Steel Panther – Heavy Metal Rules
Reviewed: October, 2019
Released: 2019, Steel Panther Inc.
Reviewer: Celtic Bob
HEAVY METAL RULES is the band’s follow-up to 2017’s LOWER THE BAR. As you’d expect, this album is chock full of sex & drugs (like most good albums). So break out your 80’s spandex and a can of Aqua Net and be prepared to be transported back to when Metal ruled the airwaves.
Musically it’s all there with the big, pounding drum sounds and crunchy guitar solos that ooze with attitude. Lyrically it may be a bit more blatant and in your face than the band’s of yesteryear, but the story remains the same. A Steel Panther record is about having a good time and over the top scenarios.
Kicking off the album is a short intro entitled “Zebraman” before the music begins with the debut single, “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)” which is a guitar heavy song that sets the tone for what we can expect from the remainder of the album. Next up is “Let’s Get High Tonight” and like the previous track is your stereotypical Panther song from the last few years. The second single from HEAVY METAL RULES, “Always Gonna Be A Ho” starts off acoustically before taking it up a notch to a mid-tempo number with some great harmonies toward the end. The futuristic beginning of “I’m Not Your Bitch” hearkens back to “Supersonic Sex Machine” from a few years ago but once it kicks in, it is much heavier. Next up is the latest single, “Fuck Everybody” which could be the theme song for many of us on a daily basis when the day-to-day grind gets to you. This is the quintessential anthem for today’s world as the lyrics could not be more spot on. The title track really shows off the vocal chops of Michael Starr. From the mellow beginning to the full on DLR scream shows that he still has it, decades after starting out in the business. He can belt it out with the best. “Sneaky Little Bitch” has the catchiest chorus on the disc. It will stick with you all day after hearing it. Little over the top lyrically but we’ve come to expect that in recent years. “Gods Of Pussy” is another with the extreme lyrics. Starts off slow then picks up a notch. This mid-temo track is my current least favourite on the album despite the potential of such a great title. This does not do the Gods justice. Cliched and unoriginal. The disc ends off on a mellow note with “I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling” this alongside “Fuck Everybody” are my top tracks on HEAVY METAL RULES. The lyrics sum up today’s way of life in the social media age perfectly.
Is this the best Steel Panther album to date? No. Is this the worst Steel Panther album to date? No. The FEEL THE STEEL album is the best Steel Panther album to date. It was original and a true 80’s Glam Metal record. All subsequent releases had elements of that and each had some moments but something is lacking since. The vulgarity is more pronounced in recent discs and many lyrics are less creative. The entire band are extraordinary musicians and Michael’s vocals are amazing. That has never changed. The songwriting has been waning recently. HEAVY METAL RULES is still entertaining and enjoyable to listen to but if placed next to the debut it pales in comparison. It is a step back in the right direction when put alongside LOWER THE BAR which I found forgettable. We all know HEAVY METAL RULES and this LP will be sure to get many spins on my turntable. I just hope that the next Steel Panther record will be closer to the debut and have more elements from the 80’s.