Inside Front: International Journal of Hardcore Punk and Anarchist Action

From CrimethInc.

Complete Archives, 1997-2003

Two and a half decades ago, some of the first people to collaborate on CrimethInc. projects met via the international networks that had developed in the zine underground associated with the hardcore punk scene. We’ve finally scanned the last five issues of one of these zines, Inside Front, to add to our archives. Bear in mind, these are relics from a very different time. We hope, in putting them at your disposal, to offer new generations of anarchists—and punks?—some context for what came before. We’ve also added the hardcore compilations that came with issues of Inside Front to our music page for free downloading.

Once upon a time, in another century—

When only doctors and lawyers had cell phones, and long distance calls were so expensive that punks used hacked phone dialers to trick pay phones into letting them place calls free of charge;

When zinesters secured freedom of the press by scamming photocopies on a scale today’s social media users cannot imagine;

When traveler kids sneaked onto freight train cars to ride for free, watching mountains and oceans whizzing by as the earth rumbled past beneath them;

When the singer of every hardcore band spoke earnestly to introduce each song, if only to entreat audience members to cause each other serious injury;

When punk itself was not an ossified tradition, but a living challenge to corporate aesthetics, in a process of constant challenge and change;

When DIY bands traversed a network of squatted social centers from Trondheim to Santiago, and you could play a hundred shows in a row without ever performing in a venue that was legally owned or leased;

When dropouts lived on bread alone in order to dedicate themselves entirely to lives of daring adventure;

When MAXIMUM ULTRAISTS committed to risk-tolerant experimentation organized guerrilla noise shows in convenience stores and mashed pies into the faces of corporate entrepreneurs;

When young people inspired by punk music set out to reclaim the streets and destroy the World Trade Organization, and everyone understood that anarchists were among the foremost threats to capitalist globalization;

In those days, without the internet, how did people discover and pass on anarchist ideas and tactics?

By embedding these values in rebellious subcultural milieus such as the punk scene—by reading dogeared books about the Yippies, the Situationists, and the Spanish Civil War—and by having adventures.

These three elements—subculture, reading, and adventure—came together in the hardcore journal Inside Front, one of the first projects to bring together people who still collaborate on CrimethInc. projects today. We invite you to explore its pages, as if holding a candle up to the dusty walls of the past.

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You can download the CD compilation that came with the final issue of Inside Front here.

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You can download the CD compilation that came with Inside Front #13 here.

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You can download the CD compilation that came with Inside Front #11 here.

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There are 6 Comments

but it's always a little embarassing when old heads claim punk is dead cause it isn't how they remember when they were 17 and impressed by everything. people still ride trains in 2019 by the way, and i've heard said that some people in the 90s had jobs, but what do i know, all i do is post videos of myself doing poppers on my instagram story ;)

punk is as it ever was, a subculture without hardly any revolutionary potential (sorry party - oops i mean bloc - membership is down), but some interesting cultural consequences


oh the 90s, youre killin me....the golden days....getting an infected stick and poke at the food not bombs house while listening to pretentious emo and eating a dumpstered donut....loads of random violence in a stupid drunken music scene....goodest days there was.

no but you really took me back there for a second. toska, as the russians say.

Beavis and Butthead the last of punk before the millenials pooped on the party.

Dear Inside Front-
First, is the O.L.C. song "Too Much Authority"
on your compilation CD not representing the exact
same mentality you are always criticizing Earth Crisis

Also, I've noticed you often equate spelling
ability with intelligence. This is a shallow and stupid
way to judge people. Anyone who has ever read
"Anxiety Closet" knows I'm lucky to spell my name
right. I don't think that means I'm a moron. Why myself
and others aren't spelling bee champs I don't know,
natural ability, schooling, not caring...? But I can tell
you it's not a lack of intelligence. I consider myself a
fairly intelligent person, even though I did just have to
look up "intelligent" to see if it had one or two L's.
ENTIRE FUCKING LETTER. We've corrected his errors
where we could.) I don't mean to brag, but it does kind
of make my point— last time I was tested, my I.Q. was
142. That's considered "genious" whether I can spell it
or not. I also manage to maintain a 3.5 G.P.A. at one of
the top schools in the country, despite a general lack
of effort and having 1 000 other things going on in my
life. Maybe you should consider judging people on what
they say and not how well they spell it.

