’68 with Grenadiers, Pagan + Crusch Northcote Social Club, Melbourne 21 July, 2017 It just …
This record is a joke, right? A joke far beyond this whole sex-ravaged court jester gig Steel Panther have been recycling for four records now. I mean, the fact people still give this band any time at all, let alone their hard-earned wads of cash, is so far beyond me that all I can do is hope and pray Steel Panther are nothing but a walking, talking, snorting practical joke that everyone else is in on… then there’s me, on the outside looking in, shaking my head and cursing you all for giving this band enough legs to still be running eight years on.
I’m telling you, sooner or later – probably mid set right before they’re about to whip their dicks out for some on stage blowjobs mid song – Ashton Kutcher is gonna jump outta Michael Starr’s “costume” (let’s call it that, even though it’s more like a thinly veiled version of a transvestite in a Twisted Sister get-up) with cocaine residue all over his nose yelling, “I got you, bitches. You got Punk’d!”
The name of the album says it all: Lower the Bar. Steel Panther already had the bar set pretty low, but this – they should really be commended for how bad you can get, desperately push your product and still somehow position yourself as legitimate musicians. Someone tell Ed Sheeran he’s not the only one who can do that anymore.
Records like Lower the Bar (heck, any Steel Panther, Ed Sheeran or Britney Spears et al. record for that matter) make my job as a music critic more redundant than it already is. The fact of the matter remains: people will buy this record – and probably love this record – regardless of the two-dollar takedowns and half-baked criticism any critic out there will throw at Steel Panther and their pathetic excuse for a fourth record.
They’ve managed to raise the bar by still making people care even though their approach (and result) is so shit and unimaginative any ten-year-old boy that’s figured out how to jerk himself silly could’ve written this record, provided, of course, his Daddy had a pile of Van Halen records he could steal riffs from.
They might have lowered the bar when it comes to, shit, I don’t know, how about treating women as nothing but lifeless, shallow sexual objects, or stealing music from every glam rock band since the fucking 80s (the chorus in Poontang Boomerang is an exact copy of Cherry Pie by Warrant; enough so I’m seriously wondering how they haven’t been sued for breach of copyright.) They’ve managed to raise the bar by still making people care even though their approach (and result) is so shit and unimaginative any ten-year-old boy that’s figured out how to jerk himself silly could’ve written this record, provided, of course, his Daddy had a pile of Van Halen records he could steal riffs from.
Like I said, maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe I respect my mother, my girlfriend and my daughter (if I ever have one) enough that I don’t want to listen to middle-aged men in spandex, singlets and sweatbands ask, “Can I dip my nuts in your chocolate?” Yeah, that’s a real line from the opening song, Going in the Back Door – do I really need to talk about the rest of the record anymore or do song titles like She’s Tight, Pussy Ain’t Free and Walk of Shame do the job of exposing Steel Panther as a tried and tired sexist performance we’ve all seen, and all got violently sick of, time and time again.
I can’t think of any other time to play Lower the Bar – or any Steel Panther record, for that matter – other than full blare at a cheap, seedy strip club with sticky floors and old white men throwing handfuls of shrapnel at over-the-hill dancers, or when I’m black-out drunk at a house party, high fiving my boy while we’re tag-teaming the quarterback’s girlfriend in the host’s parents bedