zine reviews october 2004

Wide Open Road - Issue 11

Always a delight; immaculate lay-out, thoughtful presentation - and considered reviews. A good proportion of which concern themselves with unknown treasures on 7" vinyl, a rather good thing. The writing is always excellent too - definitely a good thing. Running through this issue is a winding stream-of-conciousness thread that takes in misanthropic hikers and shoplifting; the witty prose making this 'zine what it is - a very good thing. Unbelievably perhaps, all this is yours for 50p - an incredible thing. Wide Open Road, PO Box 2059, Bristol BS99 7TH www.wideopenroad.tk (Laurence)

Butterfly Crush - Issue 6

Peter's decorated the bottom of each page with photo compositions of film stars, maybe he's a film buff? He is a music fan however, and a most articulate one - giving each review plenty of room to spread out and develop. Interviews too - with The Party and the Uterus Women. Worth getting I'd say. £1.30 inc p+p. 12 Glenarm Square, Belfast, BT10 0FD butterflycrushzine@hotmail.com (Laurence)

Vanity Project - Issue 9

Hard to believe this comes free, but it does - and regularly too. And very good invariably too, jam packed with live and record reviews - interviews with Deerpark and Bone Machine (and a quickie with the Kabukikore label). Skif, the mastermind behind this mini-marvel moves around a fair bit, so e-mail him on skif@vanityproject.co.uk or check the website www.vanityproject.co.uk (Laurence)

Road Kill - Issue 4

Of course size isn't everything, but gosh - it's so big. Mind you, a two year gestation since the previous issue makes this a long awaited indulgence. Interviews with Bloc Party, Gavin Baker, Jet Johnson, Meets Guitar, Jeffrey Lewis and plenty more - as well as a mountain of reviews are contained in the sixty pages. Comes with a free CDR too, featuring Gavin Baker (of Billy Mahonie) and his myriad projects. Costs £3.50, e-mail Tim captainbodger@hotmail.com (Laurence)

Is This Music - Issue 10

Scotland might have a rubbish football team right now, but there is a vibrant music scene going on up north of the border. Plugging into the electric Caledonian zeitgeist is this "independent music magazine from Scotland" - and a not so shoddy affair it is too. Glossy pages, proper printing and decent photographs - we could do with something like this down here. Lots of record, demo, and gig reviews and interviews that include Nectarine Number 9 and Spare Snare - both of which feature on the free compilation CD that comes with this publication. All this for £3, and apparently some copies are sneaking across the border into English hands - grab it if you see one. www.isthismusic.com (Laurence)

The Unpredictable Same - Issue 3

Just out, and now with staples, The Unpredictable Same is becoming established. This one has a crossword and comic-strip, plenty of live reviews, more record reviews than previously, and an interview with The Party. What makes this zine really interesting, though, is the articles covering student radio, the over-rating of the Beatles, the resurrection of DrWho, and Bill Fay amongst others - Morrissey gets a fair bit of coverage too. Interesting, well articulated views are a good enough reason to hope there'll be more issues in the future. Costs £1, unpredictablesame@yahoo.co.uk (Laurence)

Evergreen Days, If I Only Knew The Answer (My Secret Garden Recordings) CDR

A girl, a guitar, and a four-track - anything else required? In this case a little percussion and lots of echo are added to the simplest of equations to bring us this hidden treasure from Sweden. Quixotically commencing with an admittedly lovely instrumental, it's the half dozen songs that follow that are the true delight. The sad beauty of Fairytales is the heart-tuggingly wonderful "hit" of a collection that's all good, ranging from gentle introspection to buoyant resolve and observing the time honoured virtues of tunes and expressive lyrics as it unfolds. listen.to/mysecretgarden (Laurence)

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