Review of Steel Panther's album Feel The Steel.
Mention a comedy metal act and many will shudder at thoughts of The Darkness, forgetting that until they took themselves too seriously they actually had a decent debut album. Taking things up a notch or ten are Steel Panther, a Los Angeles act who have been around for decades but are only releasing their debut now. They played at this year's Download Festival and return to the UK for four dates in September.
As the title suggests 'Death To All But Metal' is a celebration of the genre, and the result is clichéd chords, solos and Michael Starr's howling vocals. Stars of other styles - Eminem, Mariah Carey, Goo Goo Dolls to name a few - get slated amongst sexually explicit lyrics there are immature, but it's brilliantly entertaining with genuine laugh-out-loud moments. The musical excess continues through 'Asian Hooker', while the thrilling 'Eatin' Ain't Cheatin' is an anthem that makes inappropriate use of fast food chain slogan. It's only 'Eyes Of A Panther' which doesn't really hit the right notes, but the Bon Jovi-esque 'Party All Day' is a tale of debauchery which more than makes up for it.
While the heavier styling of Steel Panther impresses, it's when the band take to the power-ballad that they really excel in all areas. Recent single 'Community Property' has a similar feel to Aerosmith's 'Angel' (Steven Tyler is reportedly a fan of the Panthers) and musically it has a romantic atmosphere with the expected sweeping strings. Starr's declaration of love sounds genuine, until stating that his manhood is to be shared - how any girl could fail to be seduced is unknown! 'Stripper Girl' is of the same mould, while 'Girl From Oklahoma' lets you in on the world of groupies, while sounding remarkably like Extreme's 'More Than Words'. All three tracks make for an engaging listen and while some may be insulted for the artistic side of music, as far as 'mock rock' goes you'd be hard to find much better than this record.