Never Let the Bastards Wear You Down
our score: 2.5 out of 5.0
Sister frontman Dee Snider has made a return to pop culture recently.
Snider could be spotted on talk shows
promoting the Twisted Sister tribute album released in the summer
of 2001. Or you may have seen him at MTV's 20th Anniversary celebration.
He was also seen hosting VH1's Top 40 Hair Bands of All Time countdown.
However, you may not realize that
Snider released a solo album in 2000. Music-Critic was asked to
review a copy a while back, and we thought now would be a good
The album does not sound bad at all.
It is a good solid collection of songs in Snider's trademark mid-80s
hard rock style. And, if you still enjoy Twisted Sister records,
you'll like this. In fact the album consists mainly of songs which
were not included on previous Twisted Sister albums.
However, the hair band era is long
gone, and the record sounds terribly dated. It is not 1984 anymore.
Also, it is difficult to take Snider
seriously as a legit musician. His name conjures up images of
those silly MTV videos with the bad hair and makeup. Snider's
songs have become the soundtrack of manufactured rebellion. "We're
Not Gonna Take It" has become the song you hear in sports
arenas when the home team falls behind.
It is this image problem that hurts
songs on his solo album like "Our Voice Will Be Heard"
and "Hard Core", Snider's tribute to Lemmy of Motorhead.
No one would consider Dee Snider hardcore.
Elsewhere on the album, Snider's
cover of Dion's early-60s classic "The Wanderer" is
a nice tribute to one of his influences, but it sounds awkward
in his hands. Also, it was unwise to write a song called "Desperato"
when the classic song by the Eagles is so well-known.
Despite these faults, I am inclined
to give Snider a break because of the way he stood up for musicians'
First Amendment rights in his testimony in front of Congress in
the '80s. He didn't back down from a group of well-meaning but
misguided parents and politicians while others caved in. For that
he deserves everlasting respect.
I am glad Snider is getting a chance
to continue to record. May he continue to carry the flag for 80s
hair bands for years to come.
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