Guy Debored reviews the papers
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Guy Debored Reviews “The Papers”

Careless Talk Costs Lives – Issue 7 - £3.90
ET & le gang continue to grow from strength to strength. The highbrow inaccessibility of The Wire meets the irrepressible enthusiasm of Zigzag in a highly publicised fight down at the quality printing press Xmas party. Watch as they neck thesaurus after thesaurus in the never-ending quest for the perfect analogy. No really, we’re just jealous. “Changing The Way You Listen”, screams the banner. Changing the way we have to go about scoring each issue is more like it: a trek to Birmingham or London. Shame. On board this trip we have The Kills, Liars, Asa Chang, Speedball Baby, Lee Hazelwood, Mudhoney, Valerie, Barry Adamson, Mecca Normal, Part Chimp, Marc Almond & Erase Errata. This is how real music magazines used to be – let’s just hope there are enough real music fans out there to keep it going. To top it all, ET has just gotten wed. Bless this house.

Uncut – December 2002 - £3.90
Ucunt has got to be one of the drabbest periodicals in the history of rock & fucking roll. Created under laboratory conditions to satisfy the middle ages, it feels & reads as if it were written in, well, the Middle Ages (C1400ad). Staffed by hacks with far, far better record collections than wankers like you I will ever hope to amass, it’s like reading a fanzine written exclusively by Barry Norman. The average issue features extensive articles on Neil Young, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Neil Young, The Beatles & The Fucking Beach Boys. This month, after we’ve stuck the boot in so mercilessly, they have pulled of something of a coup: a top bombing chat with Keith Richards (on the back of the scintillating series of 60s Stones re-issues, this must be considered topical!) & the best cover mounted CD since the “Sounds Of The New West” (don’t forget that Ucunt invented alt.co – ho ho – or that Happenstance’s Dave Henderson is now the top man at Kerrang & Mojo). Apart from that, of course, it’s all grey hair, comfort packs & AA meetings. Beck, Pearl Jam, The Last Waltz, Jackson Browne (no, honestly, we didn’t make that bit up) & all the usual tired opinions, holier than thou statements & we know better than you attitude. Good taste rock, is what John Robb calls it. Fucking boring, is my take. In the Ucunt offices, its always 1972.

X-Ray – Issue 1 - £???
The first issue of some publishing house or other’s latest attempt to crash the adult coffee table market will last 3 issues (max). They’ve taken Q’s content & forced it into The Flys format, losing all the verve, spunk & cutting edge in the process (that was a joke). Honestly, the very fucking last thing the world needs now is a bunch of raggedy-arsed pro hacks that can’t cut it in the broadsheet review sections filling in time between Observer assignments at our (or your) expense. Dave Grohl on the front cover ought to set the sprinklers off. To be honest, the damn thing went in the bin 5 minutes after landing on my desk (a sarcastic congratulation dispatched to the editor) so I can’t really tell you any more about content. I’d forgotten every page before I’d turned it – I was scared their glossiness would rub off onto me. The free cover mount XFM CD sucked chunks too. Lowest common denominator adult orientated literature. There ought to be a law against it.

Mojo – Nov 2002 - £3.50
Unlikely as it may seem, this month’s cover features The Beatles. Now, pick yourself up off the floor & I’ll get the smelling salts. That’s right, The Beatles! The Beatles just don’t get the exposure they deserve, do they? It’s a little known ancient by-law of The Borough Of London (within the Vale of the 7 Publishers of Satan) that, should The Beatles not be on the cover of Mojo, that they MUST automatically be on the cover of Ucunt instead. As if by conspiracy, other featured subjects this month include: Dennis Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Jeff Buckley, Morrisey (glad to see you’ve finally “come home” – gonna pay up now?) & The Carter Family. Another little known fact: Mojo is the number one best selling sleeping tablet in Iceland (true)! To think that Dave Henderson gave up a wonderful life @ Happenstance to oversee this pensioners convention is as un-ironic as the last e-mail we received from the self styled guru of E-Map towers. Very much looking forward to the 25 page Swell Maps feature in the December Issue, by the by.

NME – Weekly - £1.something or other.
So hip it hurts. So young it’s doubtless illegal. So unaware that it’s all be done a thousand times before, it’s almost worth a glance for the comedic aspect. Taking yourself far, far too seriously is the exclusive domain of the young. Pretension, after all, is infinitely preferable to the ensuing pre-menstrual tension that is going to blight the rest of your life (male or female – possible exceptions: the clergy, monks, oil rig workers, Swells). Brand directors, critic’s profiles (that didn’t last long), Craig Fucking David reviews & a Nirvana special. Just pipped to the post by The Observer on that one, so here’s a hilarious Nirvana dictionary for bluffers, fluffers & collectors of oil, semen, blood, spunk & heroin stained plaid shirts. Now we can all catch up – thank fuck. Students of rock & roll history may well be out-numbered (but never out-gunned) by students of drama, travel & tourism & the service industry – but the brand’s fairly solid, isn’t it?

Q Magazine – Dec - £3.30
THE VERY BEST BANDS IN THE WORLD TODAY. OFFICIAL. Says who? Tony Blair? George Bush? Ronald Fucking MacDonald? Q continues to treat music as if it were a spare part for a BMW. Like an acid soaked red rag to an LSD allergic bull, this pile of shit makes me want to set things on fire. Why do so many “adult” orientated music periodicals seem intent on shaping up like Smash Hits? This is so safe it should have a fucking Kite mark. There may well be some very nervous overpaid tosspots at Q’s Xmas party. At our local WH Smith, there always seem to be MORE copies of each issue of Q on the racks AT THE END OF THE MONTH than the beginning! Don’t mug yr.self.

Record Collector – Nov 02 - £3.30
Record Collector has the feel of a parchment. It’s quite possibly transcribed by quill under candlelight. It has Genesis on the cover - & Beth Orton, Chris Rea, Robert Palmer & David Gilmour inside – that just means it’s a boring issue, that’s all. Record Collector is for people that collect records. It has all the price guides, history lessons, contact details, extensive genre coverage & everything else the serious record collector could possibly want. We collect records. We wouldn’t be without it. Ever. You may well feel different about that, it’s your shout. If you ever do get into collecting records, however, you can’t afford to be without Record Collector. Period.

Guy Debored – trakMARX.com – Nov 2002
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