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Solid but hampered by two horrible tracks
on 25 June 2009
Twisted Sister were on a roll with Stay Hungry. They knew they had a winner on their hands, even before it was released - quite how big it would become, due to MTV, surprised everybody. However the follow up of Come Out and Play is a different story. Dogged by poor production, that saps the guitars and drums of any power, it remains a pale imitation of its predecessor.
The title track rattles off the starting line with some degree of promise (the intro having been knicked from the film `The Warriors'), being both pacey and anthemic. But the cracks are painfully evident on the dire follow up, and surprising cover of `The Leader Of The Pack'. A bit like the story in the song, this is literally a car crash. It sounds as if it's been written and performed, on the first take, by 5 blokes hauled off the streets of downtown Dumsville. Interestingly this horror originally surfaced on the bands Rough Cutts 12 inch, which means it has some history with the band. Suffice to say, it's ghastly on Rough Cutts as well but it is made slightly more palatable by being under produced on this earlier version - a case of less is more in this instance. To this day I can't figure out if it is a joke track or not.
But it gets worse. 'Be Chrool to Your Scuel' is the type of banal nadir that Alice Cooper trots out, replete with Jerry Lee Lewis style piano hammering. It's notable that Alice had a hand in this cartoon monstrosity so it's no surprise that it apes his style.
These two (joke?) songs are so bad it's hard to ignore them but it's definitely not all bad news. Closing the original album is `Kill or Be Killed', which is a ferocious track with a great harmony in the memorable chorus, and `The Fire Still Burns' is an excellent pounding anthem that still smoulders to this day as a great live staple for the group. ` I Believe in Rock N Roll' and `You Want What We Got' are straightforward air punching rabble rousing anthems, whilst `I Believe In You' and the extra track `King Of Fools' are more honest, slower and introspective in approach.
This, unlike Stay Hungry, is not a classic album. It has fatal flaws in the one dimensional light production and the dire LOTP and BCTYS tracks, but ultimately it's minimum depth bubble gum approach makes it perfect fodder for yelling along to whilst driving the car.