Saturday, October 25, 2014

European Vacation I: Hashtag Hardcore #3 + "Mind Over Matter"

#Hardcore #3 + Mind Over Matter Fanzine (Netherlands)
My life's "European vacation" was a 5 year tour of duty of living in the UK (Cardiff Wales) while my Dad worked for a chemical company. I saw much of Europe, but was also elementary school age so I spent most of my time drawing and complaining, sidestepping the grand cultural awakening my parents somehow convinced themselves I'd get. Nowadays, I'm just pilfering their fanzines. 

By my estimation, #Hardcore is in the uppermost echelon of the current fanzine hierarchy. For straight up interesting reading, phenomenal layouts and for a guy genuinely trying to document the state of hardcore past n' present in a coherent printed publication (that means multi-trips to the shitter), all done cut n' paste and replete with show, record and fanzine reviews (even notable shout outs to the Drug Dogs Newsletters, positive reviews which in no way have any bearing on how I perceive this zine...), Daan is your man. 

Structurally, it's a "zine within a zine" setup, with the inner zine being Mind Over Matter (officially, I think it's from Belgium). It replicates those "pull out" zines of times past. M.O.M runs a little more straight forward than its parents publications with the best bit definitely being an interview with Jordan Posner of No Warning. ("At one point we had Dijan, Henderson and Porter all in the studio. We were saying to each other 'OK, Madball, Breakdown, and Floorpunch are all helping with our record.' We were tripping.") As a product of early 00's hardcore (and also a critic of the underwhelming Ill Blood doc they made a few years back) I got a lot out of this interview. I only got to see No Warning well beyond their prime, in the thick of their Suffer Survive years, with Fear Factory at a club called Jillian's in Louisville. 

Furthermore, since I don't really know a TON about euro hardcore (save for the surface stuff, Rise & Fall and that back in the day americans used to rip them off via mailorder a lot, hopefully the internet and paypal has democratized all that?) I actually use these inky things to learn a thing or two about the scenes. At this point, I really want the errata of Europe. Who are their Rick Ta Life's?  For that, I got a riotous jolly off the discussion of a band called 36 Karat, described as "Belgian Ghetto Metal." Oh, and some True Blue stuff for those lookin' to get a little halloweeny off the chilly Icemen vibes.
Back to the "exo" zine though. I love that I can legitimately disagree with Daan so vehemently about bands (Dude definitely backs Warhound, I definitely do not), but still think  he's got one of the premiere fanzines in the "biz." Yeah, I think it's weird that hentai and tentacle porn got referenced seriously in the Cornered interview (but then again, #2 went into pretty detailed specifics about Thai prostitutes and STD's in the Kickback interview) but love that I'm not just reading "JR plays bass, Dickweed sings, Dumpwood stole a drumkit and me? I just sing about life maaaan." All that runs through conversations with some cool core (Stick Together, DiE and Redemption Denied if you can fuck with a band that uses a graffiti logo...some can't).
I'd be most remiss to not mention the Integrity piece here though because it's the thing of absolute beauty. Three full pages of collected ephemera, (fanzine interviews and record spotlights) meticulously curated and ordered to create a beautiful fan-made pastiche of a band in their prime (much like this fan-made documentary about Sabu.) 

For original content, phenomenal layouts and all-around comprehensiveness, you'll be hard up to find anything better than this one right here. Here's to many more! 
Drowning in envy
(You can no longer) BUY THIS FANZINE HERE (because it is sold out. Sorry Bunky). 
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