booksmusicfilmstv.com Underground & Indie Music Index

Alternative Music Fanzines from the 1980s and 1990s
Reviewed by Peace & Freedom magazine


A Glimmer of Hope Issue 1

Great value. 32 pages of good stuff. I/views with Self-Destruct, Attrition, Getting the Fear, Urban Desolation - more a thought-provoking spiel. Lots of info on distribution/printing services - a must for all you would-be fanzine ed's/publishers. Many 'zine reviews. What I like about Julian's mag is it's escape from the slag-off syndrome, but, on the other hand, isn't creepy. Believe in yourself Julian - everyone else does. I've been told that there will be no more. I only hope that the ed has second thoughts.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 2, Summer 1985


Axe of Freedom Issue 3

A finger-burning mag. Not one for your Auntie Vi. Contains stuff that appeals to me as a veggie, but the drawback is that it's pro-peace stance is spoilt by a too-aggressive delivery. The i/views are with the likes of Death Zone and Aftermath. Interesting.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 3, January 1986


Black and White

Black and White No. 1

A gem is upon us. Glossy-covered tome full of groovy artwork. Outspoken comments from abortion to unemployment. Music, poetry, fanzine listings/reviews, cartoons, The Prisoner et al, et al, et al; an inspiration.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 4, Summer/Autumn 1986

Black and White No. 2

The best "general" mag., along with "Stride" and "Tears in the Fence". This issue includeds collages, reviews, poetry, articles on rape, unemployment and Russell Hoban. Very well-produced, partially typeset. Various typefaces enhance the, already, impressive visual image.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 5, Summer 1987

The first two issues of this mag. were very impressive. A pot pourri of so many things. Haven't heard from them for a while, so no latest issues to report. Issue 2 is available at the reasonable price of £1 and includes collages, poetry, reviews, articles on rape, abortion, unemployment and Russell Hoban. Great visual image with glossy cover, and partially typeset.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, Vol. 5, No. 3, Spring/Summer 1988


Black On White Issue 1

The one and only issue, as the editor, Julian, has decided to change the name to a A Glimmer of Hope, due to a name clash with London's Black and White. More news of Glimmer later. BOW contains an excellent in-depth interview with John Foxx - one of the best i/views I've seen in any fanzine, this one. Interesting abstract Critique and Clive Pig interviews. Disturbing report on police brutality in Sheffield by Gill. Lots of poetry. Fanzine and record reviews. Articles on Skeletal Family, Party Day, Western Front and Furniture. 36 pages for only 15p is brilliant value. Buy it!

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 1, January 1985


Catch 22

Catch 22 Issue 11 1/2 (original, eh?)

Another mini 'zine issue. Best/Worst of poll of virtually anything and everything. 22's readers seem to be the epitome of taste, but The Prisoner being voted amongst the Worst TV programmes had me in tears, but, at least, it was in the "Best" section as well. Sparkling, in-depth reviews. TBH 1 review a bit harsh - I mean, the girl was only 15 at the time... the ed of TBH, I mean. Kev's problems included. A very commercial-sounding American band have their work reviewed... No i/views, but a very interesting read.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 2, Summer 1985

Catch 22 Issue 12

More charts - I do like audience participation. Mega editorial. Very subtle cover by Jon Barnes. 1984 in retrospect - brilliantly done, although I don't agree with all the comments. A poem by Saboteur stuffs Noraid - great... I better watch my letterbox now. Reviews shorter this issue, due to lack of space, no doubt. Captain (every girl's hearthrob) Chaos and Ivor The Anarchist cartoons. I/views with Shakers, Great Bone and The Four-A-Day men (like the Marlowesque build-up) and A Desire. Hilarious worm exposé. What's it all about? Buy the mag.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 2, Summer 1985


