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Still Not Gonna Take It 

New DVD collects Twisted Sister's video 'bangers

Wednesday, Jun 27 2007
Considering Twisted Sister's legacy is for combining Kiss and Missing Persons' makeup jobs, these day-glo poster boys for '80s hair metal actually smelted a pretty party-starting chord-rip. The MTV faves fused together Slade-seeped anthems, the Dictators' gastrointestinal ha-has, and punk spazz before succumbing to sky-high video budgets. The New York group was never as sticky-ballad shitty as the Wingers of the world, and only the most simian of minds — and there were many in the Reagan years — could miss that Twisted Sister was taking the piss. That said, over the course of the band's newly released The Video Years DVD — featuring early vids and a 1984 MTV concert — it's clear that the group is still digesting some self-delusion.

In between tracks, Twisted Sister members and old major-label cronies spout off in classic show-biz style. Singer Dee Snider claims the band "came to redefine rock video from that point on." Especially amazing is bassist Mark Mendoza bemoaning that the act's early videos forever set up the band as "clowns." Oh, really? It wasn't the pink spandex and hair extensions you'd been sporting since '75? Stand proud! Clowning around actually made Twisted Sister the most stomach-able of all those crotch stuffers (save maybe Poison).

There's nothing better than listening to '80s hair metal guys justify their ridiculous career decisions, always claiming, "We never knew we were gonna be huge, man!" while explaining how they hired Alice Cooper and the makeup master from Dawn of the Dead to work on their final major-label video. The Video interviews are also an interesting reminder of what a different music world the band snorted through: Guitarist Eddie Ojeida complains that selling 2 million-plus records was a failure.

The clips themselves are worse visually — and more Borscht-Belt comedically — than remembered. But musically, even these low points (according to most of the band) may force your most unironic pals to pump a fist when that kick drum drops on "We're Not Gonna Take It."

About The Author

Eric Davidson


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