According to Norse legend, The Vorslung were a brave if somewhat ill-fated band of bloodthirsty warriors, who married beautiful giant women, constantly waged war and generally made a complete nuisance of themselves. Eventually they were wiped out but as legend has it they vowed to return to avenge their honour and wreak a bit more havoc. Last Halloween, Zodiac Mindwarp, Cobalt Stargazer, Jack Shitt, and The Cat did battle with Alice Cooper at ancient steam engine shed, the Chalk Farm Roundhouse – significantly, said to be built on the site of Viking settlement.
When The Quietus asked me to pen some kind words about Zodiac Mindwarp and The Love Reaction, I had reservations. Zodiac (aka Mark Manning), and Cobalt – his real name, go way back, and most of our encounters have ended in carnage. We first met one another by chance at The Matrix recording studio in 1988, for our twinned mega bucks labels. They were a terrifying prospect, proper greasy bikers, covered in tattoos, belting out heavy metal paeans to their virility, spaceships, and what they would like women to do to them. It seemed like they were succeeding rather well, as the shared recreation area at the studio was filled with models and weaponry. That they grunted in broad Yorkshire accents made them all the more intimidating – my own band did our best to keep ourselves to ourselves, avoid eye contact, and not end up on the end of their bike chains.
Releasing several singles/EPs during 1986 and 1987 ("Wild Child," "High Priest of Love," "Prime Mover," and "Back Seat Education"), the group issued its self-titled full-length debut in early 1988. Reaching the U.K. Top 20 album chart, the album also managed to cause a mild buzz in the U.S., as Zodiac Mindwarp supported the release with dates opening for Guns N' Roses (who were just about to break big with Appetite for Destruction). The album did leave a substantial impression on shock rock trailblazer Alice Cooper, who was quite vocal about his appreciation of the band in interviews, and even enlisted Mindwarp himself to co-pen a track ("Feed My Frankenstein") on Cooper's 1991 star-studded release, Hey Stoopid.