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* * * * Great Balls of Fire * * * Good Vibrations * * Maybe Baby * Running on Empty : : HARD-ROCK CLOWNS

September 20, 1987|SHARON LIVETEN

* * * "LOVE IS FOR SUCKERS." Twisted Sister. Atlantic. The make-up is gone and so is the original drummer, but the self-appointed clowns of hard rock are alive and surprisingly well. On its fifth album, Twisted Sister doesn't tromp off into uncharted territory. It's anthemic ("Me and the Boys"), occasionally repetitive ("Yeah, Right!") and self-derivative ("One Bad Habit" steals unflinchingly from "I Wanna Rock"). That said, "Love" is a darned good album. The guitar work is flashy but doesn't resort to cliched posturing, new drummer Joey Franco has solidified the formerly shaky rhythm section, and Dee Snider's vocals are in fine, sneering form. But a sense of humor that never diminishes the music is what has always set Twisted Sister apart from other hard-rock bands, and it remains intact.

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