Dee Snider

We Are the Ones

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The third official solo outing from the Twisted Sister frontman, We Are the Ones splits the difference between the propulsive hard rock/pop metal of 2000s Never Let the Bastards Wear You Down and the campy pageantry of 2012's Dee Does Broadway. Snider has always had one of the best and most recognizable voices in the scene, and We Are the Ones, even at its most dismal, benefits from those seasoned pipes. Snider wastes little time in delivering the kind of anthemic call to arms that fans have come to expect, launching the proceedings with the fist-pumping title track. The snarling "Over Again," a caustic love/hate song with a punk rock heart, impresses as well, but "We Are the Ones," a paint-by-numbers Coldplay-meets-Imagine Dragons stadium filler, changes the timbre considerably, delivering the kind of limp, AOR melodic rock that his meal-ticket band raged against, but a piano ballad rendering of Twisted Sister's most beloved song, "We're Not Gonna Take It," which was recorded to benefit rock & roll magician Criss Angel's pediatric cancer research charity HELP, is surprisingly effective. Elsewhere, the nervy "Crazy for Nothing" satisfies with a snarky, windows-down chorus and snappy, punk-pop backbeat, and a little bit too reverent cover of Nine Inch Nails "Head Like a Hole" proves the perfect fit for Snider's raspy intonation. However, the pandering "Superhero" imagines a second life as the closing credits song for a C-list Marvel comics movie, and the vitriolic, strings-adorned closer "So What," which calls for "middle fingers in the air," fails to incite any sort of ire, as the audience is never given anything other than a vague "they" or "them" to rage against. Snider certainly has the chops, and there are enough flashes of light throughout We Are the Ones to warrant more than a cursory spin, but in trying to cater to everybody at once, he's created something that feels a bit too much like a résumé.

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