Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Is Steel Panther's "All You Can Eat" A Dirty Delicacy or Too Much to Stomach?

Steel Panther.  If you've been paying attention in the hard rock scene the last half-decade, you will likely associate that name with one of two things:  a band that has so accurately resurrected the hair metal look and sound in the 2010's, or the band that has so unapologetically coupled filthy comedy with well-produced music.

Either way, you're right.  And with such a distinct reputation, it puts the band in a position where it would be virtually impossible to change their style and retain their fan base.

The questions are:  Can they continue doing what they do for much longer or will it get old?  And how much further can they go?

Well, the band is back with a new album, All You Can Eat, that is designed to answer those questions.

Though "P***ywhipped" starts off the album in a manner that doesn't quite reach the bar that Steel Panther has set for itself in its prior releases, "Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World" approaches, if not exceeds, that bar.  The lyrics suggest how one should spend the last day on Earth and, as you may imagine, some of those suggestions are so dirty and outrageous that one can't help but listen as closely as possible to each and every word of the song.  It doesn't help that the sweet chorus sticks in your head the way caramel sticks in your teeth:  so enjoyable to consume even though you know it's bad for ya!

Speaking of dirty and outrageous, anyone who looked at the track listing before listening to the album will be hard-pressed to resist the temptation to skip ahead to "G**g B**g at the Old Folks Home."  As the title suggests, Steel Panther is trying to take their schtick to the next level with this song.  Unfortunately, it comes of as "trying too hard" which, in comedy, rarely works out too well. 

On the flip side, there are shockingly two tunes on the album that are totally devoid of sexual references, though still steeped in comedic aspirations:  "The Burden of Being Wonderful" and "You're Beautiful When You Don't Talk."  Though those tracks are entertaining, Steel Panther are at their best when remaining in their sleaze-encrusted wheelhouse.  And that wheelhouse is exactly where "B.V.S" - an acronym for Big Vagina Syndrome - and "She's On The Rag" lie.

Though irreverence, hilarity, cleverness, and almost understated musical perfection make appearances pretty much throughout the record, they all come together brilliantly on the highlight of the release, "If I Was the King."  The lyrics reveal what singer Michael Starr would legalize, destroy, require, kill, and more if he were in charge.  Needless to say, you're going to laugh out loud, even if you feel guilty about it.

All You Can Eat is a buffet of boundary-busting humor set to an authentic hair metal soundtrack.  And like most buffets, there are people who will leave satisfied with their gluttony and those who will feel like their insides are about to burst from taking on more that they can handle.  So, consume All You Can Eat at your own risk!