An utter feelgood masterpiece.
Sophie Bruce 2009
Lock up your daughters, break out your hairspray, LA’s premier metal band are back with a debut album that’s been 20 years in the making… or so the story goes. In fact, Steel Panther are an 80s glam metal tribute band whose genius look and lyrics tower above anything seen before in the world of music parody.
Quite simply, Feel The Steel is an utter feelgood masterpiece. Yes it’s clichéd, yes the lyrics are sometimes so far across the line they can’t even see it any more, but this is pure teary-eyed laugh-til-you-weep stuff.
Every excess of the 1980s is gently mocked. From the glorious pseudonyms - Michael Starr, Stix Zadinia, Satchel and Lexxi Foxxx – to the Motley Crue-esque umlauts over their website menu, this is serious attention-to-detail lampooning.
Even their website shouts swagger –www.myspace.com/steelpantherkicksass . Their ‘Sounds Like’ section describes the band as ‘a thousand times cooler than whatever’s on your f****** iPod right now’. You can see why stars like Avril Lavigne, Pink and Kenny Loggins are queuing up to join them on stage.
Comedy genius aside, it should be noted that their musicianship is really quite something. There’s some serious talent here: the instrumental on Fat Girl is outstanding. Starr (a.k.a. Ralph Saenz) has a fantastic vocal range twinned with the enviable ability to appear wholly sincere on the most outrageously ridiculous (and utterly unprintable) lines.
Songs you absolutely must check out are opener Death To All But Metal, Whitesnake tribute Fat Girl, and the schmaltz of Community Property (‘I would give you the stars in the sky / But they’re too far away’) which will have Steve Tyler blushing in recognition. Be warned though, Girl From Oklahoma is borderline offensive and only the very hard to offend will enjoy “The Shocker”.
Ultimately, you simply can’t argue with 80s spoofers who have secured Dennis Haskins (a.k.a. Mr Belding from Saved By The Bell) to duet with them. It’s a no-brainer why these guys hold the title of ‘Best Tribute Band In The Universe’. Forget Spinal Tap, go home Tenacious D, THIS is the spoof band to worship.