STOWAWAYS, THE #3, #4: $?, 11” x 8 ½”, 12 pgs. each.

Two issues here of a Southern California punk fanzine with a terrible, frustrating layout/binding. Multiple double-sided pieces of paper stacked on top of each other, then stapled a few times along the left side. So the pages rip out easily and a lot of the content that runs along the left edges gets bound to each other—not so readable. In many ways, this zine has a lot of stuff going for it. The semi-local focus here is a good way to ground a music-based fanzine and give it its own flavor. The editor clearly has a fair amount of steam under his ass (he mentions that the four issues out thus far came out in this year). Mainly his efforts take the form of band interviews, here with Summer Vacation, Loughton, and Joyce Manor. The interviews have a nice, conversational feel to them, but the questions are pretty ho-hum. Like, separate band interviews that almost read as interchangeable (So, you signed to this semi-big punk record label? What’s that like? You like that label a lot, right?). It seems like this guy is capable of digging deeper into these bands, and could make for a very good interviewer, but as it stands I’m not compelled. –Dave Brainwreck (The Stowaways, 5082 Wendover Road, Yorba Linda, CA 92886)