NO FRIENDS #1: $8, 8½” x 11”, offset, 96 pgs.

Whoa! It has been some time since I’ve seen a new music zine come out that’s this packed with content. Outside of the big two (one of which you’re reading), I can’t think of any other zines like this except Mountza and Artcore. It is put together by Ray Martinez (who may have the quickest stint as a coordinator in the history of MRR), Jim Zajackowski, and a busload of contributors. This zine does bring to mind MRR in layout and the columns section (though No Friends puts theirs at the back because they’re different!), as well as in the tone of the content in the reviews and photo pages. However, No Friends seems to be more fun in its approach—and open in its coverage—interviewing comedy writer and radio personality Tom Scharpling, and interviewing Pork magazine in an attempt to go over the many carpings people have about that publication. (A noble effort, but the interviewee seems to be hiding behind a character.) Then you get conversations with Ausmuteants, Ray Creature, Martin Sorrondeguy, Slugbugs, Trance, and Capitalist Kids, plus a Lumpy & The Dumpers / Ausmuteants flexi. All in all, a great start to a zine I hope lasts decades, as they are needed and they are enthusiastic about what they cover. –Matt Average (No Friends, PO Box 12343, Chicago, IL 60612, nofriendszine.com, [email protected])