Various – Snake Oil Supercharm: A Tribute To Zodiac Mindwarp

Snake Oil Supercharm: A Tribute To Zodiac Mindwarp
Released 2003 (Sleazegrinder)

Track List:
01. Cracktorch – Backseat Education
02. Generous Maria – Wild Child
03. Dirty Power – Skull Spark Joker
04. Isabelle’s Gift – Prime Mover
05. The Lanternjack – High Heel Heaven
06. The Divine Brown – Fucked By Rock
07. The Snakecharmers – Kickstart Me For Love
08. Punish Yourself – Elvis Died For You
09. Queen Bee – Untamed Stare
10. Motosierra – Let’s Break The Law
11. The Humanoids – Bad Girl City
12. Nixon Now – Dangerous
13. Sweet Justice – Lager Woman From Hell
14. Speedfreaks – Tattooed Beat Messiah
15. Rat Daddy – Spasm Gang
16. Superdeformed – High Priest Of Love
17. Turbo Lover – King Of Love
18. Lofreq – Chainsaw
19. The Dollyrots – There’s A Barbarian In The Back Of My Car
20. Peter Torque – Driving On Holy Gasoline
21. Muscle Car – Planet Girl
22. Rickshaw – Hangovers From Hell
23. Gideon Smith – Meanstreak

Finally some respect is shown to the great Zodiac Mindwarp, the epitome of sleaze during his late 80’s heyday. Here we have a bunch of up and coming bands that revive everything from the classics to the most obscure b-sides to varying degrees of success — all topped off with a forward written by Circus Of Power‘s Alex Mitchell.

  Cracktorch kick off the disc with a cover of arguably Zodiac‘s best song, and stay true to the original. Generous Maria plays an interesting, distorted Monster Magnet-ish rendition of “Wild Child”. Dirty Power cover “Skull Spark Joker” the same way Kiss would if they were still young/hungry and concerned more about music then lining their pockets. Queen Bee‘s contribution contains enough aggression and vocal distortion to make for an enjoyable romp. Motosierra remind me of Roxx Gang, an interesting 80’s hair metal take on an otherwise mediocre Zodiac tune. The Speedfreaks unleash a guitar assault that is like a swarm of killer bees barreling down upon you. Turbo Lover lay down some of the clearest riffs on their groovy rendition of “King Of Love”. Finally we have Gideon Smith doing a Chris Isaak take on “Meanstreak”, likely the most innovative of the songs on Snake Oil Supercharm.

  The majority of bands don’t stray to far from the originals, and why would they — they are perfect to begin with! However a couple bands totally miss the mark. Superdeformed reduce “High Priest Of Love” to a horribly remixed dance club disaster. The Dollyrots cover one of the less-known songs, but their female punk-pop vocals just don’t fit here at all.

  Now it’s time for the musicians that stand out above the rest. Isabelle’s Gift takes one of Zodiac‘s staples and turns it into a distorted southern rock barroom classic! The Snakecharmers could be fronted by Zodiac himself — their vocalist has the growl, scream and laughs down to perfection. Lofreq combine battery acid lead vocals with delicate female backups to achieve one incredibly catchy number. Rickshaw manage to put the hangover back into “Hangover From Hell” — aggressive, pissed off and moody, this band puts you through the real effects of a heavy night of drinking. For these four songs alone, jump over to Sleazegrinder at throw down some cash for this tribute.

Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, January 2004.

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