Having reactivated Twisted Sister last decade, Dee Snider has smartly reinvented himself in recent years as a reality TV star, radio host, author and occasional actor. Originally planned as a joint project with Alice Cooper, this selection of Broadway showtunes in beefy orchestral rock arrangements is a bold assault on conventional notions of good taste, much of it reliably hideous but still admirably audacious.
Subtlety, it must be said, is not Snider’s strong point. He assails every number like it is an enemy fortress, blasting its battlements with a barrage of overdriven guitars while frequently pushing his voice beyond its natural limits into a gravelly, bombastic honk.
Thus he sounds oddly like James Dean Bradfield on the louche but leaden Mack The Knife, and Shirley Bassey on the burlesque raunch of Whatever Lola Wants. At his worst, he mutilates timeless standards like There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame into gruesome Frankenstein hybrids of Meat Loaf-flavoured music-hall metal.
That said, there is an undeniably sassy swagger to his Cyndi Lauper duet Big Spender and a whiff of Metallica-style menace to his gnarly thrash-lite take on The Ballad Of Sweeney Todd.
Don’t give up your day jobs just yet, Dee, but full marks for effort.