In regard to your review of the "Final Count"
video compilation— how can you possibly judge a band
and their "revolutionary-ness" on their physica appear-
ance and/or style of music? Aside from Struggle and
Chokehold, Frail is the most revolutionary-minded band
I know. Yet, you call them harmless kids. What kind of
revolution is a bunch of high school jocks knocking
each other's teeth out? Why does hardcore have to
look like football to be revolutionary? How fucking

Finally, Ground Zero distribution, will not be
carrying Inside Front #8 due to One Life Crew being on
the CD. We refuse to, in any way, support this or any
racist, classist, homophobic, nationalist, and violent
band. Our apologies on this unfortunate situation.
Peace, Dari Fullmer/Anxiety Closet FANzine/Ground
Zero Records— 4 Leona Terr., Mahwah, NJ 07430-

Dearest Dari —

1. I'm not going to try to defend O.L.C. against your
criticism of 'Too Much Authority', especially not after all the shit that
has happened between me and them.

2. Correct spelling does not indicate intelligence so much as
common sense. We in the hardcore community want to present
ourselves and our ideas in the most coherent manner possible so that
we will be taken seriously by others from all walks of life. Frequent
spelling errors indicate that you are either stupid OR do not care
enough about your writing to make it look polished and serious. When
you publish a 'due filled with spelling errors, or Karl from Earth
Crisis fails to spell twenty two words correctly (words such as
'awesome' and 'finally.' no less!) in an interview, the members of the
hardcore community in general look stupid or lazy to the rest of the
world... because 'zines and interviews are permanent high-visibility
records of what goes on in hardcore. All you need is to consult a
dictionary or computer spell-check to stop fucking the rest of us over,-
Dari. Pass the message on to Karl/Erth Krisice.

3. So, you. Ebullition, and a couple other distributors will not
carry Inside Front #8 because O.LC. appeared on the included CD
compilation. I will explain why you are betraying the hardcore
community by doing this... but first, I'd like to mention that the CD's
that came with I. F. #8 were already pressed before I had read the
vaguely racist anti-immigrant lyrics on the O.LC. full-length, and
long before the violent incident at the Cleveland festival. The songs
they had sent me for the I.E. CD were neither racist nor exceptionally
violent. So by tlw time it became clear what was going on with O.L.C.,
I already had 1 1 00 CD's on my hands with O.LC. songs on them.
Should I have destroyed all those CD's, considering that there were
SEVENTEEN other bands on the CD 's who all needed and deserved

And that is why your decision not to distribute IE #8 simply
because of the O.LC. tracks is ridiculous and short-sighted. In that
issue other Inside Front, there were songs by seventeen other bands,
almost all of whom had really intelligent, important things to say, and
all of whom really deserved a chance to have their music heard, on
top of those bands, there were scene reports describing all the projects
and hard work of plenty of labels, bands, 'zines, etc. across the world.
There were in-depth reviews of hundreds of records by hard-working,
sincere bands who at least deserved to let the public hear about their
music through a widely-read hardcore magazine. There were columns
by a variety of people, all of whom had worked hard to offer well-
thought-out ideas that could improve the lives of readers... for
instance, I believe Loara's column about the fashion industry's war on
women could really have helped girls who grew up bulimic as she did.

By refusing to distribute IF. #8, you are not just fucking over
every band on the CD, every band who sent a record for review, every
columnist, and every kid in every country who sent in a scene report.
You are fucking over every kid who might have had a better life if he
had gotten the 'zinefrom you and read Loara 's article or heard Trial's
song. You are fucking over every kid who might have read the review
of the Nations on Fire CD. sought it out, and had his or her life
changed for the better because of it. You 're fucking over every kid in
the hardcore communities of Belgium or Massachusetts who would
have liked others to read about their scene in the scene reports. In
short, you're not boycotting an O.LC. CD: you are, rather, boycotting
two of the least harmful songs O.LC. ever released, at the expense of
the efforts and possible happiness of literally hundreds of kids.
Hardcore is not just some silly hobby to most of us—it is a community
from which we draw our fife's blood, and I'm sure some people
(whether readers or contributors) depend partially upon Inside Front
to be connected to that community. I'm not trying to sing the praises
of Inside Front here— I'm saying that whether it was Inside Front or
Profane Existence or Hardware you were boycotting for a reason like
this, you would be betraying the whole hardcore community. Please,
consider the pro's versus the con's of issue #8 of Inside Front, and
think about it.

