Come Out and Play: Twisted Sister

Rating: 70%

TwistedSisterComeOutAndPlayAlbumCover.jpg1985, saw the rise of Glam Metal and lot of bands got thrown into that genre. Bands like W.A.S.P. and Twisted Sister were no exception. Now, I will admit, that growing up I had “Stay Hungry” as well as this record. I really enjoyed “Stay Hungry” as I thought it was about as raw as Heavy Metal could be without the commercialism.

A year later, “Come Out and Play” was released. I thought that the music lost much of it’s edge, loosing that rawness that made “Stay Hungry” so good. To me, musically, this album has a more heavy leaning toward Heavy Metal with Pop influences. The sound is very clean and polished. In some spots, I felt that the music was kind of bland, a bit plain and in some cases shapeless. The chorus lines are pretty beefy. I just feel that what you have here is a basic average record from the mid 1980’s.  

The musicianship is good if you’re into Glam Metal. You have one hell of a front man in vocalist Dee Snider. In recent years, I really have come to appreciate him trying to preserve 1980’s Heavy Metal on his radio show. Backing Dee is guitarists Eddie Ojeda & Jay Jay French, bassist Mark Mendoza, and drummer A. J. Pero.  

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Come Out and Play” 4:51
2. “Leader of the Pack” (The Shangri-Las cover) 3:48
3. “You Want What We Got” 3:45
4. “I Believe in Rock ‘n’ Roll” 4:03
5. “The Fire Still Burns” 3:34

Side two
6. “Be Chrool to Your Scuel” (featuring Alice Cooper) 3:53
7. “I Believe in You” 5:23
8. “Out on the Streets” 4:27
9. “Lookin’ Out for #1” 3:07
10. “Kill or Be Killed”


Out of the Cellar: Ratt

Rating: 80%


Model Tawny Kitaen

1984 was the year that the Glam Metal band Ratt released their debut record. A good friend of mine introduced to me to the band. Although, I wasn’t a fan of the Hair Metal or Glam Metal scene, Ratt was one of those bands that stood out from all of the other bands as they had a distinctive sound and vocal style. When you heard a Ratt song on the radio, you knew right away who it was. That was because of the musicianship itself. 

Musically, this is a guitar power driven band with lots of harmony and catchy melodies. The guitars had some fantastic leads and riffs. That was due to guitarists Robbin Crosby and Warren DeMartini. The back bone of the band consisted of bassist Juan Croucier and drummer Bobby Blotzer. Stephen Pearcy vocals are very strong and distinctive. The instrumentation is well balanced. Not a bad debut for a band that would take off and become one of the best of several Glam Metal bands. Just proof that, the 1980’s was about big hair, loud music, and partying.  

Track Listing:

Side one
1. “Wanted Man” 3:37
2. “You’re in Trouble” 3:16
3. “Round and Round” 4:22
4. “In Your Direction” 3:30
5. “She Wants Money” 3:04
Side two
6. “Lack of Communication” 3:52
7. “Back for More” 3:42
8. “The Morning After” 3:30
9. “I’m Insane” 2:54
10. “Scene of the Crime” 4:54

Rev It Up: Vixen

Rating: 75%

Vixenrev.jpgVixen followed up on their debut in 1990 with “Rev It Up.” Unfortunately, this album didn’t do so well. This was mostly due to the change in music popularity. Grunge was hitting the airwaves. Just like most of the Hair/Glam Metal bands, Vixen would fall victim to the new Pop Alternative and Grunge hitting the airwaves. Shame too! As Vixen could’ve been so much more.

Janet Gardner still sounds amazing. She can hit those high notes. Jan Kuehnemund throws out some decent riffs and leads. Nothing killer, but decent. The rhythm section of bassist Share Pedersen and drummer Roxy Petrucci are still on top of their game. All of the band in fact are great.

Musically, this album is very pop orientated. Think along the lines of Bon Jovi. The music itself is very polished and filtered. It’s not heavy, but it is hard. Either way, Vixen is a band that deserves respect. If it wasn’t for a change in the mainstream, Vixen could’ve been something larger.


Track listing:

Rev It Up 4:55
How Much Love 4:38
Love Is A Killer 4:41
Not A Minute Too Soon 4:23
Streets In Paradise 4:29
Hard 16 4:01
Bad Reputation 4:08
Fallen Hero 5:17
Only A Heartbeat Away 5:08
It Wouldn’t Be Love 4:39
Wrecking Ball 5:12

Vixen: Vixen

Rating: 85%

R-2005870-1371458879-8701.jpeg.jpgI remember when Vixen released their debut in 1988. I must admit, I thought Vixen was a good band. They proved that girls could rock as hard as dudes. So, when I caught wind of this band in one of the Heavy Metal magazines, I was like “Damn!” The music of Vixen, although, was along the lines of Glam/Hair Metal, I thought was a good band.

The musicianship of lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist Janet Gardner, lead guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, bassist Share Pedersen, and drummer Roxy Petrucci was outstanding. Janet Gardner’s vocals were amazing. She had and still has the range. Jan Kuehnemund provides some killer riffs as well as some kick ass leads. The drumming and bass are good as well.

Musically, the overall sound was crisp and clean. It was very polished and at times could even have a strong Pop sound to the music. “I Want You To Rock Me” and “Cryin'” are good examples of that.  “Edge Of A Broken Heart” by Richard Marx was made popular by the band. Other songs put in mind of the Runaways or early Lita Ford. Also, some of the songs have a ballad structure. Most of the songs are based upon a much mid level tempo. Other songs are built around more of a Hard Rock structure than Heavy Metal.


So, if you like 1980’s Heavy Metal or Hard Rock, Vixen may be a good band for you to check out. I can honestly say, Vixen is one of those underrated bands and I am glad to see that the band, for the most part, is still performing.

Track listing:

Edge Of A Broken Heart 4:22
I Want You To Rock Me 3:28
Cryin’ 3:32
American Dream 4:17
Desperate 4:17
One Night Alone 3:48
Hell Raisers 4:25
Love Made Me 3:16
Waiting 3:09
Cruisin’ 4:23