Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Steel Panther - Lower The Bar (2017)

Okay, this review might come out more as a rant, but I really do not care, anything goes here on FaTG anyway. The reason so is that Steel Panther is a band that has talent and all, but they do make me sick to my stomach. And no, it is not because of their filthy lyrics or the fact that they are emulating one of the uglier part of the metal family tree, glam metal. They are sickening because they are a one trick pony, and they seem perfectly fine with it. I would not be bothered with that if that trick was not... this.

So for those of you who don't know Steel Panther (you lucky ignorant fools), they are an American glam rock band that brings you back to the happy 80's, where fluffy hair do's and neon bright clothing was highly popular, being the perfect chick magnet and the ultimate thrash metal fan repeller. They do some modernizing with the sound, but it still sounds like it would fit nicely in with bands like Poison, Ratt, Quiet Riot, and Twisted Sister. It is nostalgia to the max.

However, the band has another gimmick that takes all of this one humongous step further because this band is all about partying, drugs, alcohol, and most importantly, sex. Not too much unlike any other metal band at that era you might say, but trust me, no other band is as filthy as Steel Panther. In this, their fifth album that is entitled "Lower The Bar", they sing about all kinds of meaningful subjects, like taking the "other" entry, getting blow jobs, taking a shameful walk, and a kind of boomerang that I am pretty sure that the Aborigines never have heard of.

Once again, I do not mind the band singing about this, the problem is instead the way they present the lyrics, and how they deliver them. Their deliverance is below the belt, ALL THE TIME, no break what so ever, and it is often so obvious that it is more cringe than fun. The comedy here is just dumb, there is nothing smart or witty about it. Straight on below the belt comedy can be funny too, but I prefer it when it is in small doses.

Take a band like Motörhead for example, who does this with more finesse and wittiness. You often do not really know that they are singing about sex until you really focus on the lyrics, which makes it way more funnier when you know there is some thought behind it. The same can be said in the cover art for "Sacrifice", where they perfectly hid a genital somewhere in there, just as a fun side gag. Now, this might be unfair to compare the two bands, since Steel Panther is all about this image both on and off the stage, but their humour wears off on me really quickly, which is direct suicide for an album that is trying to get my approval.

And it is such a shame, because the band does have talent all across the board, but since it seems like they are not taking themselves seriously, I cannot them seriously. Guitarist Russ "Satchel" Parrish lays down some great licks and solos, while Ralph Saenz performs some great vocals (when you ignore the lyrics obviously). The biggest strength of the band though is that they nail the 80's vibe perfectly. This album feels like it was ripped straight from the 80's, and that we are waiting for their call, asking us to bring it back. It just sucks that it is diminished by their outrageous image.

I have given Steel Panther a good number of chances to show that they are more than just a filthy one trick pony, but they have disappointed me enough times now to make me realize one simple fact, that I will never understand, or even like, this band. They got their share of fans, which is good for them, but they will always be a band that you either love or hate, and it all comes down to the lyrics. As for "Lower The Bar", it is just another album with dumb subjects in a perfectly fine glam metal sound, and I guess the album title do make some kind of sense, because they did actually lower the bar when comparing to previous efforts (which is not really saying all too much). So if you have, for some reason, enjoyed the band in the past, this will be up your alley, but for me, there is only one reasonable thing I can do with this record, flush it down the toilet.

Songs (barely) worthy of recognition: Goin' In The Backdoor, Wrong Side of The Tracks (Out In Beverly Hills)

Rating: 2/10 Poontang Boomerangs


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