MAXIMUM ROCK’N’ROLL #398, $4.99, 5 ½” x 8 ½”, newsprint, 108 pgs.

MRR still keeps it real after nearly four hundred issues, featuring interviews with TØRSÖ, Mollot, and The Domestics, as well as the usual scene report and punk abroad. I’m particularly struck by the discussion of 924 Gilman, a (once?) venerable Berkeley DIY venue. Several folks chime in about the venue’s decline in standards. And in fact, MRR, a zine historically affiliated with the venue, supports a recent boycott stating, “Without strong and sincere corrective measures from the people already participating in the running of the club, we […] will not be able to offer it our support.” Strong words. I have no horse in this race—as I’m not a Bay Area local and I don’t have a clear understanding of the issue—but I do hope that DIY venues are actively listening to their community and not being self-serving pricks. It’s awesome to know that after nearly forty years, MRR still takes the time to hold accountable other DIY institutions. For an avid reader, this is another solid issue. And for a lucky first time reader, #398 is proof that MRR has still got teeth after all this time. –Sean Arenas (Maximum Rock’n’Roll, PO Box 460760, SF, CA, 94146, maximumrocknroll.com)