The issue starts off with short interviews and photospreads from photographers Christina Carlsen (Denmark), Carlos Garcia (Mexico), KVNGAZLAN (Malaysia) & Jeslyn Lam (Canada). This is followed by interviews with DROPDEAD, Radio Raheem Records, Ian Shelton from Regional Justice Center, Mark McCoy (Youth Attack/Charles Bronson), 11PM Records, & Dwid Hellion from Integrity, and finally over 150 reviews of recent releases from around the world. Of course this is all fleshed out with photographs I've taken over the last few months--including images of Exotica, Youth of Today, Power Trip, Loose Nukes, Vaaska, Napalm Death, Devil Master, Vaxine & more!
Our take: We’ve carried previous issues of the Richmond-based zine Razorblades and Aspirin, but #8 is a near-total reboot, shifting from a photo-zine to a more traditional mix of content, including interviews and record reviews alongside the eye candy. It’s also been scaled-up to full-size rather than half-size, and the beautiful photography (much of it full-color) that has always been the zine’s trademark looks even better. The writing is also excellent. While the reviews aren’t critical (sounding more like the descriptions I write for Sorry State than opinions or analyses), they are informative, and the interviews are very strong. They speak to a few photographers (which makes sense given the zine’s focus) as well as Radio Raheem Records, Dropdead, Integrity, Mark from Youth Attack, and several more. The questions and the answers are both thoughtful and interesting, a cut well above your typical DIY punk zine. I just got an email notification that their next issue is already in the works with a plan to publish quarterly, so I look forward to devouring a new one of these every few months.