Album of the Week: ZOLAR X/THE SPYS – ’00X When Worlds Collide’

It’s 1973. Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust tour has just ended launching Bowie into super stardom and influencing a generation, when a group of interstellar musicians make Los Angeles home. They call themselves Zolar X, they speak a language called Zolarian, they wear spaced-out costumes, have pointy Spock ears, silver helmets and they play damn perfect glam rock.

Zolar X enjoyed an early notoriety in a city used to people from the outside and they quickly ended up sharing the stage with the likes of Iggy & The Stooges, New York Dolls, and Van Halen. KISS guitarist Ace Frehley is of course a huge fan and in 1974 they recorded and released an acetate single – ‘Space Age Love / Energize Me‘, in an effort to generate record company interest, (only ten were made available and now fetch upwards of $1,000 on Discogs). Despite getting these in the hands of record companies and creating a buzz in the city of angels, Zolar X still couldn’t manage to get signed.

In 1976, as punk gained a foothold, a band like Zolar X were seen more as a gimmick than anything else. Frustrated and disappointed they decided to take a break. While on hiatus, guitarist Ygarr Ygarrist forms The Spacers, more of an incarnation of Zolar X than anything else and still they can’t make it work. Ygarrist eventually forms a punk band called The Spys releasing a single ‘Rich Girl/No Good/Death Trap‘, however the guitarist begins to spiral out of control with drug and alcohol abuse and The Spys don’t really get off the ground.

Zolar X got back together in 1979, and recorded the album ‘Timeless‘ in 1980 before breaking up in 1981. ‘Timeless‘ was released independently in 1982 after they had called it quits.

By 2004, Zolar X had become cult heroes and one long time fan, Jello Biafra, decided to release a deluxe edition of ‘Timeless‘ on his Alternative Tentacles label. Since then Zolar X reformed a number of times – albeit with a veritable revolving door of members with Ygarrist the constant, toured, recorded new music (with mixed results) and in 2007 they unsuccessfully competed on The Next Great American Band reality show, disastrous really.

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Now in 2019, ‘00X When Worlds Collide‘ collects 5 previously released and unreleased Zolar X tracks, some re-recorded. The tracks span decades with ‘Spacers‘ being written in 1972 and ‘Alien Heart‘ in 2012. The album also includes 7 raw punk recordings as The Spys, some original, some also re-recorded and featuring Germs drummer Don Bolles!

But every track here shows the promise of a group of musicians that seemed to always be in the right place at the wrong time, or the wrong place at the right time?

00X When Worlds Collide‘ is released as a collectible 12” Vinyl Picture Disc – Zolar X on side 1 and The Spys on side 2, only 250 available.






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One foot in the door
The other one in the gutter

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