The “new” NME, one month on: what’s the consensus?

The “new” NME, one month on: what’s the consensus?


It’s been four issues now [remember, we’re a week and a half behind, here in Aus], since NME re-launched with their snazzy new layout, and content changes. So how has it all held up?

All in all, the magazine really hasn’t changed that much. The new layout certainly adds a slight element of sophistication [well, as sophisticated as the NME can get], which results in a more professional, cleaner looking publication. Content-wise, the “Does Rock’N’Roll Kill Brain Cells” and “This Week in …” features are welcome additions, and we don’t appear to have lost anything in order to accommodate them.

But, I still have one major criticism: the lack of a band index. We do have a contents page, at the start of the issue, but it doesn’t even begin to cover all of the artists mentioned. One of the pleasures of opening an old edition of NME, was scanning the band index to see if any of my favourites/flavours of the month were mentioned, seeing The View, for example, and then quickly flicking to page 72 to see an unexpected live review.

In an attempt to save money last year, for a few months I only bought the NME if it contained enough artists that I really wanted to read about. How could I quickly identify whether or not that was the case? Through the band index, of course. And, in preparation for my Biffy Clyro interview, I pulled out a stack of issues from the lead-up to the release of Only Revolutions, and was easily able to find what I was looking for, thanks to the trusty band index.

Am I the only one who misses this little piece of NME goodness? I haven’t seen it mentioned in any of the reviews of the magazine’s new layout. It hasn’t even been covered on the infamous letters page! In fact, I might write to them about it right now…

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