Steel Panther

"Feel the Steel"

by Noel Edge (updated August 2010)

In 5 Words or Less An instant comedy-metal classic!
Value Paid $8 » Worth $8
Affiliation with KNEW GEN None
Explicit? Absolutely! Every song is laced with profanity (other than "Eyes of a Panther").  Among other things, beware of very strong sexual themes.
Genre and Mood A parody of 80's hair-metal. If you appreciate vulgar humor, you're gonna kill yourself laughing (sometimes with that uneasy feeling that you really shouldn't be laughing at stuff like this). Note that "laughing" gives way to singin' along within hours.
Notable Tracks "Death to all but Metal"...the title says it all. For any guy who's led the "Party All Day" way of life for any extended period of time, then you've surely had to "Turn Out the Lights" on at least one occasion. Wanna settle in with your sweetheart for a romantic evening, I recommend startin' it off with "Community Property" to set the mood. No girl to spend a romantic evening with? ...treat yourself to an "Asian Hooker" or a "Stripper Girl".
Songwriting & Musicianship While the lyrics are comical, the songwriting kicks. The tunes rock and the choruses are infectious. Make no mistake about it, Steel Panther is a group of musicians with outstanding talent. Michael Starr (formerly of L.A. Guns) is a stellar vocalist with a dynamic range. Satchel's (formerly of Fight) guitar work is phenomenal. His lead guitar work is done with stealth, speed and feel. And SP's rhythm section (Lexxi (bass) and Sticks Zadinia (drums)) is rock solid. 
Production The production quality of Feel the Steel ranks up there with "Never Mind the Bullocks" (Sex Pistols), "Nevermind" (Nirvana) and Metallica's black album. The overall mix is fantastic.  Every instrument can be heard at all times, including each drum and cymbal. There's no track that has an instrument that is over- or under-mixed. The guitar sounds are diverse - from 80s-grindy to crisp and clean. The bass sound is full and round. The drums are huge, especially the kick drum. SP and Jay Ruston (Grammy nominated producer/mixer with an impressive discography) have released an album with production quality that should serve as one of the models against which rock/metal bands measure their own.
What Else You Should Know SP is NOT for everyone! If you're easily offended, then this album is not for you. You need to appreciate their sense of humor (which is overtly sexist and extreme) and recognize that it's just that...humor. But SP is also self deprecating, which sits well with my philosophy that if you can't make fun of yourself, you shouldn't be making fun of others. Do yourself a favor and check out their videos (predictably, the explicit version of "Community Property" is better than the clean version) and their website. I highly recommend seein' them live in L.A., Vegas or if you're lucky, at a venue in your town. Believe me, they won't disappoint!!!
Updates SP released "Don't Stop Believin'" (Journey cover) in November 2009 and "Fantasy" (Aldo Nova cover) in December 2009. These are fantastic versions of the originals with great sound production. They released "I Want it That Way" ('N SYNC cover) in July 2010. A great metal version of the boy-band song, although the production quality is slightly less impressive than their previous work.  And let's not forget "Sexy Santa", released in time for Christmas 2009 - hilarious! Just be careful not to mix this tune in with the ones you play during your family holiday parties (then again, it would definitely liven things up).

Contact Noel at noeledge@knewgeneration.com