Come Out and Play (Spitfire)
by Scott Hefflon
God’s ears are burning… From all over the country (and further, perhaps, who knows?), The Almighty’s attention is being caught by groans of “Oh God…” Upon investigation, The Big G discovers yet another poor soul has realized that Twisted Sister has re-issued most of their back catalog through Spitfire. Not the good record, of course, cuz Atlantic wants to hang onto that sucker. There were actual hits on that one. And while “Under the Blade” (off Under the Blade, duh), and “You Can’t Stop Rock’n’Roll” (take a guess, genius) got some radio play in their day, they ain’t nothin’ compared to the obvious from Stay Hungry like “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “I Wanna Rock” (a song that ruined the honest question “So whadda ya wanna do?” like Ghostbusters ruined “Who you gonna call?), et al. And while TS wrote anthems like crazy after that record (much of Come Out and Play ain’t bad, once you get past “Leader of the Pack” and “Be Chrool to Your School,” it’s littered with lines like “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of Rock” and “Do you take this music to be your lawfully wedded rock” [from “I Believe in Rock’n’Roll”]), no one gave a shit. For all their fist-pumping, flag-waving, and laying their souls at the altar of rock, people turned a cold ear to the big, ugly guys in tasseled women’s clothing and garishly-applied make-up. By ’87, when Love is for Suckers evidently came out, most of us had found better things to do with our time. Like most metal bands at the time (actually, in retrospect, it was hard rock – complete with melody, singing, flashy solos – not metal like, say, Pantera, White Zombie, or Korn, but who knew?), there was a fine line between anthemic rock and complete cheese power balladry, and most crossed it at some point, soiling their spandex-clad integrity, as if that wasn’t redundant. So while Mötley Crüe managed to redeem themselves momentarily with the sleazy Dr. Feelgood (some might say Girls, Girls, Girls, but I stand my ground and kick their Buckcherry-lovin’ asses in the end), Twisted Sister never recovered from, I dunno, whatever the “hit” was supposed to be from a turd like Love is for Suckers.
And as if anyone cares anymore, there’s the “new” record, Club Daze, which collects rare or never released studio versions of songs Twisted Sister used to perform in their club daze, before they were anybody. So after the fact, we get a before the fact release. The material is from ’78-81, and it sounds it. I guess if you have some sick curiosity as to what Twisted Sister sounded like before they got good, then got worse, here it is. I’d recommend extreme therapy instead, but if you must, you must. I guess next up is Spitfire releasing a best-of, huh?