MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL, #326: $4, 8 ½” x 11”, newsprint

I suppose it’s really no longer fair to think of MRR as the Pentagon of Punk, but I’ll be honest, I still do. Back in the Tim Yohannan days, they seemed so rigid, elitist, and rectilinear that it made me want to do Yippie-esque things like raise their building about six feet above the ground, just to shake them all up. In various zines throughout the ‘90s, I loudly challenged Tim Yo to an Indian leg wrestling match, with him representing Punk Orthodoxy and myself representing Punk Heterodoxy. Owing to the fact that I was (and remain) no more than a fart cloud from the backside of a bacterium in the gut flora residing in the gastrointestinal tract of an absolute nobody in the punk rock scene, this clash of the titans never occurred. And it’s probably for the better that it didn’t occur because it would’ve been like slapping the lipstick and pancake make-up off the quivering flab of J. Edgar Hoover while he’s squeezed into a too-tight sun frock. Orthodoxy can never sustain itself for very long on the moonshine of its own self-righteousness. Having gotten that off my chest, I must admit that, as the years rolled by, post-Tim-Yo, it seemed readily apparent that many holier-than-thou girdles were being loosened up in the ranks of the MRR army. Eventually, even a hint of a jaunty sense of humor started to seep in, and in the process many once-proudly inflexible mohawks began to relax. This issue is typical of the newer, less strident MRR. Loads of informative interviews with the likes of Chilean punk band Marcel Duchamp, Sedition, Really Red, and Bunny Skulls, among others. Scene reports, a clever Ted Rall cartoon, and oodles of columns, including my two favorites, George Tabb and Mykel Board. And, of course, scads and scads of short, quippy record reviews, oftentimes done in that “mailed-in” style requiring little or no rumination. Pretty much all the stuff we’ve come to expect from this storied institution of proper punk. A solid read as always. –Aphid Peewit (PO Box 460760, SF, CA, 94146-0760)