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Mass Movement: The Digital Years Vol. One written by Tim Cundle

Review by Gary Hill

In the interest of full disclosure, there are some things I need to get out of the way before getting into this review. First, over the last year or so, I've gotten to know Tim Cundle over the internet. The two of us share a lot of interests and have some parallels in our backgrounds. I've gotten to think of him as a long-distance friend and hope to one day meet in person. I am also an occasional contributor to the publication from which this book is drawn (Mass Movement).

Here is why those things need to be mentioned, but ultimately are un-important. One of the tenets of MSJ from the start is that we do honest reviews, but we don't run negative reviews. I explain it to my writers this way: if you don't like it more than you dislike it, we're not going to run it. There is so much good stuff out there that there is no point wasting our time (and our readers') on bad products. Besides, it's all ultimately subjective, and just because I don't like something, that doesn't mean you won't like it. We are also dedicated to honest reviews that are more about describing what something is like than judging it.

With that our of the way, the publication from which the articles in this book come (the aforementioned Mass Movement) has quite a few parallels to Music Street Journal. Both were first published in 1998, although MSJ predates MM by a few months. Both began in a very limited fashion (Mass Movement started as a small copy machine run fanzine, while MSJ began as a Word Document emailed to those who signed up to receive it.). Both since migrated to the internet, and both (now) have book editions of their articles. It is worth noting, too, that Mass Movement shares the no negative reviews rule.

There are differences, too. Music Street Journal focuses primarily on progressive rock, but also covers other music styles. In terms of music coverage, Mass Movement's primary focus is on punk rock, but they are similarly not firmly restricted to it. I've personally reviewed things like Blue Oyster Cult and Deep Purple for them.

Perhaps more importantly, Mass Movement is less rigid in terms of content. While everything at MSJ has to be music based, Mass Movement covers so many topics - from comic books to movies, beer, gaming and more. I have to admit to being a little jealous of the scope of MM. Then again, it gives me an excuse to contribute to things like MM as an outlet for other interests of mine.

This book collects a lot of articles from a lost digital era of the publication. It's more than half music related, which is what allows me to review it at Music Street Journal, but it's far from limited to music content. There are all kinds of other things here including comics (literal comic strips) to Lovecraftian fiction and much more.

There are lots of great interviews including Dani Filth, the late great Doug "Oderus Urungus" Brockie, Lee Dorian (Cathedral / Napalm Death), Scott Ian of Anthrax and more. I have to tell you that I really like this book so much. The content is so diverse. I love the fact that you can just open it up to nearly any spot find something interesting.

The whole book is classy. I am not sure that would have been the intent in the early days of Mass Movement. Old punk fanzines were notoriously cheaply made and very DIY. This features some color photos, easy to read formatting and other attributes that you expect with high quality books. I don't consider that a detriment, though. it really suits it all wall, and the spirit is alive.

I think this book would appeal to a pretty wide range of people. Punk fans are, of course, obvious, but people who are into the type of culture typically called "geek culture" will find plenty to like, too. You aren't likely to get bored with this book around. It's an intriguing dive whether you just hit some pages at random or start at the beginning and make your way through the whole thing.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at:

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