Steel Panther

"Balls Out"

by Noel Edge

In 5 Words or Less It took me a couple listens, but this album is utterly Panthastic! (yeah, I broke the 5 word rule)
Value Paid $8 ($17 for vinyl) » Worth...much more!
Affiliation with KNEW GEN None
Explicit? Through and through!
Genre and Mood A parody of 80's hair-metal? Modern day "shock" rock? Just plain kick-ass metal? Yes to all!
Notable Tracks "17 Girls In A Row", "Let Me Come In", "Critter", "It Won't Suck Itself", "Tomorrow Night" and "Weenie Ride" (Do I really need to name every track? You get the picture...just listen to it!)
Songwriting & Musicianship Like I said, it took me a couple of listens, but this album is awesome! I remember how easy it was to rock out to the first ablum. This album is different, but great and I've been stuck in "Feel The Steel" mode for the past 3 years. Trust me, this is not "Feel The Steel 2". Clear your mind, let yourself go and love the "Balls Of Steel". The next thing you know you'll be hummin "Gold Digging Whore" at your next work meeting.

Let's tackle songwriting first. Once again, Steel Panther have outdone themselves...catchy riffs and choruses, and brilliant lyrics. After their debut album "Feel The Steel" I heard a lot of..."They're so one dimensional lyrically!" and "Why can't they sing about more sensitive issues?" Well Fanthers, the boys have silenced the critics on this album. Sure they're still singin about sex, drugs and metal, but they've really expanded their horizons by touching on topics like:
  • their love for animals (sweet young kitties, camel feet, mules and other critters);
  • the hardships of a farming lifestyle (dirty hoes, roosters sneakin in farmgirls' backdoors, etc.);
  • the dangers of being "at one with nature" (snake and scorpion bites need immediate attention!);
  • birth control (check out the last verse of "Let Me Come In" for ideas);
  • the Tiger Woods tragedy (Michael Starr offers some insightful advice that I bet Tiger really could have used before it all went down); and
  • grocery shopping (cleanup in aisle 3 please).
As for musicianship...I'll say it again...these boys are extremely talented. Read my review of their first album. End of story!
Production When I heard the production of Steel Panther's first album, I compared it with some of the all-time greats (Nevermind by Nirvana, Metallica's black album, etc.). Well, here we go again! The perfect instrument mix, plus great guitar, bass and drum kit (especially the kick drum) sounds. The only negative comment I have is that the vocals are a little undermixed (by just a "hair" though) compared to Feel The Steel, as certain vocal lines are a lil' MUFFled.

Although I hate to make comparisons, I'm going to...the great Bob Rock has got nothing on Jay Ruston except a longer resume! I'm sure Jay will be working with hard rock and metal bands for a long time to come.
What Else You Should Know I'll be seeing Steel Panther again on December 1st. I've seen them in Vegas and LA before, now it's Jersey time. For those of you who haven't done so, get out to see them. They are unbelievable live! They sound exactly the same live as they do on the album, except totally different (they're better). Plus you get a whole lotta entertainment that you'd never find on an album (guest appearances, girls flockin to the stage to dance, Lexxi doin his hair in the hand mirror, etc.). SEE YOU AT THE NEXT SHOW!

Contact Noel at noeledge@knewgeneration.com