Open E Records [Release date 01.04.14]
Steel Panther have been on the ascendance for the last few years and now have two albums under their belts coupled with sold out tours and festival appearances.
The question has to be asked though, is familiarity lessening the shock factor of Steel Panther’s lyrics and are they now becoming socially acceptable?
My wife and I discussed this very point recently after seeing the guys live, the show was great entertainment but you now know what to expect so songs that once had you slack jawed are now sing along anthems, no bad thing, but has the Panther lost it claws?
Listening to ‘All You Can Eat’ though soon answered that question. On several occasions I was forced to rewind sections just to confirm I had really heard what I thought I had. Yup, Steel Panther are back with one almighty bang so to speak.
As well as the lyrical content the other thing that may come as a surprise is the heaviness of the music. The band have upped the metal ante on this record and where on last album, ‘Balls Out’, I felt there were a few weak tracks, on this one all rock hard and heavy.
The album opens with ‘Pussywhipped’ which has an acoustic intro that wouldn’t be out of place on a Metallica album and it then gives way to a song which at points reminds me of those other thrash legends, Anthrax.
Lead single from the album, ‘Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World’, follows with a great chorus which is catchier than an STD backstage at a Panther gig.
Of the three new tracks the band chose to play live on the recent tour, next track, ‘Gloryhole’, made the most impact. Driven on by great bass and drum work from Lexxi and Stix this one is set to become a live favourite.
So far things lyrically have been fairly standard SP fair, however the rest of the album visits many taboos that will have sensitive souls running for cover, musically though things just get better. Satchel’s guitar work is almost as jaw dropping as the lyrics to ‘Bukkakke Tears’, not one for the faint of heart.
One song which does raise a smile is ‘If I Was The King’ in which Michael Starr sets out the Steel Panther manifesto, which as you may gather would include drinking, hard rock, nudity, oh and execution for One Direction, seems fair to me.
Current single ‘The Burden Of Being Wonderful’ is one of the few radio-friendly tracks on the album. It also contains the classic line, ‘I’m a Maserati in a world of Kia’s’, made me laugh. Rounding off the album is another driving rocker, ‘She’s On The Rag’, which brings things to a satisfying climax.
Steel Panther have delivered a strong album here that should continue their current rise in popularity and at this point it I think it is the record they need to push them to the next level.
The fact that they still have the ability to shock in a world where the extreme is now the mainstream is a bonus, after all we can’t let the moral majority have it all their own way. Steel Panther have proved they still have claws and that rock still has balls.
Review by David Wilson
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 July.. In the first hour David pays tribute to the blues/rock guitarist Peter Green.
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