As you know bands like Poison, White Lion, Warrant, Baton Rouge and Lynch Mob are among my favorites, hell, Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet was my entrence door to harder music. Funny as that might seem when you consider that my later guitar heroes naturally include lads like Nuno, Paul Gilbert, Satch, Steve Vai, Malmsteen and John Petrucci, guys like C.C. DeVille (Poison), Vito Brata (White Lion) or George Lynch (Lynch Mob) have probably influenced my songwriting more than any of the other six (ok, Nuno and PG did as well).
Having said that: how is it that I missed out on Steel Panther until about four months ago? I remember seeing stories about them on Blabbermouth but never paying attention and then I saw this ridiculous concert poster (watch out, NSFW: Balls Out cover art), chuckling and thinking, “seriously?” It was so overdone but I guess necessary for serendipity to finally catch up and so I tried them out on Spotify.
Fast forward, I have a hard time putting into words how much I love that album Balls Out (Spotify listening link). And I’ll tell you why. Back in 1990 I though Poison’s album Flesh & Blood (wikipedia, spotify) was the holy grail. I even paid for the original Hal Leonard tabulature book. I breathed the riffs on that album. And was so sad when everything Poison published following that album was not living up to my own hype. Mind you, at that time my English wasn’t as good as it is now and this was purely a musical thing.
Look at Balls Out and you have what Poison could have become today musically. And I mean that as the biggest compliment, well knowing that aside to many of the members being around in and playing in bands during the hair/glam metal hightime, Steel Panther’s in the early days was a cover band. And you could hear them paying tribute to their roots very obviously on the first album Feel the Steel but on the sophomore album Balls Out the riffs totally carry their own weight, a real joy to my ears.
In addition to the (in my opinion) brilliant music I wear a constant smile listening to their lyrics. Most of them are neither SFW nor very PC at all but pure fun. I agree with the critics listed on the Wikipedia article
Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles gave the album a rating of nine out of ten stars, saying that “[f]rom start to finish, Balls Out is 14 bundles of fun.” Canadian music and entertainment website Rockstar Weekly gave the album a perfect 5 stars saying “For those lucky enough to understand the joke, Balls Out is the standout album of the year. It just plain kicks ass.”
It is a parody and a great one, each lyric a poem of itself. Well yes, it maybe the kind of humor pubescent young lads like but combined with the outfits and everything it’s just a big party.
Did I mention, that Steel Panther is coming to Hamburg in 10 days and that I’m going? 😉 Now were is my leather jacket and the bandana…