About Nathan Bean

The Clarence Boddicker of Corehammer. Tyrant/ Editor Nathan is a 'former member of...' numerous mediocre punk bands and internet gobshite and has been involved in the United Kingdom hardcore scene since the mid 90's. Now retired from active duty he spends his time writing about gaming, movies, music and comics, shouting at the television and threatening to start another band.

For Whom The Sleigh Bell Tolls….

“It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Manifesting at the end of your bed like the ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, the Corehammer Charity Xmas Bash returns! This year Mantic Games in Nottingham are very kindly playing host to our ragged band of Hammerheads, Dungeon Punks and assorted Scallywags.

There’s no stipulation on what you can or cannot play. Just put your fiver in the bucket and do as you feel. We also ask that attendees chuck a tin of non perishable grub in the kitty too. No, we’re not bringing back the school Harvest Festival smart arse. But events like this are a great opportunity to help out those less fortunate and if we can get a decent contribution together for the local food bank whilst doing our thing, well it’s no hardship to be nice is it? Continue reading

Return to Blacksand…..Port Of Peril – Ian Livingstone (Scholastic)

I make no secret of my deep and abiding love for Ian Livingstone & Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy books. In the canon of things that make my brain cauldron bubble, FF 1-10 sit prominently alongside the first three Integrity records, Pushead artwork and every issue of 2000AD published between 1982-1993. Scholastic Publishing has recently resurrected the franchise, reissuing the first half a dozen books of the Puffin run and commissioning some new titles. Port of Peril authored by returning OG Ian Livingstone is the first of those new adventures.

To say that Scholastics stewardship of the series has been greeted with a mixed response from the FF fan community is a gross understatement. People tend to get very precious about the sacred cows of their youth, particularly those of us in our mid thirties- late forties who grew up with FF the first go round and I sit right in the middle of that particular demographic. Sure I can get as sensitive and defensive about FF as the next guy but I try not to act entitled and can accept that life moves on, capitalism is a thing and maybe other generations should have the opportunity to sample the things that stirred my own imagination as a child? Continue reading

For Those Who Were Crucified: The Walking Dead – All Out War

Author: Tom Chippendale

Unless you have been living feral under the docks exchanging favours for pennies then you have surely heard of The Walking Dead. From its humble debut as a graphic novel to the hit TV show, Rick Grimes and his ragtag crew have lodged themselves into the populations brain like a makeshift shiv into the mushy noggin of so many zombies.

I like The Walking Dead. I like the comics and I like the shows and as soon as I saw the Mantic games Kickstarter for The Walking Dead: All Out War I popped a little boner. Not a big enough boner to back it mind you but a big enough one to hope it did well and I could pick up a copy at my local games shop at some point. Luckily 3700+ people who are functioning members of society saw fit to pledge $685,853 of a $50,000 goal and while not the ludicrous amounts of money you see flying around on Kickstarter it was still more than enough to make my dreams of having a decent table top experience of The Walking Dead come to life.

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Masters Of The Pit – Frostgrave’s Joe McCullough

I originally conducted this interview with Frostgrave mastermind Joseph McCullough last year. We’d planned to release a a print copy fanzine to accompany the Dungeonpunx podcast. For one reason or another progress on that project slowed from a tectonic crawl to almost  sedentary in a matter of months. I recently recovered this chat with Joe whilst clearing out some old files. And whilst some of the information is somewhat out of date, I think it’s still a nice window into Joe’s personal background and the machinations of his creative process. I hope that this will be the first of a series of interviews with key creative figures in the table top games industry. Many thanks to Joe for his participation with the interview and check out his newest project The Oathmark coming soon from Osprey/Northstar Military!

Lets start at the beginning. You are originally from Greensboro, North Carolina. I am always curious about how ones childhood home and surrounding environment impacts a person’s imagination. What was it like growing up there?

I like to tell people that Greensboro is a beautiful place to live, but there is little reason to visit. Although it is a large city by British standards, it is so spread out that it rarely feels crowded. As the name implies, it is a very green city with lots of trees, lots of tall oaks. One of the city’s most notable features, and certainly one that had a large impact on me growing up, is that it was the site of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse during the Revolutionary War. It is an intensely interesting tactical battle, and I’m sure that was a major source of my lifelong interest in Military History. The city is also where Gen. Johnson surrendered his army at the end of the Civil War.

Also important, the city always a had a small, but very active science-fiction, fantasy, and gaming community based around the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. As a young teen, I went to their little gaming convention, Hexicon, every year, even though I was often the youngest person there.
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For those about to mosh…September Hardcore Roundup

It has been a while since we last had a peek under the  lid to see what’s boiling away in the realms of underground metal and hardcore. Lets rectify that immediately shall we?

