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Law of Inertia | isue 14 | review | zine | Lollipop
Law of Inertia
Issue #14, $4.95
by Scott Hefflon
Wow, talk about taking a big leap forward! Law of Inertia used to be a small record label and emo/indie rock 'zine outta Long Island. Probably due to a band or two getting signed to Victory and labels of that might, Law of Inertia got the money to leap to a quarterly, almost 100-page full color glossy and get an office in NYC. The mag looks amazing: Perfect-bound, tons of color, lots of photos, and the kind of design designers love to layout. Full page photos with either just the band name, maybe a quick intro. Tons of white space. Lots of graphic elements. Not all text-heavy like a lot of 'zines.
Makes for a pretty mag, but what about content? Law of Inertia plays the big boy game graphically, and their content is still from the heart. Almost fanboy, at times. I mean that mostly in a good way. They look like AP, they read somewhere between Punk Planet and Rockpile. Lemme explain: They're not 16 year old gossipping shitheads like Punk Planet (I get the feeling a band'd get a scathing review if they didn't say hi to the writer in the cafeteria), and they're not as well-rounded and insightful as Rockpile. They have lots of enthusiasm, they like what they like even if they can't really explain why, and what they lack in near-obsessive music archivalist tendencies, they make up for with vitality. They're young and having fun, and it shows. They're not old and bitchy, nor are they young scenester elitists. While the depth of their features is often little more than the bio rewritten with a few extra questions tacked on, there are A LOT of bands featured this way, and all have color photos.
An interesting angle is they have bands review the CDs that greatly influenced and inspired them. Matt from Shai Hulud, The Blood Brothers, Archer Prewitt from Sea and Cake, and Tim Kensella of Joan of Arc each get a page with about 10 reviews.
Reviews by staff writers stick mostly in the "Phrases Mistaken for Band Names" genre (Planes Mistaken for Stars, Rock Kills Kid, Boy Sets Fire, Sorry About Dresden), but also round out with plenty of hardcore (Shai Hulud, Sworn Enemy, xdisciplex A.D.), punk (NOFX, Lagwagon, F-Minus), and even a dash of metal (Strapping Young Lad, Agoraphobic Nosebleed). Metal by way of The Locust, but it's mildly entertaining to see metal reviewed by kids who just got into it. Kinda. Punk and hardcore are pretty straight, and emo, well, LOI reviews best the genre I like the least, and while I'm not going to suddenly rush out and buy the latest by The Movielife based on their props, I believe they mean what they say. They genuinely have passion for the bands, they're writing what they know and love, so it's not some "jourmalist" trying to "stay down with the kids," nor is it high school dweebs relishing the small victory of slagging anyone doing anything they don't have the courage to do themselves, cuz they're afriad they'll get their head stuck in the toilet again.
Features this issue include Breaking Pangaea, El Guapo, Pinback, Party of Helicopters, Turbonegro, Hot Hot Heat, The Postal Service, Stephen Malkmus, The Movielife, Further Seems Forever, The Panthers, The Kills, and Cave In. There are also some websites, video games, and DVDs reviewed. A slick-looking package with lots of color and photos, and some pretty honest and fair reviews of emo and indie rock, spilling over into other genres of interest.