Drowned in Sound: Twisted Sister: A Twisted Christmas

Drowned in Sound
Twisted Sister
A Twisted Christmas
by Kodi McKinney, DJ at U92
kodimckinney@gmail.com

There are bands that have released good albums even on the downside of their careers. Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, and Blondie come to mind, but it's doubtful that anyone would expect Twisted Sister to join their ranks. Believe it or not, they just did it with a Christmas album.
After the overly serious intro to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" gets you thinking A Twisted Christmas was a bad idea, Dee Snider & Co. reveal it was all a joke and go into a rocking Ramones-ish rendition. It's a massively guilty pleasure, but it's still a pleasure. This album is always like that, with production that will take you back to a time when rockers were discovering hairspray. Expect to hear stacked vocal choruses and nods to the past aplenty.
This is what you should buy if you've been waiting ever since the band released "We're Not Gonna Take It" to hear it quoted in a guitar solo over a Christmas carol. For the sole person out there who just raised your hand, drop everything and listen to "O Come All Ye Faithful" right now. It's even in the same key as the band's best-known hit.
Possibly the most surprising thing about A Twisted Christmas is that Dee Snider can still hit the notes. It's clear that he's lost a little off the top since the band's Stay Hungry days, but Snider sounds very solid and saves the shrieks he has left for just the right moments. The band as a whole is in the pocket and delivers these songs with enough grandeur to get you into the Christmas spirit; this is tempered somewhat when the hilarity of listening to a hair band playing "Silver Bells" finally hits you.
One can only appreciate this album if they like their Christmas music as excessively tongue-in-cheek as possible. The most unashamed offender to good taste is their version of "The 12 Days of Christmas," titled "Heavy Metal Christmas" and injected with ridiculous gifts such as studded belts and spandex pants. Twisted Sister are well aware of how goofy this version is, and they were smart enough to place it at the album's end, where its cheesiness is not quite so grating.
I honestly loved this; the only reason I can't score this higher is its disposability. Like a big glass of eggnog, it's difficult to handle a taste of this too many times. It might be fun to pull out once or twice a year for those who prefer to rock at Christmastime, but it won't be taking up permanent residence in the CD player for the whole month of December. Twisted Sister have still impressed with this album, however, reminding everybody of their former coolness in an unlikely swansong. A Twisted Christmas also serves as their final reminder that rock music absolutely never has to be taken seriously, and it is often all the better for it.
Rating: 3 out of 5