Two entries in a row that I liked Eugene‘s selections. I’m happy with that. Jon‘s still in hiatus mode but, I suppose he’ll snap back in. I had lunch with him yesterday and Rotary has him slammed on top of his regular work so it’s not surprising. Can we make it three in a row? Let’s find out…
#27 – Tattooed Beat Messiah by Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction.
No: the answer to the above question. We didn’t make it three in a row. Now, let me throw out both a caveat and a clarification. The caveat is that this is a little hard to come by as it’s not on Napster, Amazon Unlimited or any other music streaming services I subscribe to. I had to hunt it down on YouTube and at that, I had to do some work matching which collection matched the album’s track listing. I had tried to listen to the 21-song version three times in the studio and never got past song 12 because it was just so long, I had to work, and/or it was “closing time.” So, I finally got that worked out. The point is, I didn’t get to listen as much as I normally do for the albums on this countdown.
The clarification is that it isn’t a bad album for what it is, but it doesn’t stand out for much, to me. I’m not hearing anything that I already haven’t heard, even on this countdown. Is that bad? I don’t think so. I’m not looking to be wowed, just for something that I may want to go back and listen to more. I couldn’t wait to be done with this. It just bored me. Again, it’s not bad, it’s just not that interesting.
I mean, laying a good foundation for what Rob Zombie would become and pulling in enough Dave Mustaine to make me chuckle? Yeah, that’s okay, but for the most part, Mark Manning (aka Zodiac Mindwarp, himself) is just plain annoying. I listen and try to keep in mind that it is 1988 and for that time, this was somewhat unique. I had never heard of them until Eugene mentioned them when we first started hanging out (22 years ago). Had I listened to it then, I may have had a different opinion, but I feel I would have just turned it, truth be known.
Musically, this is pretty good. The production is on point, the musicianship is very high-standard for its time (1988) and on that it’s enjoyable. But, anytime ZM opens his face on this album makes me want to turn it off and punch him square in the ovaries. Putting aside the Zombie/Mustaine comparison, it’s like Beavis singing over good, dare I say really good, melodic hard rock. Fire! Fire!
I will say, though, when he’s not doing the stupid, raspy, weird thing with his voice, it’s not so bad and I will concede that it’s the best version of Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” that I’ve heard, ever. So, there’s that, right? I do like the title track and “Let’s Break the Law” in addition to the opening track (not counting the silly “Wolfchild Speech”), “Prime Mover” which in listening, I kept thinking they were saying Hans Grüber, which I thought was funny. I had watched Die Hard just a few days prior.
I like the adoption of monikers for all the members. That does help a little bit. The dual guitars of Cobalt Stargazer and Evil Bastard are on point and the tone is very 1988, which I do really like. Slam Thunderhide has solid chops on drums. I couldn’t hear a lot of what Thrash D. Garbage was doing on bass, but it could have been that I had to listen on YouTube and that isn’t always the best representative of sound quality. It’s way compressed. So, I can’t really speak on that front. Lyrically, though, it’s a riot. I’m pretty sure that was a lot of their appeal to their fans. I’d like that more if not for Mindwarp.
All-in-all, it would have probably been a good album had I not had to listen to ZM’s vocals, as I’ve said Ad nauseam. You should give it a listen, though, Dear Reader, as you should with all of the albums on this list. My opinion is just that, I don’t have any answers, just what I hear and think. Thanks Eug for introducing it to me. Jon… well…
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Well I’m Christ in shades I’m a napalm god. Your lipstick flickers ’round my lightning rod. You fever pitch bitch you love to tease. Well, I’m a hot dog daddy up on your knees. Sex fuhrer baby I’m a love dictator. Blitzkrieg romance I’m a living detonator.” – “Prime Mover” (Manning)