After the commercial disappointment of ‘85’s ‘’Come Out And Play’’ it was to be a two year gap before TWISTED SISTER would release their fifth studio album. AJ Pero had vacated the drum stool to be replaced by Joey ‘’Seven’’ Franco but the nucleus of TWISTED SISTER was still together and looking back on this album, it was panned by the music press and manage to receive even worse reviews than ‘’Come Out And Play’’, it should now be considered an undiscovered gem amongst SMF’S world wide.
I was never too tuned into ‘’Love Is For Suckers’’ all those years ago. Perhaps the whole Hair Metal thing was getting to out of hand (WHITESNAKE where selling millions off the back of their 1987 album) and as a traditional Metal fan I found that Metal was floundering in the wake of hair spray and mascara. All image and little credibility alas.
The TWISTED SISTER sound and image had also changed from the bestial, back street brawling racket of ‘’Stay Hungry’’, ‘’You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll’’ and the excellent ‘’Under The Blade’’. Perhaps this was more to do with America’s white middle class trying to stop the likes of TWISTED SISTER denigrating the masses with their perverted and unsolicited music or the bands new found financial happiness but for whatever reason TWISTED SISTER had lost something and ‘’Love Is For Suckers’’ was to be the bands final studio release.
Looking back now ‘’Love Is For Suckers’’, whilst not reaching quite up to the bands early rabble rousing, street fighting, brash and over the top standards of early releases still makes a great noise!
Sounding more aggressive and eager to amend previous misdemeanours Snider and Co. deliver an album containing more than a few stand out, trade mark TWISTED SISTER anthems. Returning to lyrical matters close to Dee Snider’s heart: rebellion, self preservation, self-motivation and fucking (of course!) tracks such as the Metal monster ‘’Wake Up The Sleeping Giant’’, ‘’Tonight’’, ‘’One Bad Habit’’ and ‘’Yeah Right’’ not only manage to but re-enforce the old school raw, hard hitting TWISTED SISTER sound that was missed on ‘’Come Out And Play’’. The vocals are back with menace and bite, the riffs drive and hurl along side tight solos whilst the rhythm section of Mark Mendoza and Franco keep everything water tight. Even tracks like the KISS/ ALICE COOPER sounding ‘’Hot Love’’ and ‘’Love Is For Suckers’’ manage to keep their head above water for the most part. Not essential TS tracks but they’ll do nonetheless. However the Power ballads or call them what you will ‘’I Want This Night (To Last Forever)’’ and ‘’You Are All That I Need’’ are dripping, drooling soft American nonsense and songs TWISTED SISTER have never been that good at.
All in all not as bad an album as first feared and a well worth a trip down any SMF’s memory lane. (Online October 5, 2004)