‘We Are The Ones’ is Dee Snider's third solo release and his first for four years. Snider has stated that he wants to move on from his past with Twisted Sister and this release is his vehicle for doing so, with its somewhat more eclectic selection of tracks.
The first couple of songs, the title track and 'Over Again', are pretty much straightforward up tempo heavy rock numbers and it's the third track, 'Close To You', which first indicates that Snider is moving into new territory, with its stalking theme and sinister feel reminiscent of ‘Rage For Order’ era Queensryche and the almost spoken word performance in parts of the cut.
We then encounter 'Rule The World', which is another fairly standard rocker, before the album moves right into left field with an extremely strong version of the Twisted Sister hit, 'We're Not Gonna Take It', which features just Snider singing, backed by a piano. Songs don't need guitars, drums and 40,000 watts to be powerful and Snider proves the point spectacularly with this particular track, which was used at the unveiling an exhibit, ‘Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics’, at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame to coincide with the Republican Party National Convention.
'Crazy For Nothing' follows, which could pass for a Foo Fighters track with its distinctive riff, and then 'Believe', an up tempo song with life affirming vocals and Imagine Dragons style backing vocals. Next up is a cover of Nine Inch Nails' 'Head Like A Hole', which is heavier than the original but doesn't deviate greatly from the blueprint. The penultimate cut, 'Superhero', sounds like it is aiming to be on the soundtrack of a Marvel type film and, while it's okay, it sounds about as clichéd as a film of that genre.
The final song, 'So What', is not a cover of the infamous Anti Nowhere League track, but rather a down tempo, tense feeling track that bears more than a slight resemblance to 'Hey You' from Pink Floyd's ‘The Wall’.
All in all, this is perhaps a good stab at doing something different by Snider and he should be given credit for that. However, it could possibly be argued that he hasn't tried to be different enough, maybe through fear of alienating his fan base, but there are a fair few songs that are just standard rock tracks that don't offer anything particularly original. On balance, though, it's still a pretty enjoyable listen.
WE ARE THE ONES
Review by Dave Uphill
21st Oct 2016
1) We are the Ones
2) Over Again
3) Close to You
4) Rule the World
5) We're Not Gonna Take It
6) Crazy for Nothing
8) Head Like a Hole
10) So What
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...Snider has stated that he wants to move on from his past with Twisted Sister and this release is his vehicle for doing so, with its somewhat more eclectic selection of tracks."