Record review: Steel Panther – All You Can Eat (2014, LP)

Steel Panther All You Can Eat

Listening to Steel Panther’s albums from their 2003 debut to this fourth effort gives you the distinct feeling that the Los Angeles heavy metal fraudsters started what was meant to be a short-term joke and have somehow managed to keep it going this far. All bit-part players before hitting it big with Steel Panther, the quartet clearly realise the need to outdo themselves, be even more shocking, and consequently more pathetically boneheaded with every new release. Sometimes their attempts at comedy set to rock music are compared to Spinal Tap, but the difference is that with Spinal Tap, the jokes were always on them, and funny. The entire Steel Panther comedy formula can be summed up thus: degrading women = cheap laughs. Each member displays considerable musical chops once again, with guitarist Satchel being a particularly impressive shredder, but vacant attempts at glam metal like ‘Gloryhole’ and ‘She’s On The Rag’ fall way short of even matching their previous levels of song craft. “There was so much love on your face, I couldn’t see the tears,” sings Michael Starr on ‘Bukkake Tears’; at which point you realise this is a fifty year-old man grabbing his last chance at stardom with these words, and a creeping feeling of desperation sets in for the rest of the album. Oh yeah, and all this misogynistic crap – spoof or not – stopped being amusing a very long time ago; say about 1989. (Open E/Kobalt)

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