.@planetmosh reviews the new record by .@Steel_Panther!
Lock up your daughters everyone, because Steel Panther have returned. The American glam-metallers are back with All You Can Eat, their fourth studio effort and their first released via Kobalt Label Services, on the band’s own Open E Music label. If you haven’t heard of them, then you’ve clearly been missing out (or not, as the case may be) – elevating the term ‘cock rock’ to level 9000 and above, Steel Panther take the sleaze of early Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue and Poison, couple it with hugely provocative lyrics around the subjects of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll and have somehow caused such a stir that they’re now due to appear third on the main stage at Download Festival this year behind Alter Bridge and headliners Aerosmith following yet another sold out UK tour. Even the album cover of the band’s latest record is edgy – the quartet imposed into Da Vinci’s masterpiece ‘The Last Supper’ surrounded by scantily clad females. It’s offensive, it’s bad taste – and yet somehow it’s brilliant at the same time.
The thing is, Steel Panther don’t take themselves too seriously and make it perfectly clear that they’re messing about and having fun, which is what gives them huge appeal. The band can actually play their instruments as well – regardless of your views of them, you cannot deny that they are very musically talented. This is proved with opening track Pussywhipped – an acoustic intro builds into a straightforward, traditional hard rock number that is more closely like Def Leppard. It’s also unbelievably catchy. A move away from the glam and sleaze on this album? No chance – first single Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World is right up that street and onto the Sunset Strip. The solos across the album are immense; there’s a reason Satchel has played with Paul Gilbert on a number of occasions. Michael Starr also has the voice and range to send every single person back some three decades to those very times of big hair, makeup and debauchery in strip clubs. Vince Neil would be proud. On the subject of Def Leppard, guitarist Vivian Campbell has made an appearance to lay down guitar tracks on the pleasantly titled ‘Gangbang in the Old Folk’s Home’. Yeah…
But when it all boils down to it, the lyrics are what make or break Steel Panther for listeners. Outrageous, explicit, completely un-PC – you’ll either turn the stereo off or laugh.’Bukkake Tears’ (the closest thing you’ll get to a ballad on this album) offers up the following ditty, for example – “There was so much love on your face/I couldn’t see the tears’. ‘Gloryhole’ is similarly brash, announcing in the first 45 seconds “There’s a place in France where the naked ladies dance/there’s a hole in the wall where you put your cock and balls/but you never really know who’s sucking on the other side/is it a boy or a girl, or a lady-man hermaphrodite”. You get the picture very quickly and it doesn’t get any better (or worse) from there. If it’s not about sex, it’s about being too handsome (‘The Burden of Being Wonderful’) or alternatively, stupidity (‘You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk), but this is as far as Steel Panther branch out from their usual lyrical content. Pretty soon they’re back to talking about making every breast size a DD minimum and getting laid before the apocalypse before rounding everything off with ‘She’s on the Rag’ and a wonderful closing song about a woman’s monthly cycle. Charming.
So to summarise: this album isn’t going to change any opinions. If you didn’t like Steel Panther before then you won’t like this and vice versa. No new ground broken – and not as good as their debut effort Feel the Steel – but then that’s what people love about them, and they’re not about to go away any time soon. Guess we’d better get used to them then.
Michael Starr – lead vocals, backing vocals
Satchel – lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Lexxi Foxxx – bass guitar, backing vocals
Stix Zadinia – drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals
2) Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World
4) Bukkake Tears
5) Gangbang in the Old Folks’ Home
6) Ten Strikes You’re Out
7) The Burden of Being Wonderful
8) Fucking My Heart in the Ass
10) You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk
11) If I was the King
12) She’s on the Rag