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Saturday, January 18, 2014

BLOG ZINE! Anecdotes and Dozey-Dotes and Little Lambs Eat Punk Bands

by Kari Tervo

Hey there, zine star. You're lookin' good tonight. Baby, you must be New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, because you stop traffic. Purrrr. . . Here's the FAQ. I'd read it to you, but when you're around, I can't see through all the stars in my eyes. Can I get you a drink? I promise I won't slip somethin' in it. No? Okay, baby. Then let me give you this zine review allll niiiiight loooong.

Here's my rating system:
Here’s my Rating System:
Recommended: !
It’s Aiight: .
Maybe If You’re Into That Sort of Thing: ? - See more at:
Recommended: !
It’s Aiight: .
Maybe If You’re Into That Sort of Thing: ? - See more at:
Recommended: !

It's Aiight: .

Maybe If You're Into That Sort of Thing:  ?

Freak Tension 15th Anniversary Issue
Rating: !!.
Price: not listed
MP Johnson


I brought my review copy of Freak Tension to a restaurant, which was featuring a band that night. I like to read when I eat, but I thought it would be rude to read while the band played. So I figured I'd check out Freak Tension for a while, then put it down when the band fired up. But by the time they started into their reggae-fied version of "What A Wonderful World," I had made an entertainment decision: I was going to read through the fantastic reminiscences in this zine instead! 

In a series of well-structured and conversational anecdotes, MP Johnson recalls parent-teenage musical tensions, an aggressive family with a toddler, a downright insulting show by the 90s band Green Jelly, and more. He also treats us to his special Roasted Minotaur Gizzards recipe, some fact-ishes about 80s pop star Taylor Dane, and other general sarcastic nonsense. Fun!

I really liked the anecdotes, but there were also some dozey-dotes. MP does his damnedest to make band interviews interesting by asking off-kilter questions ("What is the official scent of Brain Tumors?"). However, I struggle to find interest in reading about bands I don't listen to (although I did learn that the band City Mouse created the Misfits Mouse logo on a t-shirt I found at a craft fair). Same goes for the 4.5 pages of punk album reviews. MP even seems like he feels the need to entertain himself while writing these reviews: "This is the musical equivalent of a beer gut" (re: "Dumpster Juice: That Not So Fresh Feeling"). I appreciate his creative effort, but I'd like to see maybe one or two well-rounded reviews instead of 20 less informative ones.

Overall, the 15th anniversary issue of Freak Tension is creative and engaging. Congratulations to MP Johnson for keeping the flow for 15 years!


Send 'em to me at:

Kari Tervo
Blog Zine
PO Box 7831
Beverly Hills, CA 90212 

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