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Still mixed feelings - 75%

morbert, March 6th, 2008

Whereas I consider their previous effort “Stay Hungry” a milestone in eighties history. This time they took a few things too far and sound tired at times. On “Stay Hungry” the sleazy rock elements for some reason perfectly fell into place within the concept and diversity of the album. This time the album falls flat on its face a few times and picks itself up again and again.

Three mighty metal songs here uphold the standard. Opening title track “Come Out and Play” is even faster and more brutal than the opener to their pervious album. After a creepy intro the song erupts into up tempo metal becoming almost speed metal. Really powerful vocals and a world dominating chorus. “The Fire Still Burns” is a fascinating waltzing heavy metal song on which the drums play an important part and Dee Snider gives one of his most beautiful performances. Closing song “Kill or Be Killed” is a catchy up tempo song with a very strong chorus.

Where the album fails to deliver is on the cover “Leader of the Pack” which is funny in a ‘Holy Smoke’ kind of way, but feels out of place on a full length album. “Be Crool to Your Skool” suffers from the same problem. It’s a funny song, cool to hear Alice Cooper singing along and there are some nice details on piano but the song as a whole is not really good enough. Both these songs would have fitted better on an EP or in-between single.

The rest of the songs have some great ideas (“Out on the Streets”, ”Lookin' Out For #1”) but on songs like “You Want What We Got” and “I Believe in Rock 'n' Roll” the band fails at writing sing-a-longs equally good to earlier classics like “We’re not gonna take it” or “The Kids are Back”. Twisted Sister sounded like they were getting tired and only put an effort into a small amount of the songs (especially the earlier mentioned three classics) and should have taken more time writing material for this album and putting the finishing touches to some of the songs.