Vol. 2, Issue 3 $5
(3023 N. Clark St. #365 Chicago, IL 60657)
by Scott Hefflon
I’m pretty new to MK Ultra, but it reminds me of ‘zines “back in the day” before any of us really knew how to do layout, and by now, most have either switched to glossy or gone web-only (or outta business, and the trees thank you all). Ok, so that’s kind of a slag, but MK Ultra is very young in a lot of ways. The writing is pretty “casual” in that “one time, at band camp” kind of way. Personal anecdotes by people who, uh, often have evidently never heard of the band they’re reviewing is kinda not what I’m looking for in a review mag, but perhaps if yer looking for a fresh look at the bands, this is it. Kinda tough for me to be too generous here, seeing as I’ve listened to pretty much every CD reviewed here, but for those not wanting to listen to some jaded asshole cross-reference 20 years of music evolution, MK Ultra‘s “hey, this is pretty cool” approach might be a breath of fresh air.
Another endearing quality of MK Ultra is its diversity. Interviews with The Donnas, producer Kim Fowley, Apocalypse Theatre, Nocturne, Bile, Graves (ex-Misfits singer), PIG, Opeth, Amon Amarth, and Cattle Decapitation nestle among columns such as “Ask Sabrina Anything,” a collection of celebrity mug shots, “Hangover Helpers,” a column on “pop culture sickness,” a stab at unearthing industrial’s roots, top ten lists, and a page of candid photos. Oh, and the UltraVixxxen Review. Seeing as Goth and industrial are very fashion-based (and unlike most musical genres, don’t deny that they are), it makes a lot of sense that there are fashion spreads and lot of photos of the bands. OK, here I can say something nice: While the text and layout are a little novice, there are lots of photos of both guys and girls looking freaky, sexy, or intense in various Gothic-looking settings. If nothing else, it’ll give you ideas on where to pose for your next personals photo.