CD - $12.00
Meet the strangest known band from the pre-punk dayze of glam. A sound like no other and a story as out there as the The Monks. We're talking commitment here - spacesuits, Spock ears, even antennae feelers - onstage, on the street, and wherever they made the scene. ZOLAR-X spoke their own language, and insisted they really were from outer space to anyone who could get past their, er, unique hairdos long enough to listen.
Musically it's a mesh of Bowie, Sabbath, Pink Floyd and old Pentagram with amazing vocals and surprisingly stellar production. Both the CD cover and LP jacket are in a space-age metallic silver with full color insides, including the LP insert. The 70+ minute CD contains some tracks that are not included on the LP.
These are the CD-only tracks:
"I Pulled My Helmet Off (I'm Going To Love Her)"
"The Plutonian Elf Story"
"Check out Alternative Tentacles Records' release
of the delightfully weird space-age, '70s glam rock band Zolar X's compilation "Timeless." The freaky pre-punk, Ziggy Stardust-style act may seem like all space suits and Spock ears, but the album is a must-buy. Featuring 20 tracks (including the bizarrely gorgeous "The Horizon Suite"), it's like Freddie Mercury gone punk on opiates -- musical bliss."
"Wow. A while back a friend of ours at Alternative Tentacles told us that Jello Biafra was all keen on reissuing some ultra-obscure '70s LA punk/glam band who apparently dressed up like space aliens and pretended they were from another planet (it helped that all the band members happened to be fairly short). Sounds, uh, interesting we said, we'll be curious to hear it... Well now we've heard that band -- this band, Zolar X -- and we've gotta say, Jello, thank you! This is freakin' awesome!
Brimming with extra-terrestrial energy, this collection compiles twenty tracks (fewer on the LP version) from three different recording sessions and Zolar X line-ups. Memphis 1976, LA 1979 and San Francisco 1980. All are great. Jello considers Zolar X to be "the missing link between Chrome and the Stooges"...and indeed some of this has that vibe, sorta like Simply Saucer. But the '60s pop background and Bowie-worship of Zolar X's prime movers Zory Zenith and Ygarr Ygarrist Lazor really results in something that was both more bubblegum and yet more metal too. Zolar X's collision of punk and glam, though totally underground, had definite classic, commerical rock pretensions...the vocals sound just a little bit like Geddy Lee of Rush, and the arena-rock guitars and epic songwriting remind us of Thin Lizzy, Queen, and Blue Oyster Cult as well. You'll even hear a little "Cat Scratch Fever" in their song "Moonbeams" we think...and the Beatles in "Blues On Blue."
Now, tongue in cheek it all may be: what to make of a song (a great song!) entitled "I Pulled My Helmet Off (I'm Going To Love Her)"? The lyrics are worthy of Jack Black/Tenacious D! Or a 19-minute rock opera called "Plutonian Elf Story" (this disc's final, amazing track)?? Well you gotta stop thinking like an Earthling and get with the Zolar X program! Yeah, costume-rock bands normally invite skepticism as to their musical worth -- I mean, would you wear spacesuits and Martian antennae if you had *songs*? KISS may or may not be a good counter example, but Zolar X sure is. Silly haircuts, outfits and names aside, they ROCKED. I think the secret is, that they seemed to take themselves seriously. This was no joke band. At least, not outwardly. Reportedly, they even stayed in character when off-stage. Seeing them live must have been incredible, if the color photos in the cd booklet -- and the stories told in the lengthy liner notes -- are anything to go by. It's hard to tell why they never "made it". You'd have thought that the old "take me to your leader" routine would have worked. Oh well. They picked the wrong planet I guess.
And as a side note, we're proud that our record store actually played some small, entirely random part in getting this reissued, as Jello mentions in his liner notes that he bought his first copy of the Zolar X LP out of the bargain bin here at Aquarius, doubtless years and years ago. Maybe we weren't recommending it then, but we sure are now! Timeless indeed. Shoulda been huge. It's time now though...get this!!"
- Aquarius Records
"If it's true what they say about the '90s' post-modern culture of ironic thinking dying with the 20th century, then I can't think of a better time than now to explore the alternate universes inhabited by so-called "outsider" artists like Gary Wilson, Bobby Conn and now ZOLAR X!!!! The story sounds too good to be true. Early-'70s 4-piece surfaces in the pre-punk LA rock scene, claiming to be aliens, dressing in silver space suits 24-7 and playing hard early glam-metal rock operas about life on this planet Earth as they saw it. Songs such as "The Horizon Suite," "I Pulled My Helmet Off (I'm Going to Love Her)" and "What Is Music" were huge dramatic foot-stompers complete with fey falsetto lead vocals, punchy guitars and bass kicks that hit like a velvet glove to the face. Awesome! Yet boasting a rabid local fan base that included Kim Fowley and Ace Frehley from Kiss, world domination was always a half step out of reach...until now! If the Darkness' debut album saved your life last year, and Suffragette City is a place you often visit, pick this great reissue up and bow down to your new masters."
- Other Music