REVIEW: STEEL PANTHER – “Lower the Bar”
If you long for the days when glam rock was king and big hair, make-up and incredible guitar solos ruled the airwaves, LA’s Steel Panther have you covered… kind of. While the music is nostalgic and will bring you that sense of euphoria you felt when you were that age, they’re a parody band for the genre and bring a lot of fun into it. Their latest album, ‘Lower the Bar’, has an ironic title, because they’ve done anything but with the music contained within it. In fact, if anything, they’ve RAISED the bar for the genre on the musical side. ‘Lower the Bar’ also has some of the filthiest, raunchiest lyrics that vocalist Michael Starr has sung in the band’s history, so I guess you can say that it’s a double-edged sword.
The album opens up with “Goin’ in the Back Door” which describes Starr’s affinity for the “Hershey Highway” (if you don’t know the meaning of that phrase, you probably shouldn’t read on.) The main riff – a higher pitched, short one – will get stuck in your head. As the song progresses, we hear a blistering solo from guitarist Russ Parrish (better known as Satchel) that does a great job in melting your face off.
Although the subject matter doesn’t quite warrant it, the album’s first single “Poontang Boomerang” had its video premier on infamous adult website PornHub. The subject matter has to deal with those crazy one-night-stands who get a taste of the stick and, despite repeated rebuffs, keeps trying to come back for more. This song is a lot groovier than the previous couple of tracks and has an early Van Halen feel to it.
Vocally, despite the comedic nature of every lyric sung, singer Michael Starr is actually quite an incredible talent. It really shows in their ballad-like tracks like “That’s When You Came In,” which leads off acoustically up until the bridge, where things go electric and Satchel hits you with a steamy solo once again. Every facet of Starr’s vocal range shows in these types of songs and, what’s even more impressive, is that he can hit every note he sings in the studio live. Seriously, if you don’t believe that, go catch them live.
‘Lower the Bar’ is 11 tracks of some of the grittiest, filthiest work that the band has ever written. The title, I can only assume, is another one of their comedic stunts because it does anything but ‘lower the bar’. In fact, for this genre, bands need to start stepping up their game because, at this rate, Steel Panther is going to take the throne! So grab your hair spray, whip your piece out, get smashed and crank this sh*t up to 11 – ‘Lower the Bar’ arrives on March 24th!