Exploitation Retrospect was a long running digest-sized ‘zine that was pretty small (page wise) but came out fairly frequently. The writing was very well done and witty; an enjoyable read. The name makes it sound like another underground extreme horror/ exploitation/ grindhouse type ‘zine, but that’s a little misleading because it mostly covered action and horror movies (mainstream and more offbeat ones) and alternative/ punk/ “college rock” music. Sometimes it included other commentary such as book reviews or political commentary (usually with a somewhat (but not overly) conservative bend to it).
This issue has an interview with Zoe (Ms. 45) Lund, the editor’s ‘Best (and worst) of 1992’ lists, a DANZIG show review, a Sin City comic review, movie, music, and ‘zine reviews, letters (including one from early horror ‘zine publisher Dave Szurek sharing his disgust (shared by the ER editor) for Henry Rollins and a dislike for Alan Funt and Candid Camera (which ER had an article about in a previous issue) as being an intrusive bully (one wonders how horrified he must be by the current state of reality television and privacy invasion)), and a political article (“American Me”) that makes some good points but still comes across as sounding a bit like your kind of rednecky annoying old uncle bitching about the state of the world, and seems a little out of place in an exploitation movie ‘zine that favors punk rock.
But overall ER was a very entertaining read and another fixture in the underground movie ‘zine community.
Poison Planet was put out by Ty Smith (who I recently found out passed away a couple of years ago- R.I.P.) of the old hardcore band RESIST (as well as the short-lived but awesome NAMLAND with members of IMPULSE MANSLAUGHTER), and featured a good mix of hardcore, punk, grindcore, straight edge, and death metal. Most every band he featured was pretty bad ass, and he also did show and ‘zine reviews, had some funny art and comics (mostly stolen from other sources), and did longer reviews (and even reviewed a few more mainstream things like RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS and FAITH NO MORE- he has a very broad musical taste and his own unique opinions, even giving good reviews to things that a lot of underground ‘zines panned like VOIVOD’s Nothingface and later DIE KREUZEN (yuck!) ) that seemed pretty thought out. The interviews were fairly short (tho he did some with bands you didn’t see interviewed much, such as BROTHERHOOD, who featured a young Greg Anderson who went on to found Southern Lord records and play guitar in the bands GOATSNAKE, SUNN 0))), THORRS HAMMER, and a bunch more) and he also did a few articles on bands where he wrote a longer bio for them.
When people ask me what my favorite punk/ hardcore album of all time is, I can’t answer honestly- there are several that are tied. However when pressed, I usually say this album- CONFLICT’s masterpiece The Ungovernable Force.
It starts off with a crude noise collage called “You Cannot Win” that goes into the intro from their album Increase the Pressure (the whole album has nods to CONFLICT’s past, as well as a punk history lesson in the lyrics), then some piercing feedback. The next bunch of songs are all connected to each other, almost a punk and hardcore medley that starts off with two incredibly ripping tracks (with a savage bass line) that sound like one song, then a marching nod to C.R.A.S.S. (which a lot of the members of CONFLICT were also in).
“Custom Rock” comments on radio-friendly bands who join corporate labels to get famous, and the music kind of apes U2, but is 100% CONFLICT. Then they go into another march that brings us up to date on the state of things (at the time). All of these songs have their own feel and flavor but flow into each other seamlessly. Another savage commentary on popular music comes next- this one about bonehead metal bands and tough-guy hardcore bands (the music is suitably matallic as well). The last song on side A is a brutal and pissed diatribe about standing up for what’s right and fighting the powers that be when they are oppressive. Lyrics like “Riot- there ain’t been a riot but ones knocking at your door; you’ve seen nothing yet but household pets, you’ll feel the lion’s claws!” are pretty call-to-action provocative. This song is accompanied by samples from a big riot that happened in London.
Side B starts off with an older CONFLICT (from their first album It’s Time To See Who’s Who era) soundung track which quickly morphs into the catchy and humorous “Force Or Service?”. These tracks are more catchy and punky, but then comes “The Arrest”, which is back to a faster hardcore track that tells what you should do if you get arrested (“Whatever you go through in a police cell is nothing compared to the suffering inflicted by governments; the state destroys tortures and murders, we must stop them using force if necessary- remember that and good luck!”). This is followed by a mellower instrumental (that even sound a little Metallica-esque at tomes) then another savage and awesome song about a nuclear strike. This is the climax of the album.
The last 2 songs are “This Is the A.L.F.”- a very well put together song with a lot of interesting changes about animal liberation and the final song is a very quiet and poetic one with just a piano and a female singer.
This album is put together so well, the way all the songs flow into each other and build to a climax- the dynamics and riveting patterns of the songs, and the way they all have so much going on in them- the multi-instrumentation, the 3 vocalists, plus the samples and noises. The only complaint that I would have is that most of the songs don’t stand up as well on their own (tho some do), because they are fragments of an overall piece. But make no mistake- this is an excellent and ambitious album well put together by talented musicians with a lot of spirit, fire, conviction and personality. Find it…
The album sounds better if you lsiten to it as a whole, but this song stands well on it’s own and is a good example of the album’s excellence:
We’re going to start off bursting out the gate with a huge 80 page monster of a ‘zine that specialized in underground hardcore and metal music with a few pages of book and movie reviews thrown in for good measure. Some might wonder why I’m starting with such a huge but not very famous or wide-spread (compared to other underground music ‘zines of the time like Slayer, Morbid, Uniforce, MRR, etc) ‘zine. The answer is because I know the creator/ editor very well. It’s me. Godvomit issue 1 came out in 1990, after I had put out a couple of issues of another music ‘zine called Hatefilled (which has been lost to the sands of time, but was basically the same format as Godvomit but smaller and featured interviews with bands such as CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, FEARLESS IRANIANS FROM HELL, PISSED HAPPY CHILDREN, IMMOLATION, FATAL, CURRICULUM MORTIS, BACCHUS, and New Jersey’s HATRED). Godvomit got it’s name from something it says in the Bible about how God regurgitates every time a Christian follows his rules only because they are afraid of the punishment of hell if they don’t, which leads me to believe that heaven must be knee deep in God’s vomit. It was purposely chaotic and sloppy looking as an antithesis to all the generic looking desktop publishing fanzines that were coming out at the time.
Unlike the other ‘zines I’m going to take a look at on here, I have permission to scan and post this one in it’s entirety, so I won’t go on much about it, and just let the magazine speak for itself (warts and all)…
Includes interviews with IMPETIGO, MORTICIAN, THERION, WINTER, DEAD HORSE, THE ACCUSED, DEVOID, HIDEOUS MANGLEUS, SPLATTERREAH, NUCLEAR DEATH, SOCIAL DECEIT, NECRO-SCHIZMA, DERKETA, EXIT 13, NUNSLAUGHTER, and FUNEBRE.