Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction are a British hard rock group. The band is the brainchild of Mark Manning, a graphic artist and editor of London’s Flexipop magazine. Deciding to experience the debauchery of life as a decadent rock star, he assumed the alter ego Zodiac Mindwarp, and formed The Love Reaction in the early 1980s together with guitarist Cobalt Stargazer. Other band members, who came and went over the years, include Kid Chaos, Slam Thunderhide, Evil bastard, Trash D Garbage, Flash Bastard, Suzy X, Tex Diablo and Robbie Vom.
Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction play an ultra sleazy style of commercial hard rock featuring big riffs and big choruses, as was the trend in the band’s heyday of the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s. The outrageously camp lyrics are intended as self-parody, and can be seen as either humorous (by those who “get the joke”) or offensive (by those who take them at face value) for their often lascivious and misogynist tone. Song titles like “Back Seat Education,” “Feed My Frankenstein,” “High Heeled Heaven” and “Trash Madonna” illustrate Zodiac’s tongue-in-cheek approach. Lyrical content also exhibits a send up of cult worship, often of Zodiac Mindwarp’s self proclaimed raging libido, with the frontman claiming the titles of “sex führer,” “love dictator” and “high priest of love.” Songs such as “Holy Gasoline,” “President of the United States of Love,” “Messianic Reprise,” “Planet Girl” and “Elvis Died for You” are similarly inclined.
The video for the band’s track “Prime Mover” was directed by Comic Strip actor/comedian Adrian Edmonson. Featuring explosions, scantily-clad young women and the band as alien invaders it immaculately captured the band’s nasty, posturing style.
Occasionally referred to as “biker rock,” the band’s style of hard rock is reflected in their outlandish attire, which tends to parody the post-apocalyptic “Mad Max” biker look. However, they have adopted a more common “street look” in recent years.
Zodiac co-wrote the track “There’s a Barbarian in the Back of My Car” on the Voice of the Beehive album Let It Bee. He also co-wrote the track “Feed My Frankenstein” which appeared on the Alice Cooper album Hey Stoopid. Zodiac Mindwarp and The Love Reaction recorded their own version of the song which appeared on the album Hoodlum Thunder.
In 1992 Zodiac appeared on the album 456 by The Grid, singing lead vocals on the album’s final track “Fire Engine Red.” Love Reaction guitarist Cobalt Stargazer also appeared on the same album, performing on the tracks “Face The Sun” and “Leave Your Body”.
In recent years Mark Manning has established himself as author penning books entitled Bad Wisdom (with Bill Drummond), Crucify Me Again, Get Your Cock Out, Fucked By Rock, Collateral Damage and The Wild Highway (again with Bill Drummond).