13 Incredible Bands Similar To Twisted Sister

Written by Dan Farrant

Twisted Sister is a legendary Long Island-based band that helped define the glam and hair metal subgenres during their heyday. Hits such as “I Wanna Rock,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” and “Burn In Hell” became iconic songs fans old and new still enjoy.

Whether you’re a longtime metalhead or have just begun exploring heavy metal music, we’ve compiled a list of 13 incredible bands like Twisted Sister that have all brought something unique to the genre and the music scene in general.

Twisted Sister by Andreas Lawen, Fotandi (CC BY-SA 3.0)

1. W.A.S.P.

Formed in 1982, W.A.S.P. is a heavy metal band that shares similarities with Twisted Sister both in musical style and influence. Their theatrical stage presence and controversial lyrics gained the band notoriety during the glam rock era of the 1980s.

Their mainstream success was propelled by popular hits such as “I Wanna Be Somebody” and “L.O.V.E Machine,” which resonated with fans drawn to rebellious anthems.

Throughout their career, W.A.S.P. has undergone numerous lineup changes but has remained true to its roots in delivering powerful performances that captivate audiences worldwide.

W.A.S.P.’s influence on the heavy metal genre is undeniable. They’ve continually pushed boundaries, both musically and visually, throughout their career, even until today.

2. Quiet Riot

Next up is Quiet Riot, an American heavy metal band that emerged from the Los Angeles music scene in 1973. Founded by guitarist Randy Rhoads and bassist Kelly Garni, the group’s unpolished sound resonated with fans of early ’80s metal bands like Twisted Sister.

The story of Quiet Riot’s rise to fame is chronicled in the book Keep on Rollin’ My Fan Club Years. The band achieved significant recognition with their Metal Health album, which topped the Billboard 200 and has achieved 6x Platinum status.

Quiet Riot was a trailblazer who helped usher in a new era of music where loud guitars, thunderous drums, and powerful vocals reigned supreme. Today, the band continues to rock on, proving that they’re not just a part of music history but also a part of its future.

3. Skid Row

The New Jersey band Skid Row emerged in the late 1980s as one of the more successful pop-metal bands during the glam-rock era. Their energetic and powerful sound, characterized by elements of both heavy metal and hard rock music, quickly caught the attention of fans worldwide.

The band’s self-titled debut album in 1989 featured the hit singles “18 and Life” and “Youth Gone Wild.” These songs not only placed Skid Row on the map but also solidified their status alongside other classic rock groups of that time, like Twisted Sister, Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, and Whitesnake.

Despite going through lineup changes over the years, including parting ways with charismatic lead vocalist Sebastian Bach, the band has continued to tour and deliver electrifying performances. 

4. Poison

Hailing from Pennsylvania, Poison is another band that falls under the umbrella of glam rock and hair metal. Like Twisted Sister, Poison was prominent in the music scene during the 1980s.

The band’s popularity soared with their second studio album, Open Up and Say… Ahh! in 1988, which featured hit songs like “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Nothin’ but a Good Time.”

What set Poison apart from other bands at that time was their ability to blend heavy metal guitar riffs with pop-infused melodies and power ballads. This formula enabled them to reach a broader audience beyond just rock fans.

Beyond their music, Poison’s impact on popular culture cannot be overstated. Their image and style became synonymous with the glam metal scene of the 1980s, influencing a generation of rockers and shaping the era’s fashion trends. 

5. Cinderella

A heavy metal band just like Twisted Sister is Cinderella. Formed in the mid-80s in Pennsylvania, they gained popularity in the glam rock scene. Their sound was characterized by explosive guitar riffs, powerful drums, and Tom Keifer’s unique vocal range.

The band took its name from the well-known fairytale story “Cinderella,” which is about a girl who experiences mistreatment from her stepfamily after losing both parents.

Cinderella released four studio albums throughout their career and produced several hit songs such as “Nobody’s Fool” and “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).”

Although they disbanded in 2017, after over three decades of performing, their legacy lives on through numerous classic rock radio stations and nostalgic playlists.

6. Dokken

Formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1978, the glam metal band Dokken was the brainchild of vocalist Don Dokken and soon became a staple of the hard rock scene.

The original lineup consisted of Don Dokken on vocals, George Lynch on guitar, Juan Croucier on bass, and Mick Brown on drums. Together, they created a dynamic and cohesive unit that showcased their individual talents and musical chemistry.

Dokken’s breakthrough came with the release of their second album, Tooth and Nail (1984). The album featured the hit singles “Alone Again” and “Just Got Lucky.” Don’s powerful voice and Lynch’s virtuosic guitar playing garnered them fans worldwide and became the band’s trademark sound.

7. Ratt

The Los Angeles-based band Ratt has left their mark on the glam rock and heavy metal music scene just as Twisted Sister has. Formed in the late 1970s, they underwent multiple name changes, like Firedome and Buster Cherry, before finally settling on its current name in 1981.

