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May 17, 2024

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Zolar X
Timeless (Alternative Tentacles)

By: Jeb Branin

ZOLAR X was reputedly a 1970s glam band whose shtick was centered on being Star Trek inspired space aliens (assuming this isn't all some sort of joke). Although together for a decade or so, the band seemed to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time and never garnered any serious attention in spite of the success of other spaced out glam bands including ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS, KISS, ALICE COOPER or even the NEW YORK DOLLS. Alternative Tentacles seems an unlikely label to finally bring ZOLAR X out of the void and into the stereos of rock fans around the world. After all, A.T. founder Jello Biafra made his mark in the music world be offering himself and his legendary band the DEAD KENNEDYS as an alternative to the image consciousness of rock in general and 70s rock in particular - oh well, stranger things have happened.

Musically I was surprised to hear the ZOLAR X material presented on Timeless. It is fairly mature and focused rock and roll that certainly doesn't have the instant accessibility and simple appeal of bands like the DOLLS or KISS but more than holds its own with many of the second tier glam bands.

Maybe ZOLAR X would have been better served by relocating to England. Maybe they were just a tad too late to the scene, not hitting their stride until after the mid-70s when, ironically, the punk scene and bands like the DEAD KENNEDYS had successfully deflated the glam scene. Whatever the reason for their failure in the 70s, this is still a solid release for fans of the era and is even progressive enough to appeal to fans of other recently rediscovered 70s bands like NEKTAR.

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