Reviews by STUPOR

The Apers- “Teenage Drama Every Kid Will Understand” (Stardumb Records) The Apers are a trio from the Netherlands. They do pop-punk using classic Ramones style chord progressions in “Wanna Go.” Sometimes they have a contrasting melodic vs. hard-edged sound in “Rocket Gun,” topped with very persistent vocals. “Jodie” is a song in dialogue and “Centerfold” is probably every boy’s wet dream. This record won’t get old. Contact: Stardumb Records/P.O. Box 21145/3001 AC Rotterdam/The Netherlands

Combat Sports #158 This is an offensive fanzine filled with all types of wrestling order forms for figurines, videos, and rarities. There were two wrestlers on the cover making ugly faces and some articles on WWF scoops and roller derby. I nearly puked when I saw this. It's a bit too red blooded for me. Contact: New Wave Wrestling/P.O. Box 651, Gracie Station/New York, NY 10028-0006 "Alien 8" (No Stars!) This is an interesting and sure as hell a different sounding record than most. What is impressive is that the lead vocalist also plays the bass and drums and puts it all together on a 4-track. The result is quite an array of sounds. The best tracks are "Strong Song," "Hammock," and "Shun." The vocals kind of sound like a mellowed Penelope Houston or the girl from Kittie. Contact: Cyndi Adamo/37 Portside Dr/Pocasset, MA 02559

EBS- "pack a picnic" (Anti-SOD) This record has back to back admirable melodies and good songs. Songs such as "Stuck at 17" is filled with euphonic background vocals and warm guitar and bass tones. The song, "Margarita del Muerte" has a tuneful guitar solo to complete their pop-punk sound. Most of their songs are about growing up, responsibility, and insecurities---this I recommend, hands down. Contact: EBS/c/o Josh Giunta/145 Gibson Rd./Goshen, NY 10924

Eye Deal #15 This zine featured Holly Golightly on the cover. There were interviews with Mudhoney, Me First & The Gimmie Gimmies, Chixdiggit, and Dropkick Murphys to name a few. This zine has 76 pages packed with tons of record reviews and interviews. Contact: I couldn't find any contact information in it so I guess you're just going to have to find it in some record store or something. Hey it might as well go corporate.

First Rate Failure- "Vol.!" (Rival Existance) This band is a mixture of ska and punk. It sounds poppy, but is sometimes shadowed by dark guitar overtones, similar to NOFX. A lot of guitar sliding is used, but then the sound syncopates to an opposing drum beat of a different pace. Songs such as "At this very minute" has a reggae sound while "Problems with me" incorporates guitar solos with another change in pulse. If you're sick of plain old punk, but scared to go too far, check this band out. Contact: Rival Existance Records/RR 2 Box 178-E/Booneville, KY 41314

Fresh Cow Pie #4 This is a very funny zine; Farmer P. definitely has humor and honesty all throughout the articles. Also, other than the huge music review section it has, there is an article about America's farming, an article about basically being a hick in North Dakota, and a couple of journal entries by a guy in a band on tour. Contact: Farmer P./c/o Fresh Cow Pie/5112 77th Ave SE/Montpelier, ND 58472 USA

Guitar 2001 #5 I have to say that this zine was unintentionally funny. As you guessed, it is a heavy metal zine featuring white trash babe on the cover. There were some hilarious interviews of heavy metal artists, some guitar lessons with tips by "Six String Stevie," and heavy metal record reviews. The only thing that was worth reading was an article about marketing for the people into DIY distribution. Contact: Guitar 2001 Magazine/P.O. Box 651/Floral Park, NY 11002

Letters For Holden #3/#4 This zine is written by a school girl named Brittany from Alaska, a place we essentially know nothing about. It includes some writings by contributors and a few cutesy graphics to accompany them. There's also poems and interviews of local acts. However, the primary focus of this zine is about friends and being a kid; at least that is how I felt. Contact: Letters for Holden/P.O. Box 5086/Ketchikan, AK 99901

Mutant Renegade #12 This is a worthy topical zine with a theme; finally a zine with a focus. Thus, it is anything but the irrelevant zine we see too often with familiar departments and a few articles about nothing. This issue, in a nutshell, is about drinking, being an alcoholic, and how foolish you can act when drunk. There's also an interview with a straight edge band, XBXRX and the usual record reviews. Contact: Mutant Renegade Zine/P.O. Box 3445/Dayton, OH 45401

Near Miss #8 This zine was half written by some kid named Nicolai and the other half by a presumably more experienced friend called Hands-on. The good thing was that there was more writing in it than record reviews. There were stories about female rockers, something about public bathrooms, anal retentiveness and also an interview with the Chubbies. Contact: Near Miss/W1509 Hwy NN/Neosho, WI 53059

The Nerds- “...just because she didn’t wanna fuck” (Stardumb Records) This record appropriately kicks off with a few screams while the insert guides you with disturbing visuals into the mind of the Nerds. I think this record would be good for recruiting convicts-in-training. The themes consist of death, heroin, violence, sex, S&M, and hard-ons. Their sound is hardcore and angry, much like Zeke. Oh yeah, if you are wondering where these anti-social deviants came from, they are from Italy. Contact: Stardumb Records/P.O. Box 21145/3001 AC Rotterdam/The Netherlands