Distant Echo Issue 11

Variety is the spice of life and in DE it abounds. Reggae is covered in the reviews, which makes a change in 'zines. Alan Rider's Attrition/Legendary Pink Dots European tour diary is very novel - seems like never a dull momento. Outstanding Richard Edwardes (Cool Notes) poem. Baz Stead rips into Simple Minds at Hammersmith. Lots of fanzine/record/tape/gig reviews. Clash and Kwesi Johnson amongst the live reviews. Home-taping piece - record companies lashed, and quite rightly, too - their greed knows no bounds. Beeb slagged. Letters featured - to complete a cornucopia of what a 'zine should be. It's unpretentious, but doesn't make you feel like a Sun reader.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 2, Summer 1985


Electronic Cottage No. 1

As good a first issue as you're likely to find. Many reviews of home tapers and big Al Margolis feature. Well produced and looking good.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 6, Vol. 2, Summer 1989


No Visible Scar Issue 13

Features idealistic (that is meant as praise) bands, such as Making An Impact, Kulturkampf, Reality, Paranoia and Death Zone. Not a 'zine to be sniffed at. The ed seems permanently on heat, but his mind's in the right place. Non-creeping reviews - a bit too harsh in places, though. As the message on the back cover says: "Don't let the bastards grind you down." Yes, indeed. Vive la revolution!

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 1, January 1985


Outlet No. 33

The tops for record and tape reviews with no musical snobbery - the whole spectrum of post '55 music is covered. Good production and discerning reviews.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 4, Summer/Autumn 1986


Psychedelic Fruit Juice No. 3

Stimulating mag. containing, in this issue, a mind-bending story, which provokes a lot of debate. This mag. is as unique as its title.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 4, Summer/Autumn 1986


Punch in the Face No. 1

A little opposite in title to ours, eh? Opening issue for Straight Edge fans. Very good Profound i/view, nay one of the best I've seen, runs to 9 pages! Other bands featured are Reason to Believe and Turning Point. Very promising 'zine with lots of thought-provoking spiel.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, Vol. 6, No. 3, Autumn/Winter 1989


Rouska Issue 5

The best 'zine around, both for presentation and journalistic aplomb. Deep interviews with The Monochrome Set and Craig Runyon. A weird Sisters of Mercy i/view. The omipresent Andy Darlington fires the shots at Cabaret Voltaire. Lots of reviews and info. Full-page cartoon. Three-colour glossy cover. Leeds scene, poetry and so on!

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 3, January 1986


Sivullinen No. 10

(From Finland) Horror, gore, and more horror! Gut churning artcore and poems, but with a good message. Great drawings by Orlando & Waarakangas (the ed), the latter a bit incongruous amidst the skulls, and hanging eyeballs. Ace cartoons by Mick Cusimano, and poem by Mark Sikora. Info too. Offset printed.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, Vol. 6, No. 3, Autumn/Winter 1989


Sixteen Again

Sixteen Again No. 2

One of the most interesting 'zines I've read. Virtually everything makes one (la-di-da) think. Stunning editorial. Issue 2 was free and worth every penny... Interviews with bands who care - The Innocent & The Contempt - the former particularly good. Lots of poetry and an interesting "D.I.Y. Music" feature. Issue 3 will be 10p.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 1, January 1985

Sixteen Again No. 3

Great Restarts interview with marathon man Paul. He avoids the obvious answers, helped by the fact that the questions are apart from the usual cliched stuff. Strong writing from Sarah and a moving piece by Corny. The poetry is, generally, high-class stuff, certainly pulls no punches - Alan Cornelius' work featured. Very good record reviews - a reviewer who can actually review something without being destructive. Gig review, lyrics from Innocent... music biz spiel.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 2, Summer 1985

Sixteen Again No. 4

Massive Primal Thrash i/view - could become a serial. Innocent (the band) also featured. Interesting prose and a poem 'Ascent On The Dole' by Topper - anyone's who's ever been a UB40 will relate totally. Reviews and 'Battery Farming' article by Alan Cornelius.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 3, January 1986


