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

Steel Panther - Feel The Steel




When is a parody no longer a parody? When it’s at least as good as the original!


With a hugely successful Download Festival appearance in England, a video featuring Sarah Silverman that’s been watched over 163,000 times on You Tube and Japanese, American and more English tour dates lined up for 2009, you could be forgiven for thinking these guys have rewritten the book on overnight success.


The truth however, is that Michael Starr, Lexxi Foxxx, Satchel and Stix Zadinia (har har) all have real names and impressive resumes playing in hard rock and metal bands for many years, including Rob Halford’s Fight, LA Guns and Van Halen cover band Atomic Punks. In addition to that pedigree, Panther themselves have been playing together since 2003 under previous names Danger Kitty, Metal Shop and Metal Skool.


That collective experience individually and as a group shines through on Feel The Steel and the best news is that, despite the comedy inherent in the band – everything from stage act and banter to lyrics and costumes and even their names are a pastiche, a parody, or a simple piss-take – the songs stand up to repeated listens and the quality on offer rarely flags for a moment.


If you hated the first album from The Darkness you may well hate Feel The Steel, and just to emphasise the similarities, Justin Hawkins contributes vocals on Bon Jovi pastiche Party All Day (chorus: “Wooaaahhh Ohhhhhh-Ohhh Hey hey hey, Fuck all night and party all day”), which will be your new favourite song if you let it.


Songs such as Death To All But Metal, Asian Hooker and Turn out The Lights are not only cleverly written and hilarious, they take you back to the glory days of eighties metal when Aquanet and spandex ruled the world and lightning fast solos were de riguer. Community Property is destined to be the anthem for touring rock bands all over the globe from this day forth, and Hell’s On Fire could be straight from the Spinal Tap songbook.


The Spinal Tap comparison is apt, as Feel the Steel works in the same way much of the Spinal Tap material worked – they ARE comedic, they are funny, they are offensive and lascivious and at times deliberately dumb - but they are written as affectionate parodies rather than subjects of ridicule, and the musicianship on offer will keep the songs fresh long after the non-PC lyrics have ceased to surprise.