Released on October 26, 2022 (Leather Rebel Records)
A mere six years after their 2016 EP Dancin’ On Chaos was a surprise entry into that year’s Sleaze Roxx Readers’ Top 20 Albums, Italian sleaze rockers Twisted finally unleashed their debut album through Leather Rebel Records last October. Things kick off in lively fashion with the growlingly insistent title track which segues neatly into the equally catchy “Adrenaline”, before a searing Bob J. Riot guitar intro opens the slightly darker but no less arena friendly “Rock You Till I Die”.
Lyrically, Twisted are no modern poets and instead favour the simplistic standard, often clichéd titles with lyrics that fit accordingly, as exemplified in “Break The Walls”, “No Way Out” and the Mötley Crüe-esque “Give Me Hell” but, despite that, all three are still fun, fist pumping listens. The piano led, achingly affecting, ballad “The Lesson” illustrates a softer approach with Philip DeVille providing possibly his finest vocal performance on the album — which is no mean feat considering he is impressive on pretty much every song anyway. We’re back to standard sleazy fare though, for “Dance With The Devil” that leads into the driving rocker “Strike Hard” and the fairly similar “Roll The Dice.” The rousing album closer “Born To Die Free” comes complete with yet another hook laden, memorable sing along chorus and even more gang styled band harmonies.
Overall, the production is solid and the band members are in fine form. Bob J. Riot’s lead guitar work is consistently excellent and he’s more than ably assisted in that department by Izzy Vice, whilst special mention must be made of Mark “The Snake” Logan on bass and Simon “Krush” Travis on drums who are superb throughout, along with the aforementioned perfectly suited performances of vocalist Philip DeVille.
There are no prizes for recognising the influences that have inspired Twisted. The usual sleazy suspects of Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, Poison and even a little Jetboy in places, filter through and none of which are surprising or indeed unwelcome. Let’s be completely honest, Twisted aren’t reinventing the wheel here or even pretending to add anything new to a crowded genre, but what they do provide is a solid, infectious and simply fun rock album and that in itself these days is something to be massively thankful for.
03. Rock You Till I Die
04. Break The Walls
05. No Way Out
06. Give Me Hell
07. The Lesson
08. Dance With The Devil
09. Strike Hard
10. Roll The Dice
11. Born To Die Free
Philip DeVille – lead vocals, backing vocals, studio synth, strings
Bob J. Riot – rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals, additional programming
Izzy Vice – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Mark “The Snake” Logan – bass, backing vocals
Shawn “Scialo” Bradle – drums, percussions
Emanuele Cozzi – piano (7), strings (7), additional backing vocals (11)
Simone Romasco – additional backing vocals (4)
Claudia Bahri – additional backing vocals (4)
Chiara Hudson – additional backing vocals (11)
Lorenzo Ranieri – additional backing vocals (11)
Recorded and mixed by Philip DeVille
Reviewed by Rockney Colin for Sleaze Roxx, February 2023
Twisted‘s “Godspeed” single: