Club Daze Volume One (Spitfire Records)
By: Jeb Branin
In 1982 when I first discovered TWISTED SISTER people laughed at me because they were so "outlandish" and "dressed liked women". Three years later TS were the hottest thing since Chinese take out. Three more years and their rocket to fame had flared out big time. It's now 1999 and I just bought the latest TS release, autographed, no less. Again people laugh. Haven't I "outgrown" this kind of stuff "yet". Hell, no!!! I have loved everything TWISTED SISTER has ever done. I've dragged myself to packed concert halls and to tiny clubs to see Dee Snider and/or TS play. I consider myself a devote "dirtbag" and have even worn a Twisted Sister pin "on my uniform" as it were lecturing to my college students, most of whom nowadays have no idea who TS are or, I suppose more appropriately, "were". "Club Daze Volume One" is a look at the TWISTED ones pre-fame and pre-record deal. These 13 tracks include never before released demo tracks circa 1978-79 and demo tracks that actually made it to vinyl in the form of the self released singles and the Secret Records EP "Ruff Cuts" circa 1980-81. About half of the cuts are vintage examples of the early TS metal sound with all the pomp and presence that eventually made them household names. The other half aren't really metal at all but a quasi-glam rock that has more in common with THE NEW YORK DOLLS and THE DICTATORS than, say, AC/DC. Since these songs were all recorded when the band was at the height of their club circuit success they are predictable a bit long winded at times. When a band is playing 3 sets a night in some filthy bar room they tend to stretch each song out to nearly the breaking point just to keep their sanity and to make the sets manageable. The best tracks here are the later ones that were previously released although "Come Back" and "Pay The Price" are noteworthy additions to the TS legacy and have never really seen the proper light of day before. Right in the middle of "Club Daze" there are a handful of Jay Jay French penned tunes that are the most glam influenced cuts on the CD and illustrate exactly why the band achieved fame and fortune with Dee writing all the music. This album is highly recommended and will undoubtably make my "Best of 1999" list but as a caveat I should say that I am the first to acknowledge that I have absolutely no objectivity when it comes to TWISTED SISTER. I just love 'em too much.
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