 First out of the skillet is Razorbite I had assumed this shower to be from Leeds given Nat Wood took their photos, Jimmy Wizard drew the cover and Atko recorded the demo but no Donny, these guys and girls are from Glasgow. I’ve visited Glasgow on a number of occasions and it’s always struck me as a tough fucking town. The first time was back in 1997. We asked for a pizza in some glum cafe and the pie faced curmudgeon behind the counter shoved a frozen pizza into a deep fat fryer before presenting it to us on a Glasgow salad, a formidable bed of chips. Like thats normal. Other highlights of that evening included a three legged dog, Knuckledust playing in a weird mosher pub/strip club hybrid hell hole, trying to get some kind of sleep in a sketchy mill and waking to discover we were being silently watched from a doorway by a man in a pair of bunched tighty whities and a Massacre T-shirt. Choice. The sounds Razorbite produce are a testament to all that misery…groove heavy hardcore not unlike Trapped Under Ice I guess, but the production on this is all squashy and sounds like the first One King Down record. I like that One King Down record loads though so it’s chill. So yeah, Trapped Under Ice meets Albany hardcore circa 1994 with bratty female vocals. It’s a combination that took some getting used to but its not immediately like anyone else and I dig it. Maybe you will too, have a listen HERE 

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The History Of Nemesis Records by Patrick Kitzel & Frank Harrison  (Tribal Books/ Reaper Records) 2016

I’ll preface this article by stating that when it comes to putting together these reviews, unlike many of my peers, I do not fuck with press release material. I read so many reviews of books/music/movies/comics whatever that are just lazy rewrites of the blurb that accompanies the product. I consider reviews like that to be devoid of any genuine opinion or individual insight and therefore without critical merit. They depersonalise the experience of absorbing the material. As far as I’m concerned that is a massive disservice to the effort put into project by it’s creators and the expectations of you, the reader. Rest assured that when your stuff ends up on the desk of Nathan Bean, you better know I will review the SHIT out of that thing.

My first purchase on Nemesis Records way back in 1993 was the Bonesaw record. As was often the case in the 90’s, this was a random pick up based upon the fact that I thought Bonesaw was a cool name for a band and the songs on the record had hard titles. I had previously heard one Bonesaw song on a sampler CD someone gave me outside my first hardcore the year before and I rinsed that record for a whole summer. Have I listened to Bonesaw since that Summer? Have I fuck. Continue reading

Doing The Resurrection Shuffle……

Hello darling, it’s been a while hasn’t it? You look nice though. New hair and…have you been working out? Thought so. Look, I know what you’re thinking, here he is cap in hand, crawling back to us from his latest failure. A man who thought himself bigger, better, brighter than the humble blog that spawned him. I know how you people think. You can smell the guilt oscillating off me in great stinking waves. So here’s my confession. Continue reading

Somewhere South Of Fang… Fighting Fantasy shirts!!!!

It is hard to believe that three and a half decades have passed since since Jackson and Livingstone unleashed their unholy creation Fighting Fantasy upon a generation hungry for adventure and anarchy, but 2017 is indeed the 35th anniversary of Fighting Fantasy’s birth. Whilst that thought does make me feel old as shit, it seems an appropriate opportunity to reflect upon the legacy of that magical series of books. I’ve spoken with great passion about FF a few times over the years here at Corehammer. It’s an enthusiasm I often find matched by the others I encounter who share that same gateway into the realms of the fantastic and arcane.

One such mortal is Paul Hardacre, the man behind a new T-shirt company called Somewhere South Of Fang . SSOF are working collaboratively with some of  the original FF  artists and printing good quality shirts using classic artwork from the early years of Fighting Fantasy. Naturally my interest was piqued and after a flurry of emails back and forth I decided to shoot Paul some questions and let him tell us all about SSOF. Paul has also graciously offered Corehammer readers a discount voucher for his store that entitles you, dear reader, to a 20% discount at checkout until June 2nd. Simply type the code COREHAMMER into the appropriate box at checkout and save yourself some bunce. Continue reading

Nate’s Hot Dates – Middlehammer & Fighting Fantasy Fest Part Deux

Sometimes the very insular nature of our hobbies can be isolating. I know for many of my peers that is part of the appeal of these pastimes. Finding some solitude away from the unrelenting streams of work, responsibilities and bullshit that gnaw away at our daily lives. Hell, an hour away from the internet and endless Whatsapp group chats and ‘can you just…’ lectures, to disconnect and take pleasure in the simple joy of painting a plastic moon man or dreaming up a D&D scenario. I get it man.

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Firm Standing Law – Unashamed 7″

South East straight edge outcasts Firm Standing Law follow up last years Unforgiving X demo with a new 7” entitled UNASHAMED on Carry The Weight Records. With a veteran lineup that boasts former (and current) members of Cold World, Repentance, Coldsnap, Never Again and many more, FSL may come with a nigh on flawless pedigree of straight edge hardcore but with that also comes the burden of expectation.
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