The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





APRIL 1 2014



Say what you will about Steel Panther one thing that no one can deny it’s that those boys can play. And for all of us Rockers out there who secretly bemoan the glory days of Sunset Strip and are also old enough to remember a better world where Political correctness was just a mad nightmare brought on by reading too much Orwell; they are thankfully the band that time and PC overlooked…


It doesn’t really matter whether you get all post-modern about it, whether you see them as shameless cash-ins, whether you see them as a heady anachronism or whether you think they just ‘Rock’: the news is that this is probably their best album to date. Certainly as far as dirty song-titles are concerned they have excelled themselves. As far as double-entendres go they have surpassed previous standards. And as far as dirty words go, well they may not have exactly enriched their vocabulary, but they have gotten even more descriptive. It’s what we used to call a win-win.


If you would like to beat the band about the head with the shitty stick of feminism it’s also worth noting that like their Glam Metal contemporaries before them they also draw a healthy dose of females at their shows. Now while I’m sure the Panther would attest it’s simply because they want to shag them, it might also be because either (a) girls just want to have fun ; or (b) it’s not just us guys that are sick of PC.


So what is ‘All You Can Eat’ like? Well musically it’s between 1986 and 1989 Sunset Strip ‘Hair Metal’ and lyrically it’s all the things you suspected Rock Stars got up to but never really sang about.


‘Party like Tomorrow is the End of the World’ of course is the somewhat less smutty than usual lead track off the album, it’s a solid tune extolling Hair Metal excess and played to the max, but with the second single ‘The Burden of Being Wonderful’ ironic rather than dirty there’s a real feel that The Panther is casting its net wider than those that either (a) already get the joke; or (b) don’t realise there is one but love the party…


On an album where the songs have all you want from a Steel Panther album: killer guitars, choice lyrics, muscular rhythm section and top-notch ‘Roth meets Halford’ vocals the writing has progressed, and some songs, were they stripped away of the usual Steel Panther accoutrements, would stand up remarkably well in the genre they parody. To me the crowning glory may well be the ballad ‘Fucking My Heart in the Ass’ which on one level is actually quite a beautiful sentiment and shows that the boys can write a tender tear-jerker.


Add to that the caring community service nature of party-stomper ‘BVS’ and the serious take on solving the problems of the world on ‘If I Was the King’ and we have a slicker more mature, immature Steel Panther. Lyrically they’re sharp too, with ‘Gangbang at the old Folk’s Home’ already conjuring up cringe-worthy images before you’ve heard a word (and bettering them when you have). It’s just your average real life story of a sausage Pizza delivery guy after all.


Metal gets a good look in too with the solid as a rock opener ‘Pussywhipped’ ripping it up off the back of some gentle acoustic from Satchel. Bluesier fare comes with the wonderful ‘Gloryhole’ which has a chorus you’d be arrested for singing along to on the train into work, or ‘Ten Strikes You’re Out’ a guide to successful relationships built upon a great groove and with a killer solo from Satchel.


But there is far more where that came from and there are also unexpectedly sharp images, the odd large word thrown in (‘malady’ and ‘ruminate’ in a Steel Panther song anyone!), and just enough of a mix of Hair Metal cliché and Steel Panther excess, particularly on songs like the touching ballad ‘Bukkake Tears‘. There’s also the educationally themed ‘She’s on the Rag’ which starts out like Rick Springfield and conjures up some wonderfully colourful images that escalate as the songs progresses. Nice breakdown to!


The real bonus for us Australian fans here though is the bonus DVD (or ‘Deluxe’ DVD as the packaging would have it, though it feels pretty awesome to me) which shows the band in their all their glory ‘live’ on their last Australian tour, but not only that it adds videos for ‘Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World’ and ‘The Burden of Being Wonderful’ and the experience that is SPTV! Magical might be a better description…


The Panther has certainly come a long way since I first saw them out on Sunset Strip when they still ran as Metal Skool and Saenz (Starr) still played in Atomic Punks the stunning Van Halen cover band and all credit to them it’s been a hard slog that is now paying global dividends. Be warned though if you think there is a finite number to the instances of ‘cock gags’ that are funny (and that was an unintentional one there I’m sure) Steel Panther may not stack up against your easy listening AOR collection. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what your take is on Steel Panther. This is their best yet.



by Mark Diggins