AGGRO: $3, 5 ½” x 8 ½”, copied w/ glossy cover, 30 pgs.

Sep 30, 2014

This is a one-off zine comprised of seven essays about some punks’ experiences in the 1980s and early ‘90s. The impetus for this is that the editor of this collection found himself and other forty to fifty-something punks sitting around sharing stories of shows from back in the day and decided to get those punks to put their tales in writing. All of them take place in California/Tijuana or the New York/New Jersey area and none are run-of-the-mill. There’s the story of the time Jello Biafra’s leg was broken at 924 Gilman, the one where the show in Tijuana got busted by the cops, and the time there was a riot (actually, that seemed to happen in more than one of these stories). Violence was a frequent theme in many of the tales, including my favorite, from Dale Johnson: “I seem to remember a bottle crashing incident…involving Rob Chaos (of the band Total Chaos) as some punk had either accused him of singing with a fake British accent or fucking his girlfriend.” As someone who occasionally indulges in punk rock nostalgia, I appreciated the stories that were told. I didn’t always recognize the bands that were mentioned, but I could understand the excitement, the feel of what it’s like in the pit, and the satisfaction in finding a place where you belong. I found myself in the moment with the authors and by including old show flyers it provided that extra bit of history that tied me in to the time and place in each story. Some of the authors meandered—their writing could’ve been tightened up, and the action could’ve been heightened through better storytelling—but overall this was a fun read whose material was right up my alley. Aggro is easily one of the best zines I’ve read in a long while.-Kurt Morris (Cory Linstrum, 630 Taylor Ave., Alameda, CA94501, [email protected])