Famous for fronting Twisted Sister, Dee Snider's career has continued beyond the demise of his long running band in 2016, with further solo ventures. With a new studio album released via Napalm Records earlier this summer, 'For the Love of Metal', we now have a dose of live Snider, courtesy of earMUSIC. However, this isn't brand new solo-based Snider. Rather, 'Sick Mutha F**kers - Live in the USA' was recorded during his 1995 SMF tour. Press sheet ramblings don't elaborate beyond this; no specific show is mentioned, so, presumably, the recordings are taken from various shows on the tour. And, considering Snider's debut solo studio album wasn't released until 2000, it's no surprise that the tracklist is chock-full of Twisted Sister hits.
A little digging online reveals that this is, in fact, a reissue, and was originally released back in 1997, under the title 'Twister Forever - SMFs Live'. I guess Snider's perennial and continued popularity within the scene justifies a re-release over two decades after it first appeared, as fans might not necessarily already have this in their collections, and I gather the original release is now a bit of a rarity. No mention of this in the press info, I hasten to add, so it's pure speculation on my part.
Snider's "energetic and extremely physical performance" is mentioned in the blurb, for his performance at 2017's Wacken Open Air, so I presume his live shows were much the same, and perhaps even more energetic, two decades previously. His out of breath nattering to the audience between songs (and occasional burping!) would indicate this... BUT, this is the kind of performance that needs to be seen as well as heard. It's evident from his vocals that much of the energy he would've been spending was at the expense of delivering his singing to its full strength. As such, with just the audio here, it doesn't provide as fulfilling an experience as it should. Snider's vocals, while good, are short of great here. I'm sure witnessing his "extremely physical performance" would make the spectacle not only explicate the substandard singing, but also palliate the aural experience.
Described in press blurb as "one of the iconic protagonists of American heavy metal', that might very well be so, but I have to admit that I was never keen on Twisted Sister. The tunes are of their time, rather than timeless and, coupled with Snider's below par vocals and an inferior sound that lacks any kind of resonant kick (it's fairly raw sounding), I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this live release. Approach with caution. For diehard completists only.
SICK MUTHA F**KERS - LIVE IN THE USA
Review by Mark Holmes
5th October 2018
1) What You Don't Know (Sure Can Hurt You); 2) The Kids Are Back; 3) Stay Hungry; 4) Destroyer; 5) I Am (I'm Me); 6) You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll; 7) Medley: Come Out and Play/The Pack/I Believe in Rock 'N' Roll/Be Chrool to Your Scuel; 8) We're Gonna Make It; 9) I Wanna Rock; 10) Wake Up (The Sleeping Giant); 11) Burn in Hell; 12) Shoot 'Em Down; 13) Under the Blade; 14) We're Not Gonna Take It; 15) The Price; 16) S.M.F.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...chock-full of Twisted Sister hits."