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MRR Radio #1587 • 12/10/17

This week Matt pulls some rarities out of the vault to make the scums and punks drool. Intro song: STENGTE DØRER ...

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MRR Radio #1586 • 12/3/17

On this week's MRR Radio, Rob goes ballistic for late '70s and early '80s Bloodstains punk rock from around the ...

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Maximum Rocknroll #416 • Jan 2018

Another new year, another exciting issue of Maximum Rocknroll! MRR #416, our January 2018 issue, begins with a sad note as we ...

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"Who gives a fuck?"

MRR Radio #1585 • 11/26/17

“[...] Elvis gives them a short speech about the death pangs that humanity must go through in order to reach ...

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MRR Radio #1584 • 11/19/17

Another fuct up Rotten Ron and Horrrible Halitosis Punker Power Hour. Intro song: DRUGCHARGE - Husk Rotten Ron fucks it up so you ...

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Wow What a(n Art) Show! The Grotty Hand of Wilf

December 31st, 2011 by

MRR.com’s Wow What a Show! presents a review by Adam Farrar on the late legendary UK anarcho-punk artist Wilf… Thank you, Adam!

“The Grotty Hand of Wilf” opened at the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil (South West, England) in October 2011 to a great deal of interest. The show was part retrospective and part tribute to late local artist Stephen Wilmott, affectionately known as Wilf. His credits include illustration and design for a number of bands, including many associated with the anarcho-punk movement, such as The Mob and their own independent record label All The Madmen (ATM) which released material by Blyth Power, The Astronauts, DAN, Thatcher On Acid and many others.

From the very beginning, ATM’s existence as a record label and increasing involvement with local and national music scenes helped develop great opportunities for Wilf to collaborate closely with an associate named Steve Batty. During this time they worked under the pseudonym of Cracked Image Graffix to create unique, original and memorable designs using their skills to interpret visual identities for the gritty lyrical content emanating from this new crop of bands. Wilf was based in the sleepy market town of Yeovil in the South West of England. (The city of Bristol is located 45 miles north.) The town’s biggest exports are gloves and helicopters (you might notice these references in some of his artwork, especially if you are familiar with flyers and posters featuring The Mob). The very essence of the anarcho-punk movement was born out of the need to get up and make some changes, however small, like starting a band with a message or supplying informative flyers on a range of subjects relevant to the time period. It was a pocket of positivity that Wilf became part of, especially with his early roots in the hippie subculture, which had ethical values similar to this movement. In fact, Wilf played in the Psycho Daisies where he performed and wrote vocals, and he was part of an early incarnation of Bikini Mutants, which featured Debbie Googe who would later be a member of shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine. As an artist it was a perfect creative outlet.

The Mob "Let the Tribe Increase" original concept art by Wilf

Curated by Graham Moores and Joanne Childs, the exhibition comprised of works from a number of sources, including band mates, friends and relatives. Initially acting on a suggestion that it would be an excellent idea to put together an art show as a celebration of the artist’s life, Joanne ultimately ended up spearheading the project. Much of this task was a daunting prospect as it was common knowledge that Wilf had a tendency to give away much of his work. But contacts on the internet and a general call for help spread within the community resulted in a number of leads and people offering to loan out their pieces for inclusion in the show. (Much of the material supplied was not even known to exist before this exhibit was put together.) As a result of their efforts, Graham and Joanne collected enough artwork to span the entire top floor of the Octagon Theatre. This unique exhibition will most likely be the biggest collection of Wilf’s work ever seen, totaling approximately 80 pieces, running the gamut of material documenting the early Yeovil punk rock scene right through to his time exploring experimental paint techniques and screen printing at Magick Eye.

The restaurant and bar hosted paintings, illustrations and screen printed T-shirts centered around Wilf’s activist work protecting his beloved Wyndham Hill (a recognized beauty spot located right next to the country park in Yeovil). This area has been marked for controversial supermarket expansion and road bypass projects a number of times throughout its history. To this day Wyndham Hill still stands, no doubt in part thanks to the hard work of Wilf and his associates in the Wyndham Hill Action Group. I’m sure he’d be glad to know that no developments have since infringed on this area.

Subsequent material contained in this room gave a glimpse into Wilf’s later practices, which focused on almost spiritual surrealism (possibly harkening back to his hippie roots). But that’s not so say at this point in his life Wilf didn’t try his hand at more traditional pieces, as was evident by his selection of beautiful watercolour landscapes and “old English” style cattle painting, the type of which can be seen in establishments in various villages throughout the UK. There’s also some superb stories transcribed in the form of A4 comic panels, which adorn the same wall.

A glass cabinet located in one of the theatre’s side rooms collected together examples of published work, the originals of which have unfortunately been destroyed, or their whereabouts are unknown. In the interest of consistency the actual final product appeared in place of original artwork, such as the case with many of the record covers on show. Other items like cassette tapes, zines, cards, pottery and other crafts filled the remaining shelves, showing the artist’s sheer diversity in range, and offering a wonderful insight into what was at the time a thriving underground “Do It Yourself” scene.

Particularly exciting was the inclusion of unreleased record cover artwork for the band The Mob from 1982/83. The  art is extremely striking, with firm focus on characterization, and is typical of the artist’s early work as seen on the band’s “Crying Again” and “Witch Hunt” singles. Other notable works include the original cover art for the debut LP by The Mob (Let the Tribe Increase) which was sadly scrapped in favour of a linear, cost-friendly reproducible cover. As was the case with much of this material, it was fascinating to see the ideas and the end result for pieces that you’ve become so acquainted with over the years. Located in the same room was a series of gig and promotional posters for The Mob, which perfectly blends watercolours and traditional illustration. This was a visual feast for those interested in art or music.

