Sunday 23 April 2017

Album Review: STEEL PANTHER - Lower The Bar

Steel Panther - Lower The Bar

01. Goin' In The Backdoor
02. Anything Goes
03. Poontang Boomerang
04. That's When You Came In
05. Wrong Side Of The Tracks
06. Now The Fun Starts
07. Pussy Ain't Free
08. Wasted Too Much Time
09. I Got What You Want
10. Walk Of Shame
11. She's Tight (Cheap Trick Cover)
12. Red Headed Step Child (Bonus Track)
13. Momentary Epiphany (Bonus Track)

Being a parody band, I'm very surprised that Steel Panther are still so popular. Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased that they are! They've managed to break the 'novelty band curse' and build a successful career for themselves. I believe the answer is simply that they're really good, and quality equals longevity. In many cases they're surpassing the bands that they're parodying in song writing, musicianship and production.

Lower The Bar is very much in the same vein as the previous albums. It's the same sex humour, over the top vulgarity and generally un-PC lyrics that we've come to expect from Steel Panther.

I've been a fan since they played Download Festival for the first time in a packed tent when they were promoting their debut album (debut under the name Steel Panther anyway) Feel The Steel. That album is a classic, and is packed full of killer Glam-Metal songs with funny lyrics. The second album was enjoyable, but not quite as strong as the debut, despite containing the legendary Just Like Tiger Woods. Sadly, Steel Panther have been getting a little worse with each subsequent album. The songs aren't quite as funny and the songs generally aren't quite as good. Ironically, this was the same with the back catalogue of most of the bands they're parodying! The positive news is that although Lower The Bar isn't quite to the same standard as its predecessors, it's still pretty impressive in its own right and is way better than many recent releases by old bands who were big in the 80's and still churn out low budget mediocre Hard Rock with a recognisable brand name on the CD cover.

Lower The Bar kicks off to a great start with Goin' In The Backdoor with a sleazy riff that'd be at home on any classic Motley Crue album or even on Skid Row's debut. Anything Goes has a more commercial Poison sound, and then Steel Panther hit you with the first single and killer track Poontang Boomerang, which is them at their best. It reminds me of Poison's Unskinny Bop mixed with early Van Halen.

Another standout is Pussy Ain't Free, which has some dark Grunge riffs that sound like they belong to early Stone Temple Pilots or Gruntruck, but the chorus vocals bring the song back into familiar Glam territory. There's also an impressive cover of Cheap Trick's She's Tight which features Robin Zander himself.

Lower The Bar has moments of greatness and hilarity but also has other moments that are simply 'a bit shit'. If you're already a fan, this album is definitely worth checking out, but if you hated them before, I very much doubt Lower The Bar will offer you anything to change your mind. For me, there are enough positives here to make it a worthy addition to Steel Panther's back catalogue, if not necessarily an essential one.


1 comment

  1. Spot on, they have a live following which sets them apart.Their videos are over the top in the style of the 80s. They are good musically...and songs are entertaining :) they are a parity of a genra, not of songs, cleverly the sound like the 80s riffs engrained in your head.. With lyrics that make you say "wtf" at least we know what they wasted to much time doing :)


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