Wow, its getting pretty cold these days as I'm constantly reminded every time i go out on the bike, or even worse - first thing in the morning. The struggle to try and get your clothes from the other side of the room, get dressed without moving out of the bed or waking up, never mind trying to levitate over the bathroom lino to take the first piss of the day. Its kinda nice to have a bed and a bedroom and a bathroom though, and its been in my head a lot lately about those of us who don't have any of these things. I can't conceive what its like to be homeless in Dublin in this kind of weather, it does bear thinking about, and whatever anyone tells you it is possible for us all to help out with this one. If you have any blankets, coats, jumpers, whatever warm clothing etc. that is just lying there or unused and not needed maybe you could contact your local Simon Community and give it to them so it can be passed out, or you could bring them to the next Hope gig and we'll make sure they get to the people who need 'em. If thats too much for you to sort out then maybe the next time you pass someone begging in the cold or bedding down you could sort them out with a kind word and a cup of tea or coffee instead of rushing past them, because its a fucking lonely way of life and people treat you like shit. I'm not talking about solving homelessness on your lunch break because it would take a lot more than this kind of action to do that, its about making a little difference in someone's day, and the only thing that makes us incapable of that is laziness or apathy, which we all suffer from at times, but it doesn't take much to change that. Down, down and away, the Hope collective are putting on two gigs in December - the second one is on th 13th and takes place in the Attic starting at 8.30 and features Jackbeast, The Steam Pig, Porn, Yawn and Brian Bannon in no particular order. Admission is œ2 worth of toys (new toys!) and all the toys that come in on the night are being passed on to a women's refuge in Dublin to take some of the pressure off for Christmas. The toys can be for any age group from infant right up to 17 year olds so make as much of an effort as you can. Monkhouse have released a posthumous album on Rejected records which is well worth grabbing hold of, and we're all waiting with baited breath for the new Jackbeast 7" and I hear that Bambi's new album will be a Rejected/? split; theres a couple of new free sheets around town - Planet Fish (33 Weston Rd, Churchtown, D14 ) and Scream#2 (address in review section)being two of them, with more long running freesheet Slanted and Enchanted undergoing some changes with the leaving of two people and the addition of one in its current issue #15 which has made it a much better read than usual if a bit more sparse in content. Seeing as its the end of the year we figured it would be a good time to thank a few people for contributing in one way or another to the last twelve months worth of Gearhead Nations; so without further ado thanks to Niall, Sarah & Niamh, Pete, Beano, Basetti, John and Christopher in Freebird, Doug, Aoife, James, Alan, Tom, Niall H, Greg, Murt, Cliona, Miriam, Boz, Stephanie, Dara and Padraig. Oh yeah and thanks to everyone who wrote, sent stuff or got into arguements/"discussions" with us - it was a lot of fun. Righty ho, I think thats about it for this year, except to say happy 10th birthday to Giro's in Belfast. Its a co-operatively owned centre run by volunteers which houses a vegetarian/vegan cafe, a venue/exhibition space, practise rooms and a very recently completed studio. The place is run by some brilliant people and is an example of what can be done with a lot of effort and some vision. They've produced a book detailing the history of the centre in its various guises and you can write to them at 1-5 Donegall Place, Belfast BT1 2LZ if you want to find out more. Enjoy the holiday and we'll see you again in '97. Stay safe Derek. PS - Where’s our presents yis cunts?

....Anyway, I also really enjoyed the majority of "GN" #31, but, for the first time I've seen it stepped a bit too far across the "retarded" mark in terms of the articles about mothers and secondary school students. I was suprised you'd have printed those - they were just a bunch of ridiculous caricatures and generalisations. I mean, I realise it was someone getting something off their chest n' all, but the author still came across as a spastic. Not to mention a know-all. I mean was this person not young once? Were they so mature that they went through secondary school without any urge to try things (no matter how stupid they are) like drinking, etc?? Hmm...anyway, I guess the articles in question aren't to be taken seriously, I hope not anyway! ...Ok, gotta go, take care, Jamie

