After the success of its breakthrough LP, Stay Hungry, Twisted Sister found itself at a crossroads with its follow-up LP, Come Out And Play — placate the mainstream fans that got into the band with "We're Not Gonna Take It" or stand by the longtime fans that got into Twisted Sister the metal band. The band chose to do both with (mostly) good results.
Produced by Dieter Dierks of Scorpions fame, Come Out And Play is a little slicker than previous releases, yet opens with Dee Snider's demented voice chanting "Twisted Sister, come out and play" in a nod to the cult classic film The Warriors before launching into the hard-charging title track.
Up next is the band's surprising cover of the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack." Originally included as a track on the band's EP Ruff Cuts, the cover was intended to capitalize on the crossover success afforded the band by Stay Hungry. The move didn't quite go as intended with neither the cover, nor Come Out And Play doing as well as its predecessor. In another reversal of fortune, the other video from the album, "Be Chrool to Your Scuel," which featured a number of guest stars including Alice Cooper, was banned by MTV for being too violent.
All was not lost though. The band hadn't lost its touch for writing larger-than-life anthems with "You Want What We Got" and "I Believe in Rock 'n' Roll" delivering a solid one-two punch. The latter of these two songs proclaims that even God Himself loves rock music.
The obligatory '80s power ballad appears in the form of "I Believe in You," with a fine vocal performance from Snider, while the band recalls its metal roots with the blistering "Kill or Be Killed."
The CD is a straight reissue of the Spitfire version first released in 1999 and includes the bonus track "King of the Fools." As the band's next release, Love Is For Suckers was more of a Snider solo album disguised as a Twisted Sister record, Come Out And Play was sort of a last hurrah for Twisted Sister proper and while perhaps not as strong as the records proceeding it, it is still a strong '80s metal album.