4. Finally, about my review of that video, in which I comment
that the kids at the shows look so passive and harmless that I find it
really hard to believe any of them truly want revolutionary change:
Let me give you some background on my perspective. When I started
really getting into punk/lutrdcore. I was a furiously angry, frustrated
teenager. Everything in my world looked unjust and unfair to me: my
girlfriend was getting into drugs heavily as the result of the pressures
of having to live on welfare in a two-room apartment with her
terminally ill, bedridden mother and grandmother; my friends (and
sometimes I as well) were constantly attacked and beaten for looking
"punk rock" (which was a lot more dangerous then); authority figures
such as cops and teachers would assume this was our fault, and
discriminate against us similarly (to the point that it was hard to stay
in school or get a job); it drove me crazy to always see this same
bullshit happening to a much worse degree to members of ethnic
minorities and people of non-heterosexual orientation; and above all,
I lived every day in a society I could not fucking relate to or fee!
comfortable in,

I would go to punk shows and the other kids there felt like I did.
We were all fucking angry as hell, so angry we could barely even
begin to articulate it; as we waited for the bands play you could feel
the tension and rage we had built up in the air. When a band we loved
broke into a song, screaming about their frustration, we too would
express our pent up frustration by screaming and rioting. We were so
angry, so outraged at the world around us. so impatient to see things
change, that we couldn't hold still, we couldn 't keep ourselves calm. If
you have a shred of life left in you, you can't slay calm when your
mother is dying, when your friends are becoming addicted to drugs,
when you watch your world destroyed by industry and dirty politics. It
eats you up inside when you can 't so much as blink without some
bullshit commercial trying to sell you something you don 't need or
some brainwashed moron trying to make you sell your soul to some
irrational doctrine.

I am as angry now as I was then, but I have worked hard to think
about things and educate myself so I now have some idea of why
things are so fucked up and what I can do with my energy to try to
change things. That, I think, is the essence of 'hardcore' — to take your
frustration and do something constructive with it. But if I wasn't so
worked up about things, I wouldn't care enough to be trying to do
something about them. When I watched that video, the kids I saw in
the bands and the audience looked so bored, so passive and disinter-
ested, that it was really hard for me to believe that they really are
angry about anything or impatient for any kind of change at all. The
motions they all were going through looked so ritualized and
meaningless to them that it was clear that there was nothing revolu-
tionary going on — you can buy boredom and ritual at your local
fucking mall. I might be wrong, but as a reviewer I have to call it as I
see it, and what I saw didn't make me think that these kids had their
hearts in what they were doing. Not to say that they never could or
never will work towards a better world, but what I saw didn't look like
a group of kids who felt like they had anything at stake in the struggle
for the improvement of our world and our lives. This doesn 't have
anything to do with "jocks knocking each others' teeth out " or any
other stupid bullshit displays of macho insecurity; this has to do with
whether or not people have their hearts in what they're doing.
Anyway, Dari, thanks for writing, and take care of yourself.

Sincerely. Editor "D."

Anyone else who wants to get crucified in our letters section is
welcome to write us.

I'm guessing my "LOL" at this comment was removed because it didn't add anything interesting to the conversation? Unlike the Beavis and Butthead comment above? or hell, the one here that just copy/pastes a letter and response from one of the issues of Inside Front?

I can't find this anywhere in any of the issues they uploaded (although I did find a letter from Wolfi Landstreicher, to my amusement!).

So I'm guessing this text you pasted in here (if it is from Inside Front at all) is from some earlier issue, from before 1997, when the earliest of these issues was published. It's not surprisingly they chose not to include it here, if the editors were still at that point in their development.

I'm curious what you were doing in 1995 or 1996, yourself! Surely you have nothing to be ashamed of from back then?

And if what you printed is truly the worst that the editors have to be ashamed of, well, fuck, that's surprising.

Anyway, O.L.C. seems to have been pretty fucked up, but you can hardly say that modern day Crimethinc stuff is still reflecting their politics or anything like that. Wasn't the last book Crimethinc published explicitly against the border?

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