Dee Snider, "We Are the Ones" (Red River/Twisted Sister Records)
With Twisted Sister in his rearview mirror after 40 years of glam metal mayhem, vocalist Dee Snider has unleashed a torrent of creative fury on his new solo album, "We Are the Ones."
While at times he felt constrained to a certain late '70s/early '80s sound with Twisted Sister, Snider lets his musical freak flag fly here on a collection of adrenaline-soaked rockers, defiant anthems and some unexpected curveballs, including a hip-hop beat on "Superhero."
But the biggest surprise of all is a stripped down piano ballad version of Twisted Sister's signature song, "We're Not Gonna Take It." Snider, who has caught the Broadway bug badly, and recently released an album of show tune covers, redoes his biggest hit as he would at the climax of a play, just an emotive vocalist and a single piano.
The title track is pure straight-ahead hard rock, served up hot and fast. "Close to You" channels Snider's longtime admiration for Alice Cooper, portraying a creepy stalker in a chillingly crafted track.
"Crazy for Nothing" has the catchy chorus and the hard-hitting guitars to make it a hit single (were it not for the F-bombs Snider drops.)
He does a steaming cover of Nine Inch Nails "Head Like a Hole," and closes with the defiant "So What," replete with repeated references to raising middle fingers high in the air and not caring what others think, which has been Snider's guiding philosophy for decades.