"You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll"

(Armoury reissue)

01. The Kids Are Back
02. Like A Knife In The Back
03. Ride To Live, Live To Ride
04. I Am (I'm Me)
05. The Power And The Glory
06. We're Gonna Make It
07. I've Had Enough
08. I'll Take You Alive
09. You're Not Alone (Suzette's Song)
10. You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll

Bonus Tracks

11. One Man Woman
12. Four Barrel Heart Of Love
13. Feel The Power

RATING: 8.5/10

Though one can question a second reissue of TWISTED SISTER's "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll" albeit a remastered one, there is one point that is inarguable; this is hands down the definitive album from the storied Long Island act. The cross-dressing toughies will forever be associated with the commercial smash success of "Stay Hungry" and its overplayed anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It", but when it comes to genuine rough 'n ready heavy metal played from the heart, it is "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll" that beats the "Under The Blade" debut (but not by much), "Stay Hungry", and the subsequent uninspired albums.

A dense, bass-y, and dirty sound that had some complaining about a lack of high frequency suits the hardass delivery and the remastering does little to change it. The approach is frill-free and mostly balls out, reminding in general of late '70s SAXON crossed with AC/DC and topped off with a thin layer of glam and rock theater that owes more to ALICE COOPER that it does the NEW YORK DOLLS. Even the first verse of opener and statement of intent "The Kids are Back" has Snider doing a dead-on Alice impression. "Like A Knife In The Back" and "Ride to Live, Live to Ride" became immediate live staples, the latter with some of Snider's most memorable lines ("Have a drink of some coke, gasoline or some rope"), the latter a true anthem.

This is also an album filled with memorable and rough edged metal/rock riffs, not to mention flame-throwing solos, from Jay Jay French and Eddie "Fingers" Ojeda, which are no more evident than on the outstanding title track that closes the album. Its Angus/Malcolm-style riff is still one of the SISTER's best. But one mustn't forget the Neanderthal bass pounding of Mark "The Animal" Mendoza whose patented pump is integral to the verse of "I've Had Enough" and more than anywhere else as part of the intro-build on "The Power And The Glory", which soon explodes into a vintage heavy metal crusher. When Snider yells "That's right!" to signal yet another screaming solo during the song it is a true goose-bumps moment and still is to this day. "We're Gonna Make It" (with another basic riff that is hotter than hell), the grooving "I've Had Enough", and up-tempo rocker "I'll Take You Alive" are also rock solid cuts.

And if it's pop sensibility you want, look no further than "I Am (I'm Me)". Defined by a simple and uncannily catchy chorus and a middle finger expression of defiance to those that look down their noses at those living outside of societal convention is to many a fan the quintessential TWISTED SISTER anthem, more so than "We're Not Gonna Take It" Even the power ballad, "You're Not Alone (Suzette's Song)" is a keeper; a splendid combo of jagged NYC edges and '50s/'60s chorus melody. The bonus material is also strong and includes the interestingly titled bass pumper "Four Barrel Heart of Love", the strutting R&B of "One Man Woman", and the nuts and bolts heavy metal force of "Feel The Power".

Those that wrote off TWISTED SISTER based on impressions of a couple of overplayed videos never took the time to see this band of trouble makers for who they really years before commercial successful arrived; an ass-kickin' bunch of wild rock 'n roll dogs that wrote more than their fair share of anthems and never disappointed an audience. You only need to watch the "Live At Wacken: The Reunion" DVD to see for yourself. But if you really want to hear the spirit of TWISTED SISTER in all its primal glory, then start your journey with "You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll".


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