Zine Review: From Within Records Fanzine #1-6

Reviewing the first six issues of Carter From Within's hardcore fanzine.

Florida based hardcore label From Within Records has worked with bands like Worn, Gridiron, Payback, Pain of Truth, Shackled, Despize, Statement of Pride, and many others.

Carter Holmes started the label in 2019 helping release his friend’s band Burning Strong demo tape and his own band Payback. Just a couple of years later, From Within Records would become a hardcore tour de force with almost 50 releases from some of the heaviest bands of the last few years.

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The lack of shows due to the pandemic was a decisive moment for many to find their creative side and start new fanzines. The first issue of From Within Records Fanzine came out in December 2020 and featured interviews with Hudson Valley’s hype Mindforce, Scotland’s hardest Despize, Philly’s Struck Nerve, England’s Rated X and the fine guy Sean O’Donnell behind Youngblood Records; record reviews and a full page dedicated to The Mandalorian. It seems like hardcore kids really love Mindforce and they are all over the place in every fanzine, but I was especially looking up to that Rated X interview and it’s a great read as usual.

The second issue came out in 2021 and was entirely dedicated to the Pennsylvania hardcore scene. Featuring interviews with PA hardcore veterans like Joe Hardcore, Bob Wilson, Richie Krutch, Andrew Kordingley, and Jami Morgan, this issue was really enlightening for someone like me, who has never been much into any of these bands and people but always into hearing about histories of scenes around the world.

The third issue was also focused entirely on the US hardcore scene and featured interviews with Tyler Mullen (Gridiron / Year of the Knife) and bands I haven’t heard before like Not One Truth, Almighty Watching, and Never Again.

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From Within Records Fanzine #4 dropped on Edge Day in October 2021 and was a real special one! Dedicated to all those of us still nailed to the X, it goes hard with Florida’s Envision (featuring members of Ecostrike) and real legends Earth Crisis and A Chorus of Disapproval (aka XCHORUSX). Another selling point is hardcore veterans talking about their favorite straight edge records, dominated by mentions of Judge, Youth of Today and Floorpunch. This zine is something straight edge kids don’t wanna miss for sure!

The fifth issue spawned to the world at the end of 2021. Interviews with heavy hitters like Streets of Hate, Shackled, Seed of Pain, and Carter’s highlights of the year: best records, unforgettable shows, favorite drummers and more.

The sixth issue came out in April 2022 and is dedicated to the UKHC scene. Featuring interviews with Mourning, Hellbound, Deklination, and Northern Unrest Records. Shawn of Deklination also lists and reviews his favorite H8000 records and US hardcore legend Scott Vogel (Terror, Buried Alive, etc.) does the same with his favorite NYHC albums.

To be honest, most of the individuals and bands featured on these pages are in a sense living up to the tough guy stereotypes and if you’re new to the hardcore scene you’ll get the impression of it being male dominated (all interviews feature male band members and label owners, plus some ableist and other types of problematic language here and there). On the other hand, what the author is doing here is da real deal and it’s all hardcore to the bone! Most of the interviews revolve around hardcore music coming from within the heart and the soul (hence the name), and beyond the tough guy posturing you can really sense the burning passion behind it. 

All issues of From Within Records Fanzine (plus a special Ecostrike mini-zine with their final interview before disbanding) are available in a digital form for free at this link. If you’re serious about the moshing side of hardcore, modern metallic hardcore bands with H8000 influence and “one scene unity”, you should definitely check this out!

P.S. Besides the fanzine, From Within Records also hosts a hardcore podcast available here.

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