Twisted Sister – [Album]

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

While Twisted Sister has since gone on to really only be remembered for a handful of singles (“I Wanna Rock” and “We're Not Gonna Take It,” most notably) and singer Dee Snider's shockingly articulate, “dark horse makes good” performance (alongside John Denver) at the PMRC censorship hearings of 1985, there was a time when the band rode incredibly high on a series of hit records and singles. Twisted Sister's caustic blend of Noo Yawk punk, glam rock and metal was a crossover favorite for many, and made many of the band's members very wealthy men. To all good things an end must come though and, truly, Love Is For Suckers was it for Twisted Sister; after five years, the band had run itself pretty ragged and that was beginning to show by the time they gasped their last in 1987.

From the very opening of “Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant),” listeners will be able to mark the band's laden step and the noticeable lac of originality to the proceedings. In fact, it would almost be a safe guess that “The Sleeping Giant” of the song is actually Snider himself as the singer rasps his way through lines like, “It's time to remember/It's time to move on/They've pushed it too far/They don't know what we've done” and never really succeeds at overcoming inertia through the song's run-time. The going doesn't get a whole lot better as the band lifts the melody and most of the chord progression from AC/DC's “You Shook Me All Night Long” for “Hot Love,” and the title track unloads a series of very dated cliches and sonic elements that those old enough to remember might swear came out of movies like He-Man and/or any number of Hollywood horror franchises.

Is it weak? It certainly sounds weak twenty-four years later, but fans might not have noticed so much in 1987. Fans might have just been thrilled to get another Twisted Sister album; but it doesn't fare so well now, even from a nostalgia standpoint – it just feels stale.

As is the case with so many reissues, the hope for this re-release of Love Is For Suckers is that a few bonus tracks will inspire old fans to buy the album again to see if any gems got lost in the shuffle the first time, and maybe re-live a few glory days with the band. That's all well and good and, to be fair, the four extra songs appended to the album will thrill Twisted Sister fans – they just won't draw a whole lot of new ears. “Feel Appeal” is a spry rocker that recalls Twisted Sister in their prime while “Statutory Date” skips any sinister overtones that such a song might have carried just a couple of years later and just rocks out as campy fun the same way “We're Not Gonna Take It” did but, after that, it's safe enough to just turn the stereo off. The last two songs would have done well enough on radio at any time between 1982 and 1985, but they just feel limp and cheesy now and no one would have held it against the band if they had remained in the vaults.

Of course, as everyone knows now, Love Is For Suckers would be Twisted Sister's last showing for seventeen years before the band would jump on the nostalgia bus in 2004 and hang on for dear life. To their credit, the nostalgia trip has proven to serve them well enough until now, but reissuing Love Is For Suckers may have been a wasted effort. There's just not that much here worth remembering and actually hearing it again only proves how little there was to care about on Love Is For Suckers the first time.



The Armoury Records Remaster Series reissue of Love Is For Suckers comes out on March 15, 2011. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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