MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL #341: $4, 8½” x 11”, newsprint, 136 pgs.

This is a punk zine, kind of like Razorcake, but not nearly as cool. They’re taking a quantity-over-quality approach and it’s not really working. There isn’t much to talk about in the way of art or graphic design. The text is super small and the photographs don’t have enough visual interest to make up for it. This isn’t their first issue, but they still made some beginner mistakes like a clunky title and a flimsy newsprint cover. It’s hard to explain the overall vibe because it’s lacking one. I think that they should work on showing more personality beyond “punk” in general, because I can’t really tell who this would appeal to. Maybe people just scan through this looking for a mention of a band that they like, but I can’t imagine that anyone actually reads this thing cover-to-cover. Hopefully, the writers and editors are the kind of people who can take constructive criticism to heart, because I think they need to put in a lot more effort to make a quality zine.–Lauren Trout (PO Box 460760, SF, CA 94146)