By Jason Wellwood
People reading this review will probably be split in two groups: the people who have no frackin’ clue who Zodiac Mindwarp is and the people who thought he died after 1988’s Tattooed Beat Messiah. There might be a couple of you who know that Zodiac has been (not so) quietly making new records and playing gigs ever since being dropped from his label in 1990. However, this is the first record in 20 years that actually has a label attached to it with any sort of clout and SPV have jumped on at an absolutely brilliant point. We Are Volsung is a monster hard rock record! Oddly, this is half a concept album as Zodiac wrote half the songs with a Viking theme to it before realizing that he might be affiliating himself with Nazi’s as well. That’s when the songs took a turn and the concept died. The songs and the album as a whole do not suffer because of this though. Top to bottom, this is the best record Zodiac has ever done and is sure to be a favourite with all the dirty biker rock fans out there. Over the years Zodiac’s records have encompassed biker rock, psychedelia, a little electronica, and some industrial but on We Are Volsung, Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction are bikers, they are cowboys and they are definitely Vikings.
Guitarist Cobalt Stargazer is at his absolute most unhinged on this record: perched and ready to go completely off the track and dissolve into a mess at any moment but never quite toppling. It’s incredibly catchy and, at times, jaw droppingly powerful. The new rhythm section of Jack Shitt (bass) and The Cat (drums) are not only tight sounding and massively complementary to the insanity of Cobalt and Zodiac, but they actually sound like they know what they’re doing with their instruments. The Love Reaction has never sounded so dirty, so depraved and so together all at once. Zodiac’s voice is still straight jack and 4 pack-a-day raw, and his lyrics are still indecipherable but it’s more about the feeling with Zodiac. We Are Volsung will make you feel like pumping your fist in the air, standing on the table, double fisting and kicking over glasses. Then, when it’s over, it will leave you feeling like you need a shower.