PAX Zine #3

It always makes me feel lazy when I review two issues of a zine that have been produced during the time it takes for me to do one issue. And that's the case with PAX. Begining to find it's feet more this time round there are interviews with the likes of Earthtone9, Medulla Nocte, Liberty 37, Pulkas, Devin Townsend and Silicone Baby. The cartoons are still there and the dissenting voice calling for more support for UK bands.

The one thing missing really are demo and zine reviews - but that's not PAX's fault. See it's like this, there's plenty of zines at the moment, but it's in danger of becoming like a closed inner circle. There's a few people writing, a few reading, sentiments are agreed wit but nothing gets done. It needs to break out in a way that the zines are seen and bands, or people who know bands start passing the demos and zines on. Stuff can't get reviewed if no one knows about it. It seems to be a problem I come up against constantly doing YAZ. There's waaaaaay more demos and zines out there than I know about. But it needs others to help me there, because I simply don't have the free time to go chasing everything down. So if you're reading any of the zines, help us break the circle. Pass on the zine, let the bands know, encourage them to write. Bands, tell other bands. Please. Copy the zine if you have to in order to pass it on - it'll probably cost more than buying another copy, but so what. Just help out. It needs everyone to make this work. there's a flurry of zines coming along now - isn't it about time that we took advantage of the fact that there are actually people out there that give a fuck and are trying to do something?

50p plus an SAE to PAX, 182 Top Lane, Whitley, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 8QL.

Skratch The Surface Zine #1

Same day as PAX arrived, so did Skratch The Surface. A new one to me, the fact that its issue #1 may have something to do with it. It's got it's good and it' bad points. The interview with Earthtone9 is very interesting, the ones with Hero and PMM are not. But that's cos sometimes e-mail can be a difficult medium for interviews. And I like both those bands. Nice try, but didnít quite work for me. There's also Slipknot and (hed)pe interviews and more. It wants to support UK badnds and those the mainstream don't cover, or don't cover in the manner in which the STS people like which are fair sentiments - it's just a case of getting the balance ight which at the moment it feels like it hasn't. but it's a first issue, and the questions illustrate that it has the potential, desire and intelligence to achieve it's aims. Which can only be a good thing.

Similar problem to PAX in the lack of zine and demo reviews, but both have big pleas for demos to be sent. Like I said, there's people who give a fuck, it really is time that they were given the chance to do what they obviously want to. Promising start.

1 quid plus an SAE to 2 Old Lansdowne Rd, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2NU.

ORGAN #66

Itís web based now. You should check it out. The news pages are updated pretty much daily. Although I do this one on the web, and donít believe in the notion of only printing part of a zine and getting people to buy it for the full thing, I do think zines are better in print. I just donít like reading off the screen. But Organ manages to retain the feel of the paper zine, and like I said, it makes it free to everyone. As they say, the playing field just became level.

This time this features on Pornoorphans, Cay, Sack Trick ooooooh yeah and shit loads more. Thereís 43 bloody zine reviews for gods sake. Loads of demos. Itís eclectic, itís sometimes controversial. I certainly donít find myself agreeing with everything, but it brings things to your attention, which is to my mind what a zine is about. Itís then up to you as the individual whether you wish to check things out further on the basis of whatís written. That I check out quite a few things they recommend may be a lousy review, but itís the best endorsement I can think of.

www.organart.demon.co.uk