Five pages of GN were devoted to the agrivating, hate filled ramblings of some complete and utter twat. Why? Well I suppose its well written and thought provoking, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this. I do however have some major disagreements about the article on secondary students on the basis that it is a complete generalisation throughout, and therefore, basically, an insult to me (being a secondary school student at the moment). For starters, the nod-entities make up a tiny tiny percentage of secondary students who probably only got into grunge music because/or after Kurt offed himself. I despise them too, but only because I think its pathetic to see them wearing those Kurt Cobain 1967-94 T-shirts. I'm not saying that because they haven't always been into that type of music, I'm saying it because they're into it for the wrong reasons; just because its fashionable, cool or whatever. I'm so sure that the writer of this was born a twenty/thirty something, crabby bastard who was exempt from growing up. Didn't you have to go through adolescence too? I seriously doubt you were a nymphomaniac since birth, and I'll bet you a tenner you passed out once or twice in a field somewhere after two or three flagons. People don't always reflect what they seem to be in secondary school. Most of the time its an act for acceptence. Everyone goes through it, its a part of growing up and maturing, and developing your own ideas on life, religion, friends etc. Do you honestly expect us to believe that you were born a punk, have always been an anarchist trying to change the world, perfect in everyway, and completely exempt from the amazing creation that is the Irish educational system? If so, you must be an illiterate fuck who had to get someone else to write down your moans because you obviously didn't learn to read or write. I apologise, thats a bit of a generalisation. I'll bet it makes you angry to be thought of like that. Well thats how I, and others who are intelligent, open minded, non-drinkers (not that that part is important to my point) feel to be dumped in with the spas, you so eloquently described in your article. I mean if you're going to slag people off just because they're a few years younger than you, you couldat least have picked the people that wreck everyone's heads -: (or maybe just mine) rugger buggers, blonde bimbos that don't have a life without their boyfriends or gold cards or those who think that they are better than everybody else for some reason or another, and shit on others because of this. Then you would have something to really complain about, but to moan about people who are just experiencing an aspect of life and are constantly changing their views on life or whatever, is pathetic. by "O".

Sound Reviews

Bottom: s/t (VBT Records, 304 Newbury St. #319, Boston, MA 02115, usa)

The piecev of paper that came with this lot says thatv they're a "power-punk-pop trio, in the mold of Bob Mould, Sugar, Mega City Four...". Well they write their own songs so maybe thats what they meant when they mentioned Bob Mould because they don't sound like anything hes done that I've heard. I've been told that it sounds quite like MC4 so if thats your bag... The album is well produced and sounds very good but I found it a bit bland. The lyrics are quite good, personal thoughts and emotions put in a larger context, but I didn't think that the music was strong enough. Not great.

Brooder: Demo œ1.50ppd (c/o Stephen, 69 Grange Heights, Waterford)

First off the quality of the recording I was given of this is terrible and I couldn't make out vocals on the first two songs. It improved on the third song but it still sounded very muffled and muted so that kind of made it hard to listen to properly. There are six songs on this, all very basic sounding light punk, although it "rocks out" in a couple of places - the band sound like they're having fun on some of the tracks and these stand out, especially "Hello" and "Get Lost" which were ok. They're not the worlds best musicians and I couldn't make out the lyrics so I can't comment on them. In all honesty this didn't grab me, maybe a better recording would have done the songs more justice.

Monkhouse: The Final Indignity cd œ6ppd (Rejected, 9 Woodlands Ave, Dun Laoghire, Co. Dublin)

I really liked Monkhouse's last album, but this one -their LAST album- blows it out of the water. 24 tracks of absolute brilliance - it makes you want them around again, but hey, you can't have everything now can you? Its a very varied album with tracks going back as far as their demo in 93 right up to a live track recorded in the Ormond in Dublin in 1996 and this is reflected in the songs. They veer from very straightforward punk to more "indie" sounding stuff although overall its a heavier sounding album than Glue Bag. My favourites on this are the incredible "How can you live with yourself?" and "Choo choo" which fucking rocks, actually the whole thing rocks from start to finish. It all ends with the live track "Cut up"and I must admit to feeling a wee lump in my throat when I was listening to it - I remember being there but I don't remember it sounding so good. I could devote a couple of pages to telling you how good this is and I'm sorely tempted to do so, even the cover and design is brilliant; suffice to say this is utterly fandabbydozy. A high point to end on, get it now!

Screeching Foster/Chachi On Acid: Split 7" $4ppd (368 Helen Drive, Strathroy, On., Canada N7G 3M4)

Very funny cover on this one, check it out for yourself. The Screeching Foster side is snotty, nasty basic 3chord american punk rock with nasal vocals and simple lyrics that just give out about stuff. Very teen punk and like the band they're paodying, Screeching Weasel. The Chachi On Acid side (pleasantly titled "Richie jerked Himself") is even snottier with titles like "I wanna be an alcoholic" and "I hate my life" and plenty of Ois thrown in for good nmeasure. Even more basic than SF. You're definitely not going to see this lot on Mtv anytime soon. Nasty.

