PUNK IN A FOREIGN SPACE: TALES FROM WRITING THE HISTORY OF RUSSIAN PUNK ROCK, 5½” x 8”, 66 pgs.

I went into this expecting your typical tired prototypical scene history—yeah, we all sat around, got drunk, got into fights, whatever—and to some degree, received it. But Punk in a Foreign Space, for one, is about a scene that isn’t well-known. I doubt most of the punks I know could name even one Russian punk band, and I couldn’t either, and despite this, Herbert’s story compelled me. You don’t have to know the bands to know the story. Herbert does a fantastic job of translating these people, bands, and cities into the recognizable while maintaining what makes it distinctive. Perhaps it is his academic background, but I found myself compelled by some of his deeper claims about the nature and psychology of punk wherever you may be, and that’s the real meat of this zine. Punk is only universal to a point, but where it is is what makes it worthwhile. When it becomes more, for Herbert, than “style and music,” it begins to “embody possibilities, empowerment, and alternatives to the monotonous lives” we live. After reading Punk in a Foreign Space, I’m excited to see where Herbert’s analysis of these possibilities lies: the book that this zine precedes comes out in September from Microcosm. Chapters of this zine are available as Punks Around #1 and Punks Around #5. –jimmy cooper (punksaround.bigcartel.com or [email protected])