No Ugly Babies #8 This zine is orderly and clear, but the best part is that the writers can actually write as well. This issue has some interesting articles by its contributors; one about working at a shitty discount store. An aspect about the zine that I found distinct was that there were constant embarrassing references, such as "Mama's Family" that you don't want to remember. As of reviews, this zine does not overwhelm you with hundreds of record reviews. Instead, it gives a precise report on a few good records. Contact: Brandon Grimes/601 W. 5th St. #2/Bloomington, IN 47404

Point Blank Range- "Everything you ever wanted" (Rival Existance) This is an abrupt sounding hardcore punk band with fierce bass lines in songs such as "The girl who never got none." This is the type of punk that says shouts between the lines of 'I don't give a fuck' and 'you're ugly.' Songs such as "Fuckin rich scum" and "Distant richness" have vindictive lyrics. However, the biggest influence to their sound is the singer's constant raw, bloody, shrieking scream. Contact: Rival Existance Records/RR 2 Box 178-E/Booneville, KY 41314

The Popsters- “Everything I Want” (Stardumb Records) This is a tuneful pop-punk band from Sicily. “Another Girl” and “Silly Girl” are the standard energetic punk anthems, but every now and then you notice their perceptive sensibility with songs such as “Teenage Dream” and “Not for Me.” I don’t know why, but this record gives me a nostalgic feeling, somewhat of the likes of Aaron Cometbus. It’s this nostalgia of missing an old friend or reflecting upon the past. Anyhow, the songs will speak for themselves. Contact: Stardumb Records/P.O. Box 21145/3001 AC Rotterdam/The Netherlands

Potentially Fatal #4 This zine includes opinion on punk and crowd surfing by an ostensibly loudmouth kid named Kidd. There's also show reviews of bands such as the Bouncing Souls and Guttermouth, a stick figure comic section, and a review section. What I eventually figured from this zine was that the 'Kidd' needs some help. Altogether, it is a very standard zine and nothing more or less than a quick, easy read. Contact: Potentially Fatal/1653 Tayo Lane/Jacksonville, FL 32223

Pull #1 This zine gives an informative report on the Hudson Valley music scene. The issue includes reviews and interviews of local acts such as Fuse, Cirrhosis, and Stealth. It also has a lot of reviews of mainstream bands such as Radiohead and Incubus, making it easier for someone unfamiliar with the Hudson scene to get into. In the layout/editing and organization department, this zine is nearly flawless; it almost looks like a real magazine. To sum it up in a rather understatement, it is far better than the all too common one minute, slap together zine. Contact: 1999 Pull Press/P.O. Box 126/Boiceville, NY 12412

Retarded- Self Titled (Stardumb Records) This is a very strong re-released debut album from the Italian punk rock trio, Retarded. I was very impressed by this record. If you like the Queers, there’s no way you won’t like this band. They’ve got the three chords, the 1-2-3-4 intro, and their shtick is pretty much down path. Some of the highlights are “Stupid Boy” and “Let’s go in my bedroom.” “Come back to me” has a “Joanie Loves Johnny” kind of sound to. The overall effect is that 50s sort of purist rock ‘n’ roll tone. Contact: Stardumb Records/P.O. Box 21145/3001 AC Rotterdam/The Netherlands

Skank and Destroy #9 This zine's message is unity and its main force to combat racism---or so it seems. However, there are no articles on the subject matter whatsoever. Instead, it focuses on what almost every zine ends up focusing on, which is record reviews, interviews of bands such as Bouncing Souls and Suicidal Tendencies, and rants about punk. This is another very standard zine; I wouldn't say anything worse. Contact: Skank and Destroy/c/o Josh Russell/907 Ridgefield Rd/Wilton CT 06897

Stick Figure Suicide- "Nice, Nice, Totally Bad Ass!" (Umbilical Records) This debut album displays incredible definitude, showmanship, and musicianship of the hardcore punk band from New Jersey. They have explosive intensity, speed, and rawness, and is still able to pull off a great melody through songs such as "Sleeping Pills." Potential hits such as "Open Wounds" and "Dred" reveal clever riffs, effective hooks, and good guitar solos. Great technique is also applied in "Joe College," which I commend for its harmonious bassline. In all the band kicks ass and will mysteriously ward off anxiety. Contact: Stick Figure Suicide/P.O. Box 535/Milltown, NJ 08850

Superdope #8 This issue was titled "Forty-Five 45s That Moved Heaven And Earth." Some of the 45s that made it to the list were "Frustration/Murder By Guitar" by Crime, "Human Fly/Domino" by the Cramps, "Adult Books/We're Desperate" by X, and "Lexicon Devil/Circle One" by the Germs. There's also a bunch of record reviews to add on to this 'history lesson' zine on underground music. The layout is very clean and there are few ads. Contact: Superdope/P.O. Box 95649/ Seattle, WA 98145-2649

Uprising #2 This zine featured the lead singer of Teen Idols on the cover. There was also a Dropkick Murphys interview, show reviews of such acts as Gutter Punx and Unity, a debatable column on dancing, and CD reviews in the end. The layout is messy, but overall it seems pretty modest. This zine is geared toward the Toledo/Detroit area. Contact: Uprising/P.O. Box 2251/Monroe, MI 48161

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