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Damn Fine Work By Dee and Pitrelli - 70%

DeathRiderDoom, March 24th, 2010

After record company pressures and other tensions, Twisted Sister disbanded in the late 80s, with Dee wasting no time in writing material for his solo career. Beginning things with Desperado, Snyder branched out into more of a blues-rock direction, and wrote an album of material for another project, Widowmaker, which had a bit more allegiance to the late 80’s Sister sound, but a bit heavier. The album, though not a commercial success was a consistently strong outing, showing off Dee’s great voice, strong songwriting skills, and a great production job. Still catchy as ever, this one loses a lot of the candy-ass pop feel of ‘Love is for Suckers’ and kicks listeners in the pants with crunchy guitars and pounding drums, coupled with powerful hooks.

Hard hitters like ‘Evil’ and ‘Blood and Bullets’offer up some great drum-work by Twisted Sister’s drummer Joe Franco, who is on form throughout the album. This one features a great solo and some interesting touches by Al Pitrelli, who is really on fire throughout this material. Anthems abound throughout much of the album; Dee Snyder proving he really is a force in this aspect – with ‘Snot Nose Kid’, ‘Emaheevul’ and ‘The Widowmaker’ and ‘Gone Bad’ all being excellent in this regard. The former has a powerful, layered vocal chorus, and while crunchy, thanks to excellent guitar work and production, has a poppiness to it a la Ratt. A memorable track with a hallmark guitar performance and great work by Snyder.Great anthems, heavy guitars and strong songwriting are found throughout this great album.

This album is very good – not the outright blues rock of Desperado, but a very hard hitting brand of hard rock, with metal tinges. It’s not soft and sappy nonsense, like the stuff from Bon Jovi that was coming out at the time – sure, it’s catchy, but it’s very hard, and full of attitude. This one is capped off by strong performances all round, especially guitarist Pitrelli, whose seasoned veteranism comes through in relentless creativity in the riffs – a standout performance. Dee Snyder is brilliant, and everything he touches seems to turn to gold. Both this stuff, and the blues rock stuff by Desperado are strongly recommended, particularly if you can enjoy well done hard rock. Perhaps not surprisingly, this is great stuff, and totally recommended to fans of Twisted Sister or even stuff like Ratt or Lynch Mob.

-DeathRiderDoom