Sound Choice No. 12

Best music only 'zine, in terms of reviews. Class printing, news, cartoons, letters, articles and 4-colour cover.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, Vol. 6, No. 4, Spring/Summer 1990


Speakeasi Issue 1

Superb first issue - the best I've seen since The Black Hole issue one. Very well written in-depth gig reviews - makes a change in muzak media. Gigs reviewed include York Festival and The Cult. Info featured. XY Love, Bogshed i/views followed by one on Kirk Brandon of Spear of Destiny. I agreed 100% with Kirk's assessment of the way music journalists slag to be "in". This is something that spoils a lot of fanzines - 'zines should be different to the "major's" - that's the whole point, i.e: not as nasty. Okay, preaching over. Kirk enhances his public image in the interview, which is nice as a lot of people I use to respect have come across as pretentious jerks. Brandon talks a lot of sense and seems natural and unaffected. As a fan of Theatre of Hate, I hope S.O.D. can surpass the former's popularity. Loved the 100% Awareness Quiz. Artist Paul Garrard extols the virtues of doing what you want to do and not being restricted by what one is told to do. Like the wit and joie de vivre of the 'zine - makes an change from the solemn, sour preachings of some ed's. The "cause" can be supported without an oak on yer shoulder!

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 2, Summer 1985


Splizz No. 8

Bit of a scoop with Supergrass i/view, also Morrissey live, knowledgeable reviews, wads of poetry, and striking artwork from Ali Burgess. Seems a good market for poets particularly.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, Vol. 12, No. 1, Summer 1997


Stick It In Your Ear! No. 64

This is the only mag. I know of that is dedicated to reviewing independent, underground music cassette releases. Loads of reviews and pictures. Well-known names and other more obscure ones.

- Andy Bruce, Peace & Freedom, No. 6, Vol. 2, Summer 1989


Summer Daze No. 1

More of a teen 'zine this one. Not bad for a first issue in terms of production and content. I liked the very pertinent article against fox-hunting by Christine and the ranting anti-Thatch piece by Andy Savage. Some okay interviews with The Field Mice and the Egg label and Prayers, and a fun one with The Edsel Auctioner. The Telescopes don't seem to be too nice and sweet. Christine writes well, but is particularly brutal in her review style - in places, but good, overall. A bit more variety needed, too.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, Vol. 6, No. 3, Autumn/Winter 1989


U.K. Resist No. 5

'U.K. Resist' is one of my favourite mags, and getting better all the time. Letters page of wild diversity, from Death Row prisoners to 'normal' punks; Kurdish problem, horror, columns. I/views with chummy Lurkers and Mega City Four, and naïve Blaggers. Plus art, Finland HC and tomes of reviews.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, Vol. 7, No. 3, Winter 1991/92


Yahoo Issue 5

Punk-orientated and great value for money - 20 non-folded A4 pages. Tries to give a mouthpiece to foreign bands, which is refreshing. Among those are Slam from Sweden, N.O.T.A. and Rok Trots from The States, Zyklime A from Belgium, et al. Pandemonium talk sense - and I like the band's philosophy - especially as regards animals - great. In-depth reviews of records and tapes from around the world - not to mention 'zines, which are more international than anything else I've read before. Dodgy poetry and good cartoons, especially enjoyed Baboon Dooley, who I identify with - why, I shan't divulge!

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 2, Summer 1985


Zonk Issue 2

44 pages, including an excellent flexi from Barbed Choir, is a snip at 25p. Features Crass, Jazz Butcher, In Embrace, Nation III, Walking Floors, Rosy Recordings feature - particularly interesting. Extensive 'zine and tape reviews. Tempest gig review. Danse Society also pop up yet again. YCE, Penal Colada, Stress, Different Dialect, Unoccupied Europe and Lunatic Fringe are also featured.

- Paul Rance, Peace & Freedom, No. 1, January 1985


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