Editors in chief: Borsalino, William Schieffer
Layout: Emerick Hoss
Contributors: Da Ringmaster, Vampirotti & Vincent Pit
This zine is in full A4 format and has about 20 pages. It is a very profound magazine, filled with polemics, intelligence and fun facts. Featuring in this zine are letters from readers, album and zine reviews, interviews with bands ( CATHARSIS, LIAR & FAMILY OF DOG ), tour reports, show reports. As if that is not enough, it also comes with an exclusive split 7″ of LIAR and FAMILY OF DOG. Each band features two songs of very moshy hardcore. I will get back on this Genet Records release in another part of the review.
Reviewing this zine in a proper manner, that does justice to the zine itself, isn’t exactly easy. It is a very polemic issue. Therefore I will be publishing this review in parts. This is because the post about the review would be firstly too long and secondly it would take too much time until something gets published. So here is the first part; the editors introduction, the sXe corner and the lettersection.
The guy who wrote the introduction has done a great job. He starts with pinpointing what this issue of the H8 zine is partly about; the problems that the West-Flemish hardcore scene are encountering. He is very honest about it. Because he believes there is still hope, he explains what H8000 truly stands for. This was necessary because the young kids who are fresh to the scene start to lose a decent view on this. I will quote here what he actually said:
“When we first used the name H8000 crew, it was mainly the intention to unite the local scene, to support all the bands, to arrange gigs weekly and to expand our combined talents to the outside HC movement.”
Then he pinpoints the H8000 style trends, and yes, the world now speaks of a H8000 style. What he sees as a great achievement.
Of course there is on the second page a straight-edge corner. They give a good concept of what straight-edge is about. So since every editor of this zine supports the sXe way, they’ve done a good job in their urge to promote it. I like this part; “SXE is something that is about education, not just putting a fat X on your hand, it’s not a certain style of music or dress-code. It’s a life-style, it is not about being ‘hard’, but about facing a disrespectful crowd with your head up high, and taking 100% pride in your beliefs an feelings, it’s about being a teacher for those who need your advice…”
Now right up to the letter section. In my opinion it flatters the editors that they published the most decent critical letters from the readers, despite the fact that they aren’t always going along with the line the magazine editors are trying to set. Namely, gaining regard from the outside world.
There is for instance this very well-written letter from a 16 year old kid. In this letter he puts a true one-liner: “Meanwhile you are trying to save the H8000, we still have a world to save”. He knows what he is speaking about because he brings up true facts like global warming and overpopulation. This sentence is also like the link between the two parts of his letter; the growing lack of unity and harmony in the scene and then the ideals that maybe have gone lost, by these troubles.
I fully back this kid, but he is like the editors answer says; having doomed visions for a 16 year old kid. He must indeed use his eloquence and IQ for better and more creative things in mind. So the Congress ’97 quote from the song ‘Escape the apocalypse’ is very in place; “Don’t be slave of your doomed sight, be the first to try another cast”. And from my part; don’t give up the scene too quickly!
The other two letters are also very interesting and critical; dealing with album reviews that sometimes fell wrongly for some readers and about the Krishna take-over in the scene. But also the fascist or militant SxE attitude and so on…
Last but not least is a letter from the guitarist of Family Of Dog, named Peter. Again a view upon hardcore is given. He tells us that carrying ideals, like anti-economical and racial discrimination or making this society more humane, isn’t limited to people who wear baggy pants, piercings and tattoos while appearing on stage. He finds that as a matter of fact other musical genres, like Napalm Death, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Moby, Public Enemy and many others are as much hardcore than the next Good Life compilation (to use his words). This is because, according to him, they carry a equally valuable message. What he is willing to tell us with all this is that it makes no sense to make narrow minded distinctions between those who are hardcore and those who aren’t. It is about the message and the fact that people care or not.
Feel free to start polemics about this zine and what is stated with comments. Up next I will publish part two of this extensive review, namely an interview with LIAR and one with FAMILY OF DOG. So stay tuned…