Zine Review: Passion Means Struggle #2

A hardcore punk fanzine for those still fighting the good fight.

Passion Means Struggle is a hardcore punk fanzine from the city of Plauen in East Germany. In addition to working on this zine, the author also runs a label of the same name, releasing some fresh bands from around the area.

The second issue, published in April 2021, immediately caught my attention with the big, bold college font X right next to the zine’s title. As you might have guessed, the whole angle of this publication is based around political hardcore punk and the editor’s love for the vegan straight edge scene.

Although the layout is pretty standard and simple, there’s a lot of content packed into the 72 pages of this zine. You’ll find essays on hardcore punk ideals, surviving Covid-19 depression, self-care, as well as the usual record and zine review section—full of fresh tunes to check out and good reading material, mostly from Europe.

There’s a tour report from the German hardcore punk band Schwach that follows them through Mexico and the US, but it’s in German, as are some of the reviews in the zine. Anyway, there’s so much interesting content that even if you don’t speak German at all, about 80% of the zine is in English and you’ll be more than satisfied with the quality.

There are in-depth interviews with political XVX bands CLEARxCUT from Germany and xRISALEx from Turkey. The questions are very well thought out and cover a wide range of topics around radical anti-authoritarian politics, feminism, straight edge and hardcore music. There’s also an enlightning interview with MAKExPEACE from Prague where they list their five all-time favorite records, hardcore lyricists, record labels, classic Czech hardcore punk bands, places to hang out in Prague, and so on.

What I like most about Passion Means Struggle is that they really want to focus on new and upcoming bands that are not from the US. Yes, the author is clearly influenced by the US hardcore scene of the ’90s, with the usual references to Chokehold, Unbroken, etc., as well as a “hardcore history lesson” column on Another Breath in this issue, but they don’t capitalize on the hype of reviving the good old times.

You like political hardcore and zines that put informative content before fancy art shit? Need some fresh non-US straight edge bands to listen to and read about? Pick this up.

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