Passion Means Struggle is a hardcore punk fanzine from the city of Plauen in East Germany. Besides working on this zine, the author also runs a label with the same name, putting out some fresh bands from around the area.
Published in April 2021, the second issue immediately grabbed my attention with the big bold college font X right next to the zine’s title. As you might have already guessed, the whole angle of this publication is based around political hardcore punk and the editor’s love for the Vegan Straight Edge scene.
Although the layout is pretty standard and simplistic, there’s a lot of content stacked within the 72 pages of this zine. Among those you’ll find essays on hardcore punk ideals, surviving Covid-19 depression, self-care, as well as the usual record & zine reviews section—full of fresh tunes to check out and good reading material, mostly from Europe.
There’s a tour report by the German hardcore punk band Schwach following them through Mexico and the US, but this one is in German as well as some of the reviews in the zine. But anyway, there’s so much interesting content that even if you don’t speak German at all, there’s about 80% of the zine in English and you’ll be more than satisfied by its quality.
There are in-depth interviews with political XVX bands CLEARxCUT from Germany and xRISALEx from Turkey. The questions are very well-thought out and cover a wide range of topics surrounding radical antiauthortiarian politics, feminism, straight edge and hardcore music. There’s also a blitz interview with MAKExPEACE from Prague where they list their five all-time favorite records, hardcore lyricists, record labels, classic Czech hardcore punk bands, places to hang out in Prague, and so on.
What I like the most in Passion Means Struggle is how they really want to focus on new and upcoming bands that are not from the US. Yes, the author is clearly influenced by the ’90s US hardcore scene with the usual references to Chokehold, Unbroken, etc; as well as having a “Hardcore history lesson” column about Another Breath in this issue, but they don’t capitalize on the hype about reviving the good old times.
You like political hardcore and zines putting out informative content before fancy art shit? In need of some fresh non-US straight edge bands to hear and read about? Pick this up.