Interview, interview, interview, and reviews. Thatâ€™s what Ugly Planet focuses all of its content around, and really tends to keep the interest level up throughout this, their first issue. Ugly Planet, even with the glossy cover and cut-up art of old pulp magazines, is strictly a non-nonsense, politically-themed â€˜zine. This issue, theyâ€™ve got some pretty large acts to talk with them, including S.T.U.N., Ricanstruction, Ministry, and Anti-Flag. I must admit, even though it is nice enough to see a completely politically tinged magazine, Ugly Planet really has gotten in a rut with the interview/interview/interview format. Perhaps, a discussion of political movements in the past, some DIY projects, or some other different, but still activist-themed pieces would make this magazine a little more interesting to read. What I really want to know about Ugly Planet is how they were able to put in so few ads and still offer the magazine for free, an impressive fact even without the color cover and high-resolution print job on all of the pages. Overall, the magazine itself is extraordinarily well done for a first effort, even if all the material tends to attack using the same format. The bands might be completely different from each other, and espousing completely different politics, but the interviewers seem to go on the same tack with each band â€“ where they could go more into queer politics with Bitch and Animal, they only tend to focus on the very trans-phobic Womenâ€™s Music Festival. A great start, and I hope I can see more.
Ugly Planet #1 / Free / Odd-Sized / 44 Pages / PO Box 205, New York, NY 10012 / http://www.uglyplanet.com / Reviewed 31 January 2004