Pop quiz: What do you get when you mix the rebellious attitude found in 'New Wave of British Heavy Metal', mix it with the shock efforts of bands like Alice Cooper
, and add a smidgen of KISS's
The answer" Twisted Sister
no doubt had a glam-rock image going on, especially the vocalist (Dee Snider), who wore wigs and a nice-load of make-up, but what's often overlooked is the fact that their music had a whole lot more influence from bands such as Judas Priest
(evident in their riffs) and Motorhead
', the band's third studio album, gained instant success due to MTV, due to the fact that metal dominated MTV's airwaves (Oh, how the times have changed...). However, looking back on the album, the members of Twisted Sister
didn't appreciate it as much as they thought they would, disgusted with the whiney-guitar sound and overall thin sound. So what's a band to do" Well, they took all the old tracks off 'Stay Hungry
', and re-recording them, threw in a few bonus tracks, and threw out 'Still Hungry
Now I don't own 'Stay Hungry
', sadly. I'm not 100% sure that all of these songs have been faithfully recorded down to every last detail. What I mean by this is I don't know if they have been extended or not. However, I have heard a few songs off the original, and I will go on later to describe the re-mastering of sound on here. But anyway, I'm going to review the first 9-Original tracks off 'Still Hungry
' as if this was really 'Stay Hungry
', and then go on to examine the bonus tracks.
Review for 'Stay Hungry'
The title track, 'Stay Hungry
', kicks off this album with some pounding drums and a thumping bassline, before the song takes off with some slick guitar playing. The riffs, heavy and definitely headbangable, are contradicted by the almost pop-friendly chorus, giving more people to believe them to be a glam-band. However, tracks such as 'Burn in Hell
' and 'Horror-Teria
' would appease even thrash-metal fans. 'Burn in Hell
', once it gets going, features some thick palm-muted riffs that are dark and moody. 'Horror-Teria
', is actually a two part song, with the full name being 'Horror-Teria (A) Captain Howdy (B) Street Justice
'. However, 'Horror-Teria
' is just a name, and isn't actually any part of this song. 'Captain Howdy
' is the first part, and has some eerie guitar effects for the intro, which then moves into huge-chunked riffs and distorted palm-mutes. The final part of the song, ' Street Justice
' has more slicker, straightforward feel, and is certainly less creepy. 'The Price
' is this albums power ballad, with a beautifully calm single-guitar intro that flows throughout the song, with some change in heaviness. The final three tracks, 'Don't Let Me Down
', 'The Beast
', and 'S.M.F.
' are all fist-pumping Hard Rock songs, complete with grinding guitars. 'Don't Let Me Down
' is slightly slower than the three, and features more flowing riffs, while 'The Beast
' comes close to the previous tempo of the last song, its more of a chugger, especially during the chorus with the bass thumping everywhere. The final song, 'S.M.F.
' (which stands for 'Sick Mother F**king Friends Of Twisted Sister') closes the album with some headbanging riffs, with the guitar sticking close to the bass for a more straightforward sound.
The solos that appear on this album are actually pretty impressive. Not saying they're gonna make seasoned musicians amazed, but just enough to make them nod their heads once in approval. Solos on such tracks like 'Stay Hungry
', 'Burn in Hell
' and 'The Beast
' all feature short-and-sweet ripping solos, while on . 'The Price
' takes a more melodic approach. As a side note, solos appear on every song on this album, so eat your hearts out here.
Dee Snider is a rather underrated vocalist, with very appreciative vocal range. 'Stay Hungry
' shows his typical high-pitched, sneering-like vocals. He usually sounds as if he is looking down upon someone, and makes him sound almost ominous. On tracks like 'Burn in Hell
', and 'The Beast
', he can sound downright evil and creepy, and his voice mirrors one of a predator. His lyrics, as well, are very often quite entertaining. Lines such as 'You can hear the thunder, Long before the storm. But you can't hear the lion when he stalks his prey
' are an easy-listen on 'The Beast
'. Some of the coolest lyrics, however, come off of 'S.M.F.
' with 'Look and you'll see, You're a lot like me. You're an S.M.F.!
' (Note that S.M.F. here stands for Sick Mother F**cker).
Now, ask anyone if they know Twisted Sister
, and they will start to sing one of two songs, or even both; 'We're Not Gonna Take It
' and 'I Wanna Rock
'. Both of those songs are equally some of the greatest Hard Rock/Metal songs ever written, and are easily some of the greatest anthems ever as well. Both have been featured in numerous TV commercials, and 'We're Not Gonna Take It
' is a common song to be heard at protests.
