Review Summary: Steel Panther are here for you...
Represented by a name combining “the most fierce creature on the planet” with “the hardest substance known to man”, Steel Panther instantly build an impressive mental image, corroborated heavily by their flawless dress sense and wild on-stage performances. Extending beyond the mere aesthetics of their situation, Steel Panther certainly possess the musical prowess necessary to more than justify their awe-inspiring claims and equally dazzling hair styles. Whether these aural skills manifest themselves in Satchel’s riff-heavy guitar playing or Michael Starr’s soaring vocal performance, Steel Panther consistently prove themselves to be more that just a “mock ‘n roll” band spoofing the glam metal genre. What Balls Out
essentially demonstrates is that bringing together legitimately good musicians and utilising their equally impressive sense of humour turns out to be a winning formula for those who are simply looking for a soundtrack to a good time that still retains substance.
From the get-go, Steel Panther solidify their status as the fun-loving lunatics they are with a short spoken-word introductory track entitled ‘In The Future’, existing primarily to build a brief back story for the immediately following number, ‘Supersonic Sex Machine’. Both songs exhibit the tongue-in-cheek lyricism that contributes the most heavily to Steel Panther’s comedic nature, permeating every part of the album. Michael Starr belts out his melodic narratives with admiral passion, despite the fact that content-wise they primarily consists of sexual-based claims, barely disguised innuendos such as those on ‘It Won’t Suck Itself’ and general descriptions detailing just how undeniably awesome the members of Steel Panther and their respective lifestyles are. If any guess work remains, a quick perusal of the track list should clear up any confusion as to what topics are covered across this albums duration. With choice phrases such as “the security and pussy will both be tight”, “time to use your mouth” and “I am programmed to make all the bitches squeal” in abundance, it’s clear that sex is Steel Panther’s top priority when it comes to lyricism. Michael Starr’s excellent vocal performance ensures that every minute of the chuckle-worthy lyrical barrage is worth the inclusion, interjecting his impressive glam-derived reverberating screams at opportune moments throughout the album.
The instrumental component shines magnificently, as you would expect of steel. Satchel’s guitar work time and time again proves to be exceptional, often engaging the listener in a drawn-out riff that expertly mirrors the masturbatory nature of the lyricism yet never becomes dull in the process. Satchel weaves in and out of every track with a professionalism that underlies his comedic and unknowledgeable character, and as it turns out the same happens to be true of the other members. Despite the nature of the band and to an extent their genre, they genuinely output creative and substantial music that effortlessly surpasses the majority of other comedy bands, at least in terms of musical quality. While the rhythm section happens to be less impressive than the aforementioned vocalist and guitarist, Stix and Lexxi still manage to create a solid backbone for the music. While often drowned out in the mix (as is common for many metal acts), Lexxi’s bass guitar work manages to fill the gaps and generate some groove in the slower numbers. On the other hand, Stix is indeed a talented drummer, however there are minimal occasions within which he is allowed to truly shine. Instead, he creates a rock-solid foundation for the other members to build upon and by doing so more than fulfils his role in the rhythm department.
Of course, Steel Panther will not appeal to everyone. Many may take offence to the themes and topics explored on Balls Out
, whether as a result of the detail given to the sex-drenched content or the occasional misogyny, or even for their antics and personas. In any case, those who dislike glam metal for more than just the unnecessary costumes will not find the answer to their prayers here as Steel Panther generally follow the style of the genre without too much deviation. In any case, fun is often a necessity, and for a metal-filled journey with a light-hearted attitude, look no further; Steel Panther are here for you with their Balls Out