Steel Panther - All You Can Eat (2014/Open)
3 years on since the 2011 release "Balls Out" and everyone’s favorite (?) parody glam metal band Steel Panther is back with another album filled to the brim with 80’s inspired metal and obscene humour. Whether you love or hate them, at least one can’t deny that they’ve found their niche in the metal scene and seem to be growing in popularity all the time. I’ll readily admit that I’m a fan, but that’s when I discovered that behind all the gimmicks was actually a great band with some really decent songs. The debut was good, "Balls Out" even better – and in "All You Can Eat" we have yet another excellent hard rock platter that might, just might, be their best one yet. (although it’s a close race with "Balls Out").
Stylewise, not much has changed since the last album as "All You Can Eat" is pretty much a continuation of where "Balls Out" left off.
While the debut was more of a pastiche of various 80’s hard rock and metal bands, the last two records has seen the band develope more of an own sound. The music is of course still very much rooted in 80’s hair metal but without the songs necessarily being carbon copies of well known hits, like some of the songs off the debut were.
There’s no question that the band’s lyrics are a turn off for many hard rock aficionados and I have no problem with that. Musically however they are as good, or even better, than many of their peers, with Michael Starr‘s outstanding vocals and Satchel‘s Warren DeMartini style guitar anthics perhaps the most protuding components. The fat and crystal clear production is another high point, making for a really pleasant listening experience.
Of the 12 tracks on show there’s not one that I would call a filler and this is really an album that you can play from start to finish without reaching for the skip button. The band really has a knack for writing catchy choruses that keeps you coming back for more and these songs still frequent my mp3 player even after I’ve lived with the album for over 2 months. My top picks would have to be opener "Pussywhipped", the party anthem (duh) "Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World" and the Scorpions-like "Ten Strikes You’re Out" which are all blistering hard rock, although I would also give a mention to stuff like "The Burden Of Being Wonderful" and "You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk" which shows the band at their more melodic, and if you will, “serious” side. On the other hand, the lyrics in "Bukkake Tears" are as wrong as can be, but seen from a purely musical perspective it’s the band at their absolute best and really, textbook melodic rock.
In summary, the band has recorded another killer album here and certainly one that will earn a high place on my personal “best of 2014” list. Retro melodic glam metal doesn’t get much better than this in 2014 and if you don’t mind the OTT lyrics I guarantee "All You Can Eat" won’t dissapoint.
Bob Wheeler - s/t
Fury - s/t