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NEW KIDS IN TOWN

Lewd, Crude, Tattooed--and Warped

December 06, 1987|CRAIG LEE

Band: Zodiac Mindwarp & the Love Reaction.

Personnel: Zodiac Mindwarp, vocals; Cobalt Stargazer, guitar; Trash D. Garbage, bass; Flash Bastard, guitar; Slam Thunderhide, drums.

History: One of the more twisted and hilarious personalities to slither out of the English underground, the London-based Mindwarp (who got his name from an obscure '60s underground comic) began his dubious musical achievements by securing a record deal with the English independent label Food in 1985. A debut single, "Wild Child," created enough stir in the UK press for Mindwarp to assemble the Love Reaction with Stargazer, Thunderhide and bassist Kid Chaos. The release of a mini-album, "High Priest of Love," and subsequent tours with Doctor & the Medics and Motorhead in 1986 created nearly hysterical reactions from a British music press always eager to jump on any new and bizarre personality. In 1987 Chaos left to join the Cult and was replaced by Garbage and Bastard. Signed to Phonogram, the band released its first major-label single, "Prime Mover," which made it to No. 15 on the English charts. The group spent September and October working on its debut album, "Tattoo Beat Messiah," to be released by Mercury Records next year. Though the group has not yet released a record in the U.S., high interest among American Anglophile music fans has resulted in the Love Reaction's first American tour. Lock up your daughters.

Sound: Like the worst nightmare of the Parents' Music Resource Center, Zodiac Mindwarp & the Love Reaction come across as obnoxious, blathering, unbathed, sex-crazed, psych-o-delicized bikers fouling up the more refined sensibilities of modern-day polite-pop manners. Lewd, crude, tattooed and stewed, the group plays a raucous if undistinctive amalgamation of the New York Dolls and Motorhead--really nothing different from what you hear in L.A. clubs like Scream or White Trash on any given weekend. But Mindwarp's distinctive leather-lunged growl--an unholy cross between Jim Dandy, Captain Beefheart and Motorhead's Lemmy--is a blast of self-parodying wickedness. Sexist, socially irresponsible and totally without redeeming value, Zodiac Mindwarp & the Love Reaction call their music "Scuss"--as in scuzz, fuss and total disgust. Fun for the whole family.

Shows: Variety Arts Center, Saturday; Coach House, next Sunday.

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