Album Review: I’ve got good news and bad news – Heavy Metal Rules is more of the same from California’s Steel Panther

It’s definitely fair to say Steel Panther aren’t for everyone. But for every heavy and hair metal hater, and for all those who’d rather not mix parody with punk, there’s a loyal Steel Panther fan to balance it all out, and with latest album Heavy Metal Rules, the California rockers are happily continuing to cater to the latter.

Steel Panther has been blending good ol’ fashioned rock and roll with tongue-firmly-in-cheek (and occasionally in a few other places) lyrics since their formation in 2000. Heavy Metal Rules is the fifth full length album from the Los Angeles four piece, which consists of Michael Starr (lead singer), Satchel (guitarist), Lexxi Foxx (bass) and Stix Zadinia (drums). Led by recent single “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)“, it’s 36 minutes of trademark Panther – musically solid (if you like that sort of thing) and in predictably questionable taste.

Always Gonna Be A Ho” stands out, with a particularly accomplished sound that somehow manages to both compliment the ridiculous lyrics and craft a track that you could listen to in public – until someone actually listened to the words, of course – while “Fuck Everybody” and title track “Heavy Metal Rules” definitely have the most live show appeal.

Are the jokes still funny? Well, yes and no. We are, after all, five albums deep at this stage, and there’s only so many dick jokes backed by a glam metal soundtrack one can really listen to in a single sitting, but there’s still something weird and wonderful about what Steel Panther does. Billing themselves as a party band makes perfect sense, as near every track on the album seems designed to be sung by drunken teenage boys at a house party – maybe a bit odd coming from a bunch of musicians in their 40s and 50s, but as someone who’s seen Steel Panther live, I can confirm that’s definitely the case. And not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, either, though in a #MeToo world, it’s important to confirm that Steel Panther are joking – even if the jokes aren’t always landing in 2019.

Simply put, Heavy Metal Rules is repetitive and stupid, but it’s also quite a bit of fun. Who amongst us hasn’t wanted to raise their glass and sing “Fuck everybody!” once in a while? You’re probably not going to have it on in the car (not around anyone who might actually listen to the lyrics, at least), but a few tinnies deep with your mates in the back yard at 2am? Come on guys, answer honestly!

Heavy Metal Rules is out now!
To stay up to date with all things Steel Panther, head over to their website!

Review originally published by The AU Review on 25/09/19
View my review policies here

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