NO FRIENDS #3, $6.50, 8½” x 11”, copied, 120 pgs.

I’ve been keeping an eye on this quarterly zine since the first issue last year, so I’m glad to report that No Friends is coming in strong for the third time. What I think makes or breaks these “big deal” punk zines—you know the kind I mean, the Razorcakes and Maximum Rock’n’rolls of the scene—is variety. Without some diversity in the pages, you’ll end up with a stack of newsprint that doesn’t amount to much more than a list of punk-as-fuck all-caps band names and a handful of “What are your influences?”-type interviews. Who reads those? Fortunately, the No Friends crew has got variety covered, with the interviews once again hitting a good balance between the straight-up punk rock content (represented by bands and labels including Violence Creeps, Shopping, Stickshift Recordings, and Halo Of Flies) and the more tangentially related stuff, like Disasterpiece, the artist behind the synth soundtrack to It Follows, and DIY-minded comedians Kyle Kinane and Caitlin Gill. And that’s only a portion of this issue—also featured are a queer non-profit ride service from the Bay, a roving documentary filmmaker, and a guide on how to skateboard in North Korea, not to mention the columns and reviews… they really pack this thing, don’t they? As always, an exclusive flexi is also enclosed. This is a zine that feels like it’s made by a group of people who know what they’re doing and know what they want. If these early issues are any indication, No Friends is well on its way to a solid place in national DIY punk culture, right beside all the fixtures that no doubt inspired it. –Indiana Laub (No Friends, PO Box 12343, Chicago, IL 60612)