Twisted Sister Under the Blade

Twisted Sister Under the Blade
Hair metal's dominance, decline and re-emergence as a semi-ironic joke is well known to even the most casual music fans. But that narrative has reduced even the best bands from the so-called genre to one or two songs ripe for use in the latest teen comedy trailer. In reality, there is a musical lineage to these bands and in the case of the best groups, records worth exploring beyond their signature singles. It's easy to see how Twisted Sister's 1982 debut, Under the Blade, didn't break the band the way third album Stay Hungry would. The raw production, courtesy of UFO's Pete Way, and lack of an obvious hit weren't about to launch a crew of outlandish looking metalheads into the mainstream. But it laid the groundwork for their future success, stripping away the blues influences of the New York Dolls and Alice Cooper, whose singing style Dee Snider clearly nicked before developing his wail, and fusing it with a tongue-in-cheek presentation that latter-day hair metal bands clearly lacked. This reissue includes four demos that made-up the original Ruff Cuts EP and a live cut, as well as a DVD of their appearance at the 1982 Reading Festival. And while these are only necessary for the most die-hard Twisted Sister fans, the original album is a must for anyone with an interest in the history of American hard rock. (Armoury)