This band needs no introduction. They’ve released 4 incredible studio albums and one hilarious live album, this band is something all metalheads and anyone with a sense of humor can enjoy. I’ve personally seen this band twice live for their second and third album. Steel Panther holds a special place in my trousers as they are always able to put a smile on my face. I truly believe that these guys with their witty lyrics and heavy riffs are one of the greats. They have never taken themselves too seriously and always give you 100% whether it’s live or through their record, you can rely on quality heavy metal to be delivered.
It’s crazy to think “Feel The Steel” was released nearly a decade ago on October 6th, 2009. That’s nearly a decade they’ve had their fans in stitches from all the joy and laughter they bring. Because of the impact and their unique style, I think it’s only right to review them. They bring a lot of joy to my day to day life and if this review makes you pick up a copy of their album, then I am doing my job. I will warn you. This album, or any of their albums, is not for the weak minded. This is good, vulgar fun for everyone to enjoy. If you are offended by them, you’re a pussy and it’s you who has the problem.
Steel Panther consists of four members. We have Michael Starr as lead vocals, Satchel on guitar and back up vocals, Lexxi Foxxx on bass and Stix Zadinia on drums. Yes. Those are their names. Clearly, not their birth names but each member of Steel Panther is a character in its own right. All of them bring something to the table and all compliment each other to give the listener a real experience.
The first track on their debut album is probably one of their most famous and strongest songs. “Death To All But Metal” has an epic riff, great vocals and calls out lots of other musicians on their bullshit. It’s pretty fucking graphic but I love it. The music video is great fun and has Sarah Silverman guest star as the head teacher of the school Steel Panther invade after a student and his teacher get into a dispute over the best genre of music. Anyway, one of the great things about this song is that it points out all that is wrong with music nowadays. It’s 2 minutes, 29 seconds of truth bombs. Music isn’t what it once was and even more so today. Real musicians seem to be a dying breed and “Mumble Rappers” are now the thing. It truly is a sad time we live in. “50 Cent’s a fag, so is Kanye West. Shooting hot sperm on each other’s chests!” As I said, graphic. We are also gifted a verse from Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour. He is considered to be one of the leading vocalists in all metal music so having him on the first track of their first album, we all knew Steel Panther is the real deal as they have been endorsed by such a legend.
Steel Panther is the definition of sex, drugs and rock and roll. “Asain Hooker” has everything and still maintains to be cultured all whilst being down to earth. This track is real and much more realistic than other tracks that try to brag about being a rockstar. Take Nickleback’s track, for example. It’s so unlikely to happen but snorting coke and fucking hookers in the can in Japan is much more likely. This is something all rockstars aspire to be but Steel Panther. They are the real deal.
Maintaining the realism of day to day life, making the next track something we can all relate too, “Community Property” truly tells us that romance is not dead. Whilst I find this track applies more to men who are away from home more, I think we can all relate to it having been away from our loved ones for a long period of time. Michael Starr expresses his love for his girlfriend but is brutally honest. “My heart belongs to you but my cock is community property”. He goes on to explain that his dick is a free spirit and you just can’t restain it. Whilst I am sure his missus isn’t too pleased, this is how it is. Plenty more bitches in the sea aye? This track is truly a power ballad in its own right with it’s slower pace and acoustic break. This should be something that you serenade your partner with.
“Eyes Of A Panther” is quite simply brilliant. The sound for this track is fast-paced, heavy and catchy. Michael Starr once again sings quite beautifully with his unique vocal style. The song itself tells us more about Steel Panther than the woman they’re describing. Steel Panther pay attention to the details. We have all been with a woman who is a solid 10 and is dangerous but Steel Panther paid attention. Describing the qualities of this unknown woman over this all out, heavy as fuck track, we are shown that women are not merely objects, but are instead people. The greatest line comes just before Satchel’s epic solo. “She said don’t be a fag no. So I won’t!”. It’s as simple as that.
This next track goes out to all the bitches over 75kg. “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) may very well be one of the most offensive songs to exist. From personal experience, women and their weight is a subject best avoided but alas, Steel Panther flaunt another love song dedicated to those “larger than life” gals. I must say, whilst the actual song is slightly harsh, it’s also pretty sweet too. Michael offers the beached whale a million happy meals. Now, I like a happy meal as much as the next girl so a million is only going to make it a million times better. It’s math which means it must be true. We are also given an excellent solo from Satchel which goes to prove he is one of the more talented guitarists of this age.
“Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin'” may very well be the greatest track by Steel Panther and certainly words to live by. It’s good to know where the band draws the line too. Before all you women get up in arms about this way of life, it’s important to listen to the song first. Steel Panther are not saying on thing applies to men and not to women. “You should know that sucking ain’t fucking” is evidence that this motto applies to both man and woman. This song is super creative in expressing the fundamentals of this song in several ways with lyrics such as “It doesn’t make me unfaithful unless I’m laying down the cable”. That line had me in tears of laughter. Steel Panther may be the kings of smart dick jokes. It’s important to understand that these personas are having fun. By pushing these ideals to their limits, we can laugh along with the band. Also, ladies, if you want to have a seat, I’ll clear a place on my face. We may very well have the greatest pickup line in history. The song is truly one of the most memorable as far as it’s chorus and the main rhythm goes. This track is one I have on most of my Spotify playlists and for good reason.
The next track may be one of the more interesting Steel Panther tracks. Not only do we get an insight into Michael Starr’s upbringing but we get a very Bon Jovi sound. Now, I won’t pass judgment on the parenting, it isn’t my place to tell parents how to bring up their kids but Michael Starr is a rock star so it can’t be too bad right? With Justin Hawkins as a guest vocalist on this track, further evidence of just how everyone believed in Steel Panther from the beginning, we are given a real anthem.
Further to my comment earlier about us all being with a solid 10, we have also all been with 1’s and 2’s. “Turn Out The Lights” is just as much a song as it is a public service announcement. M Shadows from the great Avenged Sevenfold appears on the track in the second verse. This song is unlike any he’s done before as far as the topic goes. It’s great to hear that it isn’t just the band that is having fun but everyone involved. Without getting too deep with the “feels” here, life is difficult with its ups and downs so if this album makes you smile, who has a right to take that away from you? Another important part of this track is the talent behind the obscene lyrics. Steel Panther may have chosen a real comedic theme but the men behind the instruments know how to use and abuse them. An excellent example is Michael Starr and him showing off his vocal range. He hits some high notes during this song which add to this whole experience.
“Stripper Girl” is more proof of this bands talent. With the slow, melodic start to it’s empowering build up, this track is proof the romance isn’t dead. Strippers get a bad rep but they’re still people who just want to be loved like the next person. I think this is probably one of the funnier songs written by the group and certainly one of the more memorable. It’s easy to imagine a couple during their the first dance of their wedding swaying side to side, surrounded by their family and friends.
“The Shocker” is about exactly what you think it’s about. If you are unsure, the chorus goes “Two in the pink, one in the stink”. I think the funniest part is the detail behind this foreplay. Steel Panther is very descriptive when it comes to this track which only adds to this satisfying listen. They even list places where it’s accepted to complete this act. That’s how much this song is right. It’s also worth mentioning this song is for the ladies. It’s an instruction for men and an enjoyment for all women. This reminds me mostly of “Fuck Her Gently” by Tenacious D. It’s very similar in theme and just as funny. With the music not being held back, this song is heavy from the go. Remember kids, don’t try “The Shocker” without listening to this song first.
The following track was co-written by Steel Panther and Dean Cameron who would also write songs in later albums and direct multiple music videos for the group as well as a presentation pilot for Steel Panther. The slowest track from the whole album, “Girl From Oklahoma” has a similar feel too “Stripper Girl” and “Community Property”. WIth just acoustics through the whole song as well as Michael Starr making sucking noises, this song is quite the delight. Perhaps one of the more controversial tracks of Steel Panther’s discography with its sexism and homophobia, it’s jokingly one of the most entertaining tracks. The extra sound effects throughout the track may be considered to push the line between stupid and clever. However, it’s subjective to the listener but for any dedicated Steel Panther fan, it’s one of the greats.
“Hell’s On Fire” is a heavy metal party for which you’re invited. This track has a memorable intro with Satchel working his weapon. Continuing on with the 80’s theme, we enjoy keyboard synths throughout the final song of “Feel The Steel”. It’s an excellent song to end on leaving the listener wanting more. Now, I haven’t mentioned Lexxi much throughout the review. Whilst he plays bass as brilliantly as the next, I found from the live performances, his contribution was to be the victim of most of the jokes. He plays the part exceptionally well and dishes it out as much as he gets it. Maybe not well but it’s part of the show.
I will say that whilst I love the band and am happy to listen to this album on repeat, Steel Panther are one of the best bands I have seen live. They always go above and beyond to entertain the crowd and no one has ever been disappointed. It’s important to remember that this is just as much fun as it is heavy metal. The more you listen to this album, the smarter it is as you will not pick up on or understand all the jokes on one listen. This album is something that needs to be revisited over and over. I would also add that if you’re going to listen to Steel Panther for the first time, I would start with “Feel The Steel”. I rate this album highly and hope it has brought you as much happiness as it has for me. Remember, “Death To All But Metal”.