tue 24/11/2020

CD: Dee Snider - For the Love of Metal | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Dee Snider - For the Love of Metal

CD: Dee Snider - For the Love of Metal

Over-the-top antics from one of heavy rock's hammiest old hands

Playing it low-key, as ever

In recent years there’s been an explosion in feminised self-empowerment anthems, perhaps best epitomised by Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” (This is my fight song/Take back my life song/Prove I'm alright song). For those in need of a masculine equivalent, Dee Snider’s latest album may prove a tonic. A word of warning, though: where the feminine self-empowerment anthem can sometimes veer into the trite and solipsistic, this male version is simply a preening strut of preposterous bravado.

In recent years there’s been an explosion in feminised self-empowerment anthems, perhaps best epitomised by Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” (This is my fight song/Take back my life song/Prove I'm alright song). For those in need of a masculine equivalent, Dee Snider’s latest album may prove a tonic. A word of warning, though: where the feminine self-empowerment anthem can sometimes veer into the trite and solipsistic, this male version is simply a preening strut of preposterous bravado. Once that’s understood, however, there’s much to enjoy.

Dee Snider was, for decades, the singer with face-painted Eighties stomp-rockers Twisted Sister, a Slade-loving New Jersey bar band who chanced to brief glory during the commercial apex of hair metal. They split in 2016 following the death of their drummer but Snider’s fourth solo album is as metal as anything he’s ever done. It’s a fist-pumping macho affair that boasts fantastic roared boasts such as “The rain is nothing to fear when you become the storm”!

Let’s not forget that Snider has always revelled in the tongue-in-cheek. He’s a ham! It was ever thus, from his appearance in Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure movie many moons ago to his 2012 album of Broadway show cover versions. So it is with For the Love of Metal. If you just find it crass, you will, of course, hate this album, but if you can enjoy the ridiculous posturing of songs such as “The Hardest Way”, “Tomorrow’s No Concern” or “I Am the Hurricane” there’s fun to be had. The lyrics are so over-the-top, it’s almost a pastiche. I did pause for thought regarding the super-bullish “American Way” and “Roll Over You” but eventually they’re impossible to take too seriously.

It’s to Snider’s advantage that the album was created with a who’s who of contemporary metallers from bands such as Hatebreed, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God and Arch Enemy. They give teeth to Snider’s outrageousness. In fact, the best tracks are arguably the two that don’t take the vainglorious “I’m-unstoppable-me” route, the opening “Lies Are a Business”, possibly an attack on contemporary politics, and the mega-rockin’ title track. In the end, though, Snider’s chest-beating approach is very much an acquired taste. If you have it, For the Love of Metal is a blast.

Below: watch the video for "Become the Storm" by Dee Snider

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