Snake Oil Supercharm
A Tribute to Zodiac Mindwarp
I had no idea there were this many Zodiac Mindwarp tunes! Most of us remember Mr. Mindwarp’s classic video “Prime Mover,” with his phallic spaceship invading a Catholic girls’ school. My mom hated it, my wife hates it, yet it’s still one of the coolest things MTV ever played. Sleazegrinder Records (Ken McIntyre) has scraped up 23 bands for 23 covers of the Mindwarp ethos. Unlike so many tribute albums, this one stays pretty close to the pounding metal of the original material, with an attitude to match. There are no easy listening versions here, no hip hop interpretations, no minimalist attempts to sound like Kraftwerk on valium. Neither are there any bands with whom I’m particularly familiar, but that’s not to say the performances are weak. All the tunes are well done, if arranged a bit differently.
Isabelle’s Gift does a superb job on the aforementioned “Prime Mover”: fuzzy guitars, clean vocals, a sweaty drummer, even a decent harmony on the hook. Rickshaw picks up a fast beat on “Hangovers From Hell,” much faster than anyone could stand with even a regular hangover. Even “Backseat Education” from Crack Torch kicks serious butt.
This compilation does a great job of sticking to the source material, yet adds enough variety to keep things interesting. It’s a must for the die-hard Zodiac fan, and a great intro for the budding metal head who needs some historical grounding.