Rock of Pages: Devolution magazine

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As with Bubblegum Slut, a publication we reviewed last month, Devolution is a UK magazine devoted to a subculture with which I'm not all that familiar.

However, while Bubblegum Slut is a photocopied and stapled affair devoted to sleaze rock, with which I'm slightly familiar, Devolution is a slick and glossy magazine devoted to goth, industrial, and punk. Now, when I say "punk" in this case, it's more punk as an aesthetic and style, rather than a musical genre.

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Style is a strong element of Devolution. Editor Nickie has created a magazine with a definite look that ties in with the material being covered. Despite the fact that I was completely unfamiliar with most of the artists -- musical, performance, fashion, and otherwise -- within the pages of the magazine's sixth anniversary issue, everything was made abundantly clear. Each interview, be it with burlesque dancer Amber Sweet or body artist John Davis, the work of the person being interviewed is explained in a way that makes one completely familiar by the end.

Of special interest is the commentary "Goth: A Popular Subversion?" In this editorial, Zoe Enstone asks whether or not goth, like punk before it, can survive the current mainstream acceptance of the various facets of its subculture:

According to some social theorists, subcultures such as punk are gradually absorbed by the mainstream, via the process of commercialisation to such an extent that their initially subversive sybolism becomes neutralised and loses power and meaning.

Heady words, and a well-reasoned editorial that demonstrates that despite the initial, seemingly superficial nature of goth, it has a lot more to offer. Devolution is going to run you about £3.00 an issue, but if you're looking for features on bands and arts not even glossed over in the United States, you need look no further. And this issue comes with a CD that will definitely make you the envy of all your friends.

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