Ratt’s breakthrough came in 1984 with the release of their debut album, Out of the Cellar. It spawned the hit singles “Round and Round” and “Wanted Man.” With subsequent albums like “Invasion of Your Privacy” and “Dancing Undercover,” Ratt continued to dominate the airwaves.

In addition, they released new albums, including “Infestation” (2010), which saw a return to their classic sound and received critical acclaim.

8. Slaughter

Formed in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1988, Slaughter consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Mark Slaughter, bassist Dana Strum, guitarist Tim Kelly, and drummer Blas Elias. Drawing influences from the glam metal and hard rock genres, the band forged their own unique sound.

Slaughter’s debut album, Stick It to Ya, in 1990, proved to be a commercial success, propelled by the hit singles “Up All Night” and “Fly to the Angels.” With their second album, The Wild Life, two years later and hit singles like “The Wild Life” and “Days Gone By,” Slaughter continued wow listeners.

Tragically, the band suffered a significant loss when guitarist Tim Kelly passed away in a car accident in 1998. Although devastated by the loss, Slaughter eventually regrouped and released their third studio album, Back to Reality, as a tribute to Kelly.

9. Faster Pussycat

Born amidst the vibrant glam metal boom of the 1980s, Faster Pussycat is an American hard rock band. Their sound—a blend of hard rock and glam metal akin to Twisted Sister—quickly caught the attention of fans and critics alike.

Their self-titled debut album, released in 1987, became an instant hit, propelled by the success of the singles “Bathroom Wall” and “Don’t Change That Song.” The band’s raw, blues-infused sound, combined with frontman Taime Downe’s raspy vocals and charismatic stage presence, set them apart from their glam metal peers.

Throughout their career, Faster Pussycat has released several notable albums that have contributed to their legacy. From Whipped! in 1992 to The Power and the Glory Hole in 2006, each release showcased the band’s evolution while staying true to their roots.

10. Kix

Hailing from Hagerstown, Maryland, Kix was formed in 1977. The band initially gained a loyal following on the local club circuit, honing their craft and developing a reputation for their electrifying live shows.

It wasn’t long before they caught the attention of major record labels, leading to the release of their self-titled debut album in 1981. The album featured tracks like “Atomic Bombs” and “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” which showed off the band’s ability to deliver hard-hitting rockers with catchy choruses and driving guitar riffs.

In 1985, Kix released what would become their most successful album, Midnite Dynamite. The album featured the hit singles “Cold Shower” and “Midnite Dynamite.” These songs received significant airplay on MTV and radio stations across the country.

11. Britny Fox

In the vibrant music scene of the mid-1980s, a new band emerged from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that would become a force in the glam metal genre. This band was Britny Fox, a group known for its distinctive sound and energetic performances.

Considered one of Twisted Sister’s musical disciples, Britny Fox was often compared to them by music critics. Furthermore, two members of Twisted Sister’s line-up, Jay Jay French and Mark Mendoza, produced Britny Fox’s self-titled debut album, released in 1988. The album featured the hit single “Long Way to Love,” which became an anthem for fans of the genre.

Despite disbanding in 1992, the allure of the stage and their passion for music led Britny Fox to reform several times over the years. The band made comebacks from 2000 to 2003, again in 2006 to 2008, and from 2015 to 2016. The resilience and longevity of Britny Fox are a testament to their talent and the timeless appeal of their music.

12. Steelheart

American rock band Steelheart, formed in 1990, burst onto the scene with their powerful vocals, blistering guitar solos, and anthemic ballads. Led by the charismatic frontman Miljenko Matijevic, the band quickly gained recognition for their fusion of heavy metal with melodic hard rock.

Steelheart’s self-titled debut album, released in 1990, catapulted them into the spotlight. The album featured the chart-topping power ballad “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes),” which became their signature song and garnered significant airplay.

Since its formation, Steelheart has gone through several lineup changes but has continued to produce great music and perform at rock concerts around the world.

13. Krokus

We end this list with the band Krokus. Formed in Solothurn, Switzerland, in 1975, they emerged as one of the leading bands in the realm of hard rock. With their high-octane energy and electrifying guitar riffs, the band quickly captivated listeners.

Krokus rose to prominence in the early 1980s with their breakthrough album, Metal Rendez-vous, which featured anthemic tracks like “Bedside Radio” and “Heatstrokes.”

This album also marked the beginning of their successful partnership with producer Tom Allom, known for his work with bands like Judas Priest and Def Leppard.

Today, Krokus stands as Switzerland’s most successful hard rock band. They continue to sell albums worldwide, and their music is still enjoyed by fans, old and new.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Twister Sister

Twisted Sister’s influence on the glam and hair metal subgenres is undeniable, and their impact on the music scene continues to reverberate. For those wanting more of their raw sound, these bands we’ve listed are a great place to start.

We hope you will be able to fill your playlist with some of these bands and their music. However, our list is far from complete. Who have we missed? Let us know, and we’ll add them here!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.