This prose-packed zine aspires to join the ranks of such newsprint nationals as Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll and Flipside, and it’s well on its way. Full of well-written reviews, interviews and columns (Miss Understood’s diatribe on porn is particularly amusing), Subdrive‘s only flaw is that its name sounds like a band that should be opening up for Sugar Ray at the MTV Beach House. But thankfully, this solid zine is almost devoid of mainstream alterna-culture and actually more than scratches the surface in a few pieces like the exposé on Yale’s notorious Skull and Bones society. And someone named Resurgam has written a column from prison that is utterly compelling:

Dostoyevski wrote of life in a Siberian prison based on his own experiences in The House Of The Dead. I call my experiences after twenty years in Federal Prison Hotel Ennui. In fact, Federal prisons have become the most successful hotel chain in the country. So much so that the Justice Department recently announced, with puffed out chest, “One out of every 155 Americans is in prison.” Look out Mr. Hyatt-Regency ’cause you ain’t goin’ to be #1 no more!

When I was first incarcerated and taken to a county jail to await trail. I immediately took advantage of this opportunity to study my fellow man. I took copious notes of the conversations I heard for the first three months. only to find that each day’s page had only one word one it, “Motherfucker!”

But Federal prisons are supposed to be a cut above and I found it interesting the cyclical pattern first time offenders (but one) fall into. For the first two years of their sentences they succumb to “The Lord.” “Hallelujah! I found you, oh Lord, and know you’re goin’ to save me and get me out of here.” The Born Agains, in particular, hold hands and chant three times each week at Bible study saying, “God is great! God is merciful! God is forgiving!” The Catholics, particularly the Hispanic ones, wear large gold crosses on large gold chains about their necks. Some being so large that if they were given a wooden stake they’d be armed to kill vampires.

Send zines to Michael Giacalone at the Long Island Voice, 393 Jericho Tpke, Mineola, NY 11501-1205.