Twisted Sister - Best Of The Atlantic Years album review

Good news – they were as bad as you remember

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As the recent documentary We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! attested to, NYC’s most lovable cross-dressing mooks weren’t overnight sensations – they were the product of sweat and discipline and the tenacity of mascara-smeared cockroaches.

Most of the songs on this career-spanning compilation were written and hammered into shape during their days of daily combat in the trenches of Long Island and New Jersey nightclubs, so you’d think they’d be fucking diamonds by the time they got to the studio. But they aren’t. Twisted’s music was always delightfully ham-fisted, like if The Sweet were greasy-fingernailed factory workers with anger management issues.

Even in the dire cultural wasteland of the 80s, Twisted’s music stands out as particularly artless. If you haven’t listened to clunky head-slammers I Am (I’m Me) or Burn In Hell in a few decades, it may leave you scratching your head over why you loved ’em so much back then. Well, it’s probably because you were a numbskull teenager with no discerning musical taste.

Best Of The Atlantic Years pulls tracks from all of their 80s-era albums, from the feisty Under The Blade to their clunky ’85 swansong Love Is For Suckers, and naturally contains their biggest and wiggest-out hits, including We’re Not Gonna Take It, I Wanna Rock and the torturous power ballad The Price.

Twisted are ending their four-decade roller-coaster ride this year, so Best Of serves as a sampler of what we’ll be missing when they’re gone. Spoiler alert: it won’t be the songs.