Vinyldyke is a bombshell of a rock ‘n’ roll fanzine debut

Vinyldyke #1 and #b-side
Zine, Vinyldyke, 42 pgs, 19 pgs, [email protected], €2.50

Vinyldyke’s eponymous zine debut is a two volume bombshell of a rock ‘n’ roll fanzine. The first volume is a comprehensive introduction to Vinyldyke, also the creator’s pseudonym. It features coming of age in Berlin, falling in love with grunge music and culture (particularly grunge flannel as lesbian feminist fashion), and embracing the rockstar concept as a gender identity. The illustrated rundown of Vinyldyke’s band t-shirt collection that follows is a fun way of opening further entry points into their biography. Rock music is clearly a life-giving medium for Vinyldyke. Enamoured with bands like L7, Sleater-Kinney, and Nirvana, Vinyldyke’s enthusiasm for rock ‘n’ roll culture and creativity exudes from the zine.

But this isn’t a celebration of seedy, patriarchal “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.” Rather, it’s a positive, inclusive, community minded celebration of rock as a space for identity formation. It’s clear Vinyldyke is extremely interested in community building. Their joyful tales and experiences are often followed by questions that draw the reader in and inspire participation. Vinyldyke shares tips on making records, writing songs, and gives judgment-free encouragement. Amidst all their familiarity with the scene and years of expertise, there’s never a hint of the author positioning themself as an untouchable expert — Vinyldyke welcomes the reader on every page.

The accompanying #b-side insert zine is on a similar wavelength, but focused on the band the Breeders. Vinyldyke shares their experience following the group across the UK for three shows. The driving mission of the trip? To convince the band to play the author’s favourite song from the band’s new record, a cover of Amon Düül’s “Archangel’s Thunderbird.” It’s a tale that plays out in both concert halls and on social media, with Vinyldyke navigating UK nightlife and searching out the queer pockets of the shows they attend — a really fun story.

This is a great new zine by someone with a lot of energy and positivity to share. Definitely recommended. (Joshua Barton)