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Twisted Sister – The Kids are Back
Twisted sister are a thoroughly enjoyable band I used to listen to a hall of a lot in the early part of this decade. As you probably know - they’re particularly known for their positive youth orientated rock anthems – the title track certainly fitting well into this category. While this isn’t their best single, it’s a decent one and man are Twisted Sister fun!
‘The Kids Are Back’ is a cut from the ‘You Can’t Stop Rock n Roll’ full-length which is punchy and fun, while not their best number. We all know that Twisted Sister aren’t exactly the most ‘metal’ band out there, being known for their brand of youth anthems and steeped in a tradition of 70’s glam and more positive imagery, rather than the ‘metal’ or darker imagery of others. However, what they do have is a rebellious attitude which sticks it to the man, coupled with some guitar excellence, and a true frontman personality in Dee Snyder. This one contains a catchy chorus as one would expect, but is let down by some overly simplistic and lacklustre guitar. Production doesn’t sound too good throughout the song for some reason (maybe it’s just the songs simplicity?) but accentuation is giving by the ‘marching’ sounds at the beginning and end. Snyder’s vocals are typically sinister, grimy, and menacing which is fantastic. The guy’s got a pretty deep voice which sounds great when layered, such as in the chorus vocal.
‘Shoot ‘Em Down’ is a downtuned sounding track very much in the 80’s glam tradition. Subject matter is someone’s fixation on particularly fiery young lady who likes the attention she gets from guys, and derives pleasure from humiliating them (hence the title). Later in the song, the protagonist becomes enraged by this girl, and indeed all girls ‘teasing’ attitude toward guys (making them cry, etc.) and the lyric “shoot em down” takes on a different meaning. Plenty of other 80’s rock acts have tackled similar themes, some of which I’m sure you’re familiar with. This one’s got some nasty lyrics including in particular the first verse. Shouted slogans like “c’mon boys!!!” at the intro work very well to accentuating the brand of sound, while French and Ojeda puul out some dirty-sounding guitar lead action. The track is a bit repetitive I guess, and isn’t one of their stronger ones.
In conclusion – this isn’t the best TS single. Both songs are ok, but kind of average when coupled together on a single you’re supposed to go out of your way to purchase. You’d be better advised to pick up one of their other efforts – though stay clear of ‘Ruler of the Pack’ a cover of a song which I loathe. ‘The Kids are Back’ itself works well on the album it’s taken from, but here it seems weak, and lacking in attitude.