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Album Reviews : Dee Snider – We Are The Ones

By on March 5, 2017

DeeSniderWith a recorded history spanning 35 years, We Are the Ones is a surprisingly contemporary and thoroughly entertaining third solo album from ‘the nicest man in rock’n’roll’, Mr Dee Snider.

The storied history of Tri-State legends Twisted Sister has been well documented elsewhere, particularly in Sniders sensational biography Shut Up and Give Me the Mic (’12) in which he issues tale after cautionary tale of the pitfalls of pursuing a career in rock’n’roll fronting a dysfunctional band. Snider was never one for drugs, alcohol and women. Happily married to Suzette Snider since ’81, his life mirrors that of so many of his fans and followers. All of his projects are injected with his signature clarity… not everyone is a fan of the man however Snider always stands within his own truth and delivers content with refreshing honesty and sincerity.

We Are the Ones is a brisk take on rock’n’roll. It certainly issued a few surprises. The last thing I thought I’d hear is pop-punk in the vein of the excellent Patty Walters fronted outfit, As It Is. However the unmistakable DNA of the genre is all through the tracks “We Are the Ones”, “Over Again” and “Believe”. I was even more surprised to hear the sonorousness of Coldplay on the track “Rule the World”. If anything else… Snider was certainly paying attention to the shift in the musical landscape over the past 25 years. “Crazy for Nothing” would make Muse front-man and guitar/ piano prodigy Matt Bellamy blush. Nine Inch Nails superb eulogy to the banality of chasing riches “Head like a Hole”, makes a remarkable and well executed inclusion.

The musicians on the album are literally the finest collective that I’ve seen on the liner notes to an album in years. Current Meat Loaf and former Anthrax guitarist, Paul Crook, is a co-contributor. Those who saw ‘Loaf’s disturbing performance at the ’11 AFL Grand Final would have seen the peroxide blonde axe-man stage-right of the burly crooner. Crook is joined by former Kiss, W.A.S.P. and Michael Bolton collaborator Bob Kulick, easily one of the most underappreciated rock guitarists ever. On one of the albums strongest tracks, “Close to You”, it’s Bass prodigy Eva Gardner or the unknown Victoria Park who contribute one of the musical highlights via the addition of the stellar fret-less bass solo.

The re-interpreted and completely unnecessary “We’re Not Gonna Take It” detract from the overall listening experience. The original contains one of the great rock vocal performances and needed to be left alone as the icon it is. I suspect that this acoustic, stripped down version has been added to lure the more casual fan so I can see its value from a commercial perspective. Its possible it could work for a broader audience if the crew at Triple M’s Rush Hour add the track as an antidote to the usual slop aired between 6 and 9am.

The production and sound quality of the album is flawless. Hidden amongst all 10 album cuts are neat audio tricks and aural delights. I review every album with Parrot Zik 2.0 headphones, there is a tonne of energy emanating across the songs. The album owes as much to Sniders persistence as it does to his undoubted talent. The man is a legend, a real treasure of rock and metal and I urge any fan of our beloved genres to at least check out We Are the Ones.

Band: Dee Snider
Album: We Are The Ones
Year: 2016
Genre: Rock
Label: earMUSIC
Origin: United States

About

Andrew is a musician who has spent many years performing on the stages of the pubs and clubs of Queensland. A devotee of the broad church that is rock, punk, funk, jazz and of course all genres of metal... he now shares his enthusiasm via a burgeoning pursuit of music journalism. Follow him on twitter @andymckaysmith