Album Review: Steel Panther – Lower the Bar

By Andrew Bansal

Glam metal comedy/parody kings Steel Panther are veterans in their own right, toiling hard on the Sunset Strip week upon week for several years before breaking through as a global phenomenon. With an unbeatable combination of solid musicianship, skilled lyric writing and immaculate comedic timing, Steel Panther became one of the greatest bands on the planet. They started out as Metal Shop, then became Danger Kitty, then Metal Skool and finally Steel Panther, but the essence of the band remained the same throughout, only their songs and live shows got funnier. On March 2017, they released their new album ‘Lower the Bar’, a collection of 11 brand new songs that further spread their signature gospel of sleazy humor and glam metal.

‘Lower the Bar’ opens all guns blazing with the hilarious ‘Goin’ in the Backdoor’, kicks into overdrive with ‘Anything Goes’, and from then on, the Steel Panther glam comedy train just keeps a rollin’ with one instant classic after another. ‘Poontang Boomerang’ is a glorious nod to Warrant’s ‘Cherry Pie’, while ‘That’s When You Came In’ is a ballad-like tune that’s sure to become a hit at first listen purely by its lyrics and is one of the highlights of this entire record, and from the first few songs itself it’s clear that Steel Panther are doing anything but lowering the bar.

As long as this album plays, the party does not stop, and following solid tracks like ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks (Out in Beverly Hills)’ and ‘Now the Fun Starts’, you are bombarded with lyrical standouts ‘Pussy Ain’t Free’ and ‘Walk of Shame’, songs that leave you in splits. The album comes to a close with ‘She’s Tight’, Steel Panther’s salute to Cheap Trick, and of course it features a guest appearance by Robin Zander, because that’s just how Steel Panther roll.

If you’re not paying attention to the lyrics while listening to Steel Panther, you are missing the point and you might as well not listen at all. That being said, the guitar, bass and drum parts are well arranged with the vocals, which comes as no surprise because these guys are nothing less than glam metal experts. ‘Lower the Bar’ proves that nearly two decades deep in their career, Steel Panther haven’t lost touch with their core concept, and more crucially, haven’t run out of ideas to keep themselves relevant in the realm of what they so uniquely pursue.

Producer Jay Ruston once again (re)sets the gold standard for rock and metal with his crystal clear production and perfectly balanced mix on this one, which again contradicts the album title. Besides, the cover artwork also aptly represents the image of the band and of the tunes on this album, and is an excellent follow-up to the epic cover that decorates the previous album ‘All You Can Eat’.

Glam metal is a musical genre that hit the big time in the ’80s but did not stand the test of time, and neither did its bands, who are now complete caricatures of themselves, putting out mediocre records or no records at all and playing awful shows. In many ways, glam metal is now a parody of itself, and it is absolutely fitting that a parody band is the only one keeping it alive in the year 2017. Steel Panther is the best thing to have happened to glam metal in the last 20 years, and their newest album showcases that in plenty.

With 11 instant classic party anthems overflowing with laughs and riffs, Steel Panther’s ‘Lower the Bar’ is here to rock your tits off.

Rating: 9/10

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Record Label: Open E Entertainment
Release Date: March 24th 2017

Track Listing:
01. Goin’ In The Backdoor (3:10)
02. Anything Goes (3:01)
03. Poontang Boomerang (3:23)
04. That’s When You Came In (3:46)
05. Wrong Side Of The Tracks (Out In Beverly Hills) (3:07)
06. Now The Fun Starts (3:44)
07. Pussy Ain’t Free (3:56)
08. Waster Too Much Time (3:51)
09. I Got What You Want (4:13)
10. Walk Of Shame (4:12)
11. She’s Tight (2:56)

Total Duration: 39:19

Steel Panther links: website | facebook | twitter | instagram