the edge), while taking more chances in trying to surprise and excite us. Speaking of which, it seems to me that most of today’s bands are content to just entertain the audience. They play as if they were at rehearsal, song after song, with no room for spontaneity, just like the formula “rock” bands. Originality, and crowd interaction are the victims. In the earlier days of punk, the creative performance was stressed more, with the accent on both irritating and stimulating audience participation. Now, it seems that musical perfection is the goal, and bands want to merely satisfy the expectations of the audience, taking fewer chances, and turning punk into another consumer package, a “concert” to placate the masses.

The other major problem that I see is how punk/HC will be able to survive (at a grassroots level) the new corporate attempts to co-opt it. As “Rock of the ’80s” stations start playing SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, DKs, DOA, etc., and major labels start chasing punk bands, will those bands remember the sad tale of the CLASH? They elected to “go corporate” (in order to get their message to more people?), and now, seven years down the road, have the following to show for it: they 1) claim to be broke, financially; 2) are without a direction, proclaiming themselves “born again punks,” yet showing an abysmal lack of knowledge of what’s been happening in punk since they lost touch with their roots (indie clubs, indie promoters, indie labels, indie zines); and 3) are without a sense of integrity, having been thoroughly “used” by the very corporations they sing against, and make rich. Punk’s ability to maintain its integrity and maintain its commitment to the alternative scene will be the real determinant of its future.

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Pushead

PUSHEAD/JACK OF ALL TRADES
The worst aspect of the punk/hardcore attitude/lifestyle is alot of the people got involved to be an elite few, to claim it as something that was “their baby,” different than whatever everyone else did. By that factor, it gave them confidence and strength, and some took it too far. So when the interest grew and others got involved, it became apparent that some didn’t want the “new crew” to come in, for it was their “scene,” so they soon dropped out and criticized the “image” which they felt everyone was acting out. Sure, during that time they made rules and regulations about “their ” idea of what should happen and how it should be done, and laughed at others as they laughed at themselves, only to soon become what they were laughing at. I thought everyone was supposed to share a common belief for a certain progression. But when you let your disbelief in those who enter the “attitude” rival your own, and then get angered, whose revolution is it? When society can market the hardcore product, make money off the rising phase, and the disbelief between the people involved, all these factions lead to the end of another revolution. So how can it be such a threat when some of the people involved are so selfish? Myself, I’m sadly disappointed at my friends who had such positive attitudes, but got so upset by certain negativities in their scenes that they quit, instead of continuing their positive voice and fighting their negative, as they just didn’t care any more. Thanx for nothing. You let yourself down.

I’m sadly disappointed at my friends who had such positive attitudes, but got so upset by certain negativities in their scenes that they quit, instead of continuing their positive voice and fighting their negative, as they just didn’t care any more. Thanx for nothing. You let yourself down.

The strength grows. Through my associations, I have discovered a strong “positive” force who are willing to learn, create,and seek a better tomorrow. Some people have their faults, which can be dealt with, but some breed ignorance. Those people who whine say things “rule,” take advantage, or use violence to show their lack of confidence in themselves, should look at what they were doing. I find that most people who are guilty of this sit on their asses all day with their mouths flapping and their minds stagnating. Too bad. I hope you really accomplish something by your insecurities! The way you dress has nothing to do with whether you’re hardcore or not; it’s what you think and how you act. I’m not talking about socially accepted or “proper” mannerisms, either. It’s your lifestyle. Do you agree with the situations “they” get you into? Will you sit on your arse forever?? Think about it. It’s up to you. Come out from your silence.
 Lately, this magazine has opened up a giant communication line throughout the world. I’m very happy that I am part of it. I do not get paid and I don’t expect payment. It is my creative part that I can contribute. What about you? People slag this magazine and Tim Yohannan especially. Why? Do you know? Tim’s interest can unite more than the bitching of one. His participation abounds; only your negativity will tire him out. If MRR becomes big it’s because there is a desire for it. Next time you bitch I hope you have something behind you beside the chair you sit in. I’m not talking about your macho brute force either. I’m talking about your ability to create.Make your effort, show your hardware, come out from your silence, and then we can work together! Thanx to all who share the same attitude, to those who take the time to write and pass the word. It’s your world. Is it shitting on you or are you shitting on it? To save the world, must you destroy the people? Think about it.

ALLISON RAINE/@ STATE OF MIND, SAVAGE PINK ZINE
Being an ancient veteran of the scene at 21, I have followed and been a fan of punk/hardcore and its legions of splinter groups for nigh on six years now. When I was 16 or 17 and attending every show even remotely associated with punk with enthusiasm bordering on hysteria, I couldn’t understand how the scene vets of those days could skip a show or complain that “things just weren’t as cool as they used to be.” When I first took an interest in punk, it was because I couldn’t relate to the lame stuff I heard on the radio. I found the primal pogo beat of the RAMONES’ “Teenage Lobotomy” much more fun and stimulating. As time passed, I became (largely by influence of the music) more—er—”politically aware” and therefore more interested in music that made a statement about the world we live in. The merging of two things important to me, natch. Although my musical tastes are wide-reaching, this is what I had close to my heart. But the whole excitement that punk has held for me all these years is that the only difference between the audience and the band is that the band got up on stage. Or is it?

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A phrase being tossed around a lot these days is “generic thrash.” Those with the most years invested in the scene are the prime offenders, being jaded after years of listening hundreds of punk bands bang away at the same four chords. There’s nothing wrong with being bored with it, but there is something wrong with condemning it. Fuck if I’ll be the one to tell someone they’re not musically proficient enough to hold my interest. There’s nothing wrong with striving to be innovative or different, but neither is there anything wrong with having enough enthusiasm to jump up on stage and just do it! By putting down bands for being “generic,” we are only throwing the scene into reverse and heading back to the days of guitar heroes. This should not be allowed to happen, and all bands that are giving it a go should be encouraged and nurtured by us all.

Well…all bands?

This brings us to the next point—where the scene is headed socially and ideologically. Besides musically being fresher and more energetic, one of the things that has kept me involved these many years is that it has not fallen into any of the cliched, sexist, racist, or otherwise negative ruts that the wonderful stuff we hear on radio or see on MTV has—yet. For me, the most disappointing trend in punk currently is towards sexist, nationalistic, and otherwise backwards trends. Quite a few of the bands playing this stuff claim that it’s a joke or that it’s all in fun. Well, why aren’t they making fun of white, heterosexual healthy people like themselves (for the most part)? I don’t think that’s funny at all. But even that aside—the people I’m wondering about are the (let’s face it) more impressionable people who are 15 or 16 and just getting into the scene. What kind of values or opinions is this kind of humor going to to instill in them? My only hope is that there seems to be an equal, if not greater number of bands using their music to speak out against things like sexism, fascism, etc. While some will still moan about being “preached ” at, there seems to be more and more people listening to what these bands have to say and at least stopping to stopping to think about both sides of the story. A lot of people seem to be realizing that, gee, women and gays are people too, and that God & Country aren’t all they’ve been made out to be.

In conclusion, I remain optimistic that punk will remain true to its roots and resist the temptations that brought rock’n’roll to such a disastrous state in the late ’70s (and even still today); namely, money in all its different forms. While punk, when it began, was mostly a musical revolution, it seems that the youth of today are even more painfully aware of the problems of society and the world as a whole, and these observations are creeping into our music. This musical influence will hopefully spawn more aware adults who question things and refuse to apathetically except all that is fed them by church, state, and the like. Although I may not make it to all the shows these days, I’m still 100% behind those that do.

FRANK DISCUSSION/FEEDERZ:

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