Word Reviews

ATR #1 A5 80pgs postage(@œ3) (Eric, 2634 N. Fairfield Apt. #2, Chicago IL 60647, usa)

I had heard some good things about this zine a while back and they were all true. Weighing in at an absolutely massive 80pgs of well written and well produced information and it'll only cost you the postage which is a great deal. The authors write in a very academic and wordy style which can be had to persevere through at times but its worth staying with it. Its definitely not a quick and easy read and , for me anyway, requires a second reading at least. The topics are covered, "borrowing heavily from the Situationists" are language, economics, Music, and culture. It gets a bit heavy handed at times but that makes a nice change to the disposable crap that currently prevails. Excellent read.

DARC newsletter #2 A5 8pgs free (PO BOX 3327, Dublin 8)

For anyone that doesn't know, DARC stands for the Dublin Alternative Radio Collective which incorporates Radioactive as one of its projects. The people involved at the moment seem to be much more together than before and it'll be great when the station gets going again. Until then though you have this newsletter which gives you the latest update on the station's situation along with some reviews and political information on prisoner Leonard Peltier, Irish Women's groups, Shell's murderous practises in Nigeria, micro broadcasting and plenty of addresses. Well laid out with its heart in the right place and a fair amount of reading. Great issue from a group worth supporting.

Fast Connection #3 A4 64pgs (Po Box 54, Heaton, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE65YW, uk)

Brilliant zine this - another one that'll take a while to read. Theres a tour diary written by the bass player from recent visitors Ebola which is top class. Its really detailed and very much a warts n' all depiction of touring - unputdownable to say theleast. The rest of the fanzine has some of the best writing that I've read in a long while anywhere. It doesn't patronise the reader and its intelligent withiout being alienating and extremely honest to boot, uncomfortably honest at times. There are plenty of columns, stuff on veganism interviews with Coping Saw, I'm being good, Curll, Lonely, stuff on releasing a 7" and tons more stuff. I'm really impressed with this zine - its very diverse, very well written and above all its the kind of zine that encourages discussion on a number of subjects and topics. Brilliant.

Heliumbong #1 A5 4pgs free (Rocklawn, Leopardstown Rd., Sandyford, Dublin 18)

I was deliberating whether to review this or not after I picked it up in town and then I got a copy sent and a letter asking what I thought of it, so here it is then. It was ok for the most part - the usual personal stories, the ubiquitos random review page, the usual "I'm still going to feature bands that I like/bought stuff from regardless [of ethics]. So fuk yis." bullshit, but what really brought this whole affair into the realms of pure nonsense was in a story about an exchange trip to Hamburg. I'll quote it for you "The fourth pub, The Consortium, which was the only one that would take us had a minor defect. We only found out on the last night, after spending two weeks there, when someone just stood up and uttered the immortal words... "Fuck! Look in the corner!" and sure enough, theres two blokes in the corner going at it, tongues and all. Some of us ran in disgust, some of us thought it was a once off until they saw different blokes holding hands and then there was people like me who was too drunk to notice..." and then later "Great craic altogether. Just don't mix with the locals. They have uses for otherwise virgin orifices. So I've been told." What a pile of homophobic shit. Crap, moronic, laddish shite - trees were cut down for this?

Non-Plastique #5 A5 32pgs 40p+postage (17 Railway Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin)

Haven't seen one of these for a bit. Lots of stuff in here from a fools guide to punk to an article on the Irish music industry and one on clothes. there are interviews with Cheapskate, Slanted and Enchanted and a very short not too great one with Nomeansno. As well as that reviews, columns and lots of graphics here and there. My favourite bit out of the lot of was an article about skateboarding that is totally in your face. Good issue.

Scream #2 A5 16pgs free (Stephen, Monure, Graigecullen, Carlow)

Its good to see that this has made it to a second issue, its just a pity that some of it is badly photocopied and hard to read. Anyway, this issue contains words about people, hated things, group mentality, ravers, ID, people who hate one of the authors, roadsigns and some comic strips and some relevant addresses. Good issue.

Warzine #10 (vol2) A4 4pgs free (1/2 Donegall Lane, Belfast BT1 2LZ, NI)

This issue coincides with the 10 year celebrations going on around the Warzone centre. Theres a kinda personal thoughts column, and articles on community group's power structures, Nicaragua, social aspects of drugs particular to NI and an ever so slightly ironic column from a cop's point of view. Always great to see an issue of this.

Gearhead Nation End Of ’96 Top Ten

1) You the reader ‘coz you’re great. No, really, you are. 2) Triumphant Pincher Martin Reunion 3) The Singing Blow Job Joke 4) Techno 5) Techno 6) Techno 7) Techno, ‘coz its very good. No, really, it is. 8) Fusion, it’s brilliant. No, really, it is. 9) Hope Collective posters. No, really, they do. 10) Punk Revival. It’s number 10 in our book any year. No, really, it would be. 11) Other freesheets, ‘coz they’re deadly. No, really, they are. 12) sarcasm. No, really, it is