Twisted Sister - A Twisted Christmas album review

Get thee behind me, Santa

Cover art for Twisted Sister - A Twisted Christmas album

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These days Christmas albums have become a tacky, cynical, moneygrubbing fixture in a festive season already overstuffed with commercialised vulgarity. So respect is due to Dee Snider and his hard-rocking elves for going the extra mile with their 2006 festive stocking-filler, which pushed gaudy yuletide cash-ins to new heights of migraine-inducing, cross-dressing, office party naffness. This is the album, in other words, that Twisted Sister were born to make.

A Twisted Christmas treats a range of seasonal classics including White Christmas, Deck The Halls and Let It Snow to the full glam-metal treatment of clobbering drums and squeaky-shiny hard-rock riffola, with Snider’s signature nails-on blackboard screech the icing on the cake. It is relentlessly horrible, of course, but no more so than most Green Day albums and considerably more fun. The melodic parallels between O Come All Ye Faithful and We’re Not Gonna Take It are amusingly highlighted, and there are pleasing in-jokey nods to Judas Priest, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and others. A decade later, this straight no-frills reissue remains difficult to like but still oddly compelling, like watching a scary cross-dressing clown vomiting half-digested mince pies into the eager upturned faces of carol-singing Dickensian orphans. Just not quite as entertaining as that sounds.

Stephen Dalton

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.