Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy, aka the Joyful Gadfly! Musician, podcaster, writer, historian ... here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Twisted Sister ~ Still Hungry




(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: glam, hard rock, shock rock
Label: Spitfire
Year: 2004
Home: New York City

Members: Dee Snider ~ vocals
Eddie "Fingers" Ojeda, Jay Jay French ~ guitars
Mark "The Animal" Mendoza ~ bass
A. J. Pero ~ drums


When I was first in school, while mom was getting ready to walk me, I would spin 45s on my little plastic record player ... which was often the first thing I did getting home. My small collection included Hall & Oates, George Harrison, Whitney Houston, We Are The World & Twisted Sister. Which one of these seems out of place? Later I got the full length "Still Hungry" by Twisted Sister, considered the climax of their output & I can't count the number of times I've listened to it ... & sang along to every word. Over the years the album has always stood up well. It's heavy, in a pre-death metal way & doesn't fall into the now dated sounding power ballad trap that later hair bands are plagued with. This is a must album for any metal collection. By the time my family got cable & thus MTV Twisted Sister was already out of the scene, so my primary approach to them has always been the music. This is probably a good thing, because you don't necessarily expect good music from a band that looks like clowns gone bad. Twenty years after "Still Hungry" was relegated to 'classic 80's discount bin' status, a reunited Sister went into the studio & re-recorded it nearly note-for-note. They also said that the original album was too glossy for their tastes, so taking advantage of new technology & musical trends they re-recorded the album (to quote allmusic.com) "to improve upon perfection." These are pretty much the same arrangments. On initial listen it might just sound like a remastered version, but there are slight differences that come out if you truly compare it to the original. It is heavier & darker, while the solos are a bit Slash-inspired & Dee's voice has changed so he doesn't hit the high notes like he did. It's still a great album, but it reminds me of the Cream reunion at the Royal Albert Hall some years ago. Cream was great because they were musicially a little rough & unpredictable, so when all the musicians reunited & showed they were better musicians 30 years later, it didn't improve the music. It just made all the songs sound more slick & less drug-inspired & raw. "Still Hungry" is supposed to sound better but I really don't see the improvement & can only wonder if this was done to help revive the T.S. franchise & Dee's music career. If you haven't heard TS this album is the best of their output & this version won't put you off, if you're an original fan this is a nostalgia trip & not necessary to get. The album includes 7 bonus tracks of material written for the original album but never recorded which are in some ways better then the 9 songs that preceed them as they sound like TS today & not TS trying to sound like yesterday. This is the reunion TS we want to hear, tucked away in obscurity. "Sgt. Pepper" is considered a pivitol album & a classic, I wonder if the remaining two Beatles have plans to re-record it? They haven't had a hit in years, maybe it's time. It's can't hurt, though it would probably be better to just make some new music.

(featured on the Roman Midnight Music CD Reviews & Interviews podcast: episode 2 "New Rock In New York City", September 2010, click here to listen)



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