Twisted Sister, a shock rock outfit with a history of 40 years of touring experience behind them are coming to and end and subsequently winding down their career with select US dates.
Front man Dee Snider revealed his intention to continue his solo career, a man no stranger to such endeavours with a fairly extensive career pursuing projects outside of Twisted Sister; spanning from 1988 with the outfit Desperado, then later with Widowmaker.
The latest solo instalment titled ‘We Are The Ones’ is “an album that is part Foo Fighters, part Imagine Dragons, part 30 Seconds To Mars. Forget anything from the past. Most of my heavy metal fans are gonna hate it – I’ve abandoned my past to move forward” proclaimed by Snider. Before lending an ear to the album, it’s if nothing else admirable for a man so renowned for one specific outfit to spread his proverbial wings and pave a new path for musical expeditions.
[contentblock id=141 img=adsense.png]
Leading the promotional front for the album is the staple track ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ created to support Criss Angels’ HELP charity raising funds for children with cancer. A track that encapsulated and embodied the sole message during the heavily publicised 1985 senate hearing with the PMRC, which saw Dee Snider represent heavy metal music in the war against Tipper Gore.
Although the new version lacks the backing of a full band, the simplicity of the track, consisting of Dee and a piano, enhance the message and allow the lyrics to be the leading force of the song. Lyrically the track easily masters the semantic shift, to deal with cancer and successfully achieves the powerful stance on the issue.
‘We Are The Ones’ opens with the title track and immediately what Snider stated undisputedly rings true, this is nothing like the Twisted Sister material. Lead by a low chugging riff, almost unrecognisable vocals from Snider and menacing backing vocals. A complete shift in the modern sound, charged with a full throttle, brash, borderline punk, attitude which could easily sit comfortably Black Veil Brides back catalogue. Lyrically it delivers nothing captivating, very mediocre, generic and lacking originality.
Consciously selecting Damon Ranger, an award winning songwriter, to produce and co-write the album inevitably was destined to achieve the modern edge Snider sought after when penning the album.
From the synth, electric-feel drum beat featured in ‘Over Again’ (stylistically comparable to Imagine Dragons sound) complimenting the initial soft spoken vocals building up to an onslaught of distortion and fierce vocals to the pop indulged, choral vocally soaked ‘Rule The World’ to ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ forming the mid section of the album there is definitely a concoction of styles brewing in the pot.
‘Believe’, with the driving force of the vocals and guitars the track blossoms into a punk rock ordeal, featuring the prominent anthemic choral vocals which surface; a recurring theme throughout the album.
A turning point in the album derives from the second cover on the album, ‘Head Like A Hole’, previously recorded by Nine Inch Nails. Perhaps a more obvious NIN song choice to cover, regardless Snider adds his own distinctive touch, coupled with Damons production skills to revamp and modernise the track to appear more current.
The penultimate track ‘Superhero’ proves difficult to digest if a fan of Snider’s earlier work, riddled with cliché pop melodies and structure, as a result it’s one of the few tracks on the album that are chart worthy.
When taking on a project such as ‘We Are The Ones’, especially from and experienced ageing rockstar, there’s always a tendency to fall into oblivion and completely miss the mark. Evidently Snider has done his research and taken extensive influence from a plethora of bands and musicians to successfully accomplish a new musical direction.