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Twisted Sister: Club Daze Volume II (remaster)

Twisted Sister were one of the bands who shaped my early listening habits and in truth, have played a part ever since. The band's 1983 release You Can't Stop Rock N Roll was a frequent visitor to the death deck, leaving me with a hankering for fist in the air rock from those days on. Dismissed by many as a novelty act, TS were never as dumb as they were happy to lead people to believe, with anyone who took the time to look beyond the chanted choruses and foot stomping beats, finding songs that while dripping with lethal riffs and snorting vocals, were in fact influenced by classic R&R from the 50's and 60's. Something that this excellent reissue of the second volume of Club Daze ably demonstrates.

Initially released by the long since disappeared Spitfire Records, Club Daze Vol II (Live In The Bars) brings together seven 1979 live tracks from a never aired radio recording, four from a WLIR and WBAB radio session and two new songs that had initially been written for the band's 1984 breakthrough album Stay Hungry. Those two cuts open proceedings, with "Never Say Never" and "Blastin' Fast And Loud" both combining AJ Pero's original drum tracks, with fresh guitar and vocals which were recorded in 2001 by the reformed Long Island outfit. Crammed with the vigour and attitude that these SMF's were always known for, these two make it worth investing in this remastered CD on their own, as they smack home with an uplifting power and authority. That's not to say that the vintage material isn't worthy of your time as well.

Due to the source of the live recordings the sound isn't quite up to the standards expected from modern in concert releases, something alluded to in the short, but interesting liner notes. However with the band's bassist Mark Mendoza handling the remastering of this disc, you can at least be assured that it isn't a glorified bootleg.

The seven tracks from the never broadcast show contains two previously unreleased numbers, with "Honey Look Three Times" and "You Know I Cry" offering up a glimpse of what Twisted Sister would be fully capable of only a few short years later. For real proof of that, slam on the fledgling "Under The Blade" to revel in the pure adrenalin that singer Dee Snider would infuse into all Twisted Sister early material. While the twin guitar pairing of Eddie Ojeda and Jay Jay French were already providing evidence that their many detractors were, and are, way wide of the mark. Interestingly these shows are actually from a time prior to drummer Pero joining the band, with Tony Petri putting in a solid shift behind the kit. The final four songs offer up another two first time releases, with "Without You" and "Plastic Money" holding up well, even though this session is by far the worst in terms of sound quality. Finally a strong nod towards Twisted Sister's influences closes the album, with rock and roll standards "Long Tall Sally" and "Johnny B. Goode" both receiving an affectionate boot up the ass!

Not quite as essential as the first volume of Club Daze discs, which brings together the band's early studio recordings, Volume II is still a great insight into why Twisted Sister caught the rock world's imagination, creating a truly dedicated fanbase that stays loyal to this very day.

Track Listing
1. Never Say Never (2001 Recording)
2. Blastin' Fast & Loud (2001 Recording)
3. Follow Me
4. Under The Blade
5. Lady's Boy
6. Come Back
7. Can't Stand Still
8. Honey, Look Three Times
9. You Know I Cry
10. Without You
11. Plastic Money
12. Long Tall Sally
13. Johnny B. Goode

Added: August 18th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Twisted Sister Official Website
Hits: 1799
Language: english

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