The other day whilst browsing the apres-Christmas sales I decided I was due a visit to WHSmiths just to check out what was going down. Not much surprise occurred as I walked in, no drastic changes had been made and the same old magazine and stationary stands were in there place. As I would usually do I headed straight for the magazines, first checking out the gossip mags and viewing Cheryl Cole on most of the front covers. I then proceeded to flick through Elle, I-D, Dazed and Confused and Creative Review...the only half decent magazines on offer at such a store. I then do my second take of all the shelves to see if anything catches my eye and this month it was Artrocker magazine. It was the nice illustrated title voicing that Arctic Monkeys would be exclusively talked to, the black and white photo of the band themselves and the added bonus of a free CD that caught my eye. Although I'd never heard of the band that were providing the free CD I was impressed by the CD cover (simple but cool) so I thought they were definitely worth a listen. After the initial attraction, the offering of....indie...electro...rock'n'roll...art....and fashion had me even more intrigued so I progressed to the flicking through of the magazine. I noticed some good looking images, attractive fonts and interesting band interviews so my decision was final, I should invest.
The car journey home, felt the right place and time to find out more about my new magazine so with my critical eye I scanned every page. I'm one of the many people who look through the whole magazine before deciding what articles to go back to and see what's of interest. Usually it is the case that I look through the whole magazine and slate it so much that I don't go back to much so I was ready to find out if it would be the same with Artrocker.Unfortunately after I'd turned every page, this was to be the case. I was extremely disappointed as I had a lot of hope from my first reactions and attraction to the magazine. The first feature: New Blood introduces exciting new bands. It spans 11 pages and consists of a red, black and white colour scheme. The bright red is good as it connects to "New Blood" by looking like blood and the colours do work well together but the red is a very strong colour and I feel they use too much of it. Every page is drenched with red and it looks quite garish and unappealing. It is hard to read the small white text without getting annoyed at the overpowering red.
Different colours and fonts are used for every new article. Whilst this could be adding excitement and a mix-matched effect which may have been desired it doesn't create any fluidity and looks like there computer just inherited a million new fonts off there dead graphic designer grandad. New fonts for headlines is cool but it would be nice to see some re-ocurrances in the same sub heading fonts through out the mag.
I am being very critical and I must admit there are numerous great pages but I just found it quite annoying. It probably does suit the messy rockers who read it because they aren't going to give a fuck about what's where on the page. I had just expected more but have now learned that I should stay away from magazines that are not designed perfectly and interestingly and have only been designed for the purpose of getting important info over in a fun way as they will get on my nerves and I will hurt these magazines feelings with my harsh words.
All in all the magazine is a good effort and brings together good info and new music and the free CD was an alright listen, all I ask is for the shiny paper to be done away with...its so last decade!!