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This issue of Avow is a bit of a time capsule for me. Keith writes about bands, people, zines, and topics that mostly happened when I was in my twenties. I’m 40 now. Reading about Karl Alvarez defending Brett Gurewitz in the pages of Tatterfrock zine is like breaking the shovel out and digging that time capsule up. I’m quite certain that there is not one other person in the greater Coeur d’Alene area that I associate with that knows who in the hell those people are or what in the hell a Tatterfrock is (well, maybe one). This is exactly what still draws me to zines today; the fact that not too many people know what they are, even fewer know much about their history, and even fewer still have read any, if at all. For people like me who are tapped into this underworld, and know some of its history, reading about old controversies in a new issue of a long running zine, along with debates about what is and is not punk and/or hardcore, well that just makes me happy.
This issue is aesthetically beautiful to look at. Keith has a wonderful design style and is an incredible artist. Avow 24 is mostly record reviews done in a unique way; he reviews old records that meant a lot to him, sometimes for their politics, or the artwork, or the memories of loved ones that they conjured up, and sometimes simply for the sounds coming from the speakers. The writing is great. Also included are some comics about seeking meaningful employment, and an interview with Joe Lachut of ‘Seven Inches to Freedom’ zine that had me disagreeing loudly, to nobody. I love it when an interview does that.