'We're Not Gonna Take It
' comes in with a basic, bass-drum driven drum intro with Dee shouting 'We're not gonna take it! No, we ain't gonna take it!', that bangs its way right into the palm-muted verse. And who can forget the pre-chorus lyrics, with Dee and the gang shouting ' We're right!/Yeah!. We're free! We'll fight! You'll see!
'. The chorus, which is highly anthemic, features the same lyrics that Dee was shouting in the beginning, with the guitars taking more of a backseat to the drums and climbing bassline. On the original version, there was just a semi-solo (more of a lead part) that became a dual-semi-solo. Here, it actually becomes a real, shredding solo, before it becomes the dual-semi-solo, a nice little change. It reverts back to just the drum intro and Dee again, before the chorus begins to plow away again. Dee's voice seems a tad bit lower this time around than on the original version, but granted the guy is about 30 years older now. Overrated' Hell no, this ones a classic. You'll be headbanging and shouting 'We're not gonna take it!' at everyone from your boss to your girlfriend once you get this sucker stuck in your head.
'You are destroying your life with that'that...that GARBAGE! Alright, Mr. Sister, I want you to tell me; no, better yet, stand up and tell the class: What do you want to do with your life'!
Remember those lines from the video for 'I Wanna Rock
'' Cause I sure as hell do. Not only is it one of the coolest videos ever made, this song is probably Twisted Sister's
crowning achievement. Kicking off with the infamous cry of 'I WANNA ROCK!' by Dee, the song comes hammering away with the chorus and a full assault of chugging guitars. The verse is more bass driven, featuring a galloping bassline and the guitars throwing in a split second riff. The bridge becomes one of the most memorable parts of the song, with chopped riffs that fire out in-between the yells of 'ROCK!'. The solo is a short shredfest, wasting no time ripping the song a new one, and better yet, once the final chorus begins, solo-like variations are thrown all over before another starts up again under the yelling of Dee. A simply amazing track, one that has stood the test of time and will forever be remembered.
Overall Grade for 'Stay Hungry'
Review for the Bonus Songs
The first two bonus tracks, 'Never Say Never
' and 'Blastin' Fast and Loud
' were both recorded in '84, but never made it onto the album. Here, the band decided to release them to give the 'whole feel' of the era. It's a shame too, because both are great tracks. 'Never Say Never
' carries itself with its fast tempo and straight-to-your face guitars. The track actually has a slight 'Punk-Rock' feel to it, and comes complete with another sing-a-long chorus. The solo, like the solos of the real album, is very short and wastes no time in the element of fast playing. 'Blastin' Fast and Loud
' is exactly the same thing as 'Never Say Never
', and if you were to listen to them together, they sound like the same song. That must've been part of the reason they were taken off. However, if you're to listen to them separately and different times, they're great.
The next four tracks weren't originally planned to be on this album, but instead were songs that were never put on album but played during live events. So, they stuck 'em here. 'Comeback
' is a relatively mid-paced, hard hitting song. The grinding guitars however, soon began to sound repetitive. Actually, the exact same thing can be said for 'Plastic Money
'. 'You Know I Cry
' brings back a slight Punk influence, and is slightly faster than the previous two, but much softer. Dee's voice is used to propel the song forward during the verses, where as it is in the chorus. The solo takes a melodic approach, and is played in a relaxing tone. There's some imaginative guitarwork near the end before it fades out. 'Rock'N'Roll Saviors
' picks up where 'Plastic Money
' left off, with some chugging riffs all over the place.
The final song, 'Hero's Are Hard to Find
' was released on the 'Strangeland
' movie soundtrack. Another slight anthem, the song is again based off of Dee's voice, the bass, and the ever-present drums with the guitars throwing in their say every few seconds. Dee's voice sounds magnificent here, and the solo again takes a slight melodic approach.
Overall rating for the Bonus Tracks
' is well-worked project. The original tracks are all amazing, each with its own unique sound. The bonus tracks, however, are only mediocre. However, 'Hero's Are Hard to Find
', the last bonus track, is highly enjoyable. If you're at the store and you've got a choice between this or the original version, I'd go with this. Get more bang for your buck. And to finish off this review, here's some advice the band gave to us listeners for this album:
'In order to obtain maximum sensory enjoyment from the auditory representations contained herein, it is necessary to minimize lead resistance through the potentiometer in ones preamplification section. In other words'.Play it loud, mutha!
Overall (both original and bonus tracks combined)
Recommended Tracks (original and bonus)
We're Not Gonna Take It
Burn In Hell
I Wanna Rock
Never Say Never
' Hero's are Hard to Find