Unpublished ink and Letraset illustration of Ian Curtis (Joy Division) by Wilf

The finale of the two-week show brought together friends from throughout Wilf’s history to celebrate his life. I was invited by Pauline Burr (arts development officer at South Somerset District Council) to take photos and converse with guests and friends at the end of show event. There were many anecdotes about the life and times of Wilf: inspiration, history and education of the artist as well as touching tributes to this well loved local character — a great footnote to an already excellent show.

On the same night, the recently regrouped Mob, with its original lineup of Mark Wilson (vocals/guitar), Graham Fallows (drums) and Curtis You’e (bass), arrived from South West England and Wales to play in the town where the band had originally formed. Throughout their performance they were flanked by projected visuals of Wilf’s artwork, photographs, and flyers associated with the band’s history, leading to some very atmospheric moments.

Wilf’s influence on contemporary illustration, especially within the DIY punk scene, is immeasurable, as the iconic style he created for groups such as The Mob amidst the Crass-spearheaded anarcho-punk movement continues to influence a whole new generation of bands with similar ethics and visual communication, such as Signal Lost (Texas), Witch Hunt (Philadelphia), Battle of Disarm (Japan), 1981 (Finland) and countless other acts, who use bold striking visual depiction to convey ideas and messages. Gone but not forgotten.

Wilf (Photo by Matt Cornish)

Photos by Adam Farrar.

New Band Spotlight: Hunted Down

December 27th, 2011 by

Here’s the demo review for Syracuse, NY’s HUNTED DOWN from the current issue of MRR!

After a quick classical piece, this thing tears into some seriously fucking blazing, falling apart, wild, rampaging, flailing, adjective-inspiring hardcore, that, to be honest, I didn’t expect and caught me completely off guard. I knew this Syracuse band was gonna be at least up my alley in some way, but holy fuck is this evil and furious. The vocals are screaming and reverbed to all fuck. The guitars and bass are buried in just enough fuzz to sound rotten yet not fall into the box of “noise punk.” And the drums, well, they’re kinda hidden in the whole mess, save some cymbal hits and theses occasional huge Godzilla-like thuds, that I can only assume to be tom hits. What a monster. It looks like I just found another cassette addition to my 2011 top ten list. (hunteddownhc.blogspot.com)

Monday Photo Blog: Priscilla Lima

December 26th, 2011 by

This weeks Monday Photo Blog comes from Priscilla Lima. Three photos of bands from northeastern Brazil. I get the sense there’s plenty of audience participation there.

Dispor (photo by Priscilla Lima)

Dispor (photo by Priscilla Lima)

Noskill (photo by Priscilla Lima)

Send your tour photos, bands that have come through your town, the best of your local bands, etc. to: (note new email address!). Include your name, the band (or subject) in the photo, where and when it was shot, and a link to your website (or flickr, Facebook, or whatever). Just send your best photos — edit tightly. Three to seven photos is plenty, and it’s best to send pictures of different bands. Please do not send watermarked photos. Please make your photos 72 dpi and about 600–800 pixels at the longest side. Not everything sent in will be posted, and a response is not guaranteed, but we do appreciate all of your contributions — and feel free to submit more than once. Thanks!

MRR Radio #1276 • 12/25/11

December 25th, 2011 by

MRR Radio is a weekly radio show featuring the best DIY punk, garage rock and hardcore from the astounding, ever-growing Maximum Rocknroll record collection. You can find the MRR Radio podcast, as well as specials, archives, and more info at radio.maximumrocknroll.com. Thanks for listening, and stay tuned!

THIS WEEK’S SHOW: Spend the holidays with MRR radio…Fear style, of course. Rob plays a combo of new releases and classics. Totally rocking your ear at the end of the year!


Intro song:
FEAR – Fuck Christmas

Mundo Muerto (Photo by Richard Petrucci)

Rob – CD Mania
CONNOISSEUR – Pete From Benumb
LIE STILL – Persuaded By Comfort
LIE STILL – Aborted Resources
FAITH – You’re X’d

Rob – Plays the new hits (Round 1)
VIDEO – Make Me Bleed
TERROR VISIONS – Blood Is Sweet But Semen Is Sweeter
CYANIDE PILLS – Up Against the Wall
7 MAGZ – Supersticioso
MEAN JEANS – (Let’s Go B4 I Blow My) Brains Out
AMOEBA – La Procesion y Sus Escrupulos

Rob – Plays the new hits (Round 2)
BALLISTIK – Third World Country Genocide
PROTESTANT – Nothing Left
LOW PLACES – Controlled Chaos
UNLEARN – Ritual Humiliation
DRY HUMP – All You Can Be
RIPPER – Burning Up the Night

Rob – The Classics
INDIGESTI – Silenzio Statico
NEUROSIS – Self Doubt
NAKED RAYGUN – Home of the Brave
CHRIST ON PARADE – Teach Your Children Well
ANTI-CIMEX – Set Me Free
CRUDE SS – Forced Values
BASTARD – Moment of Death

Outro song:
VACCUUM – (no title)

Videos of the Week: Fuck Christmas!

December 24th, 2011 by

Holiday greetings, little children! Losta great punk rock Xmas songs and videos have been making the rounds over on that popular social networking site, so we though we’d compile some of the best ones here for some fun distraction this weekend. In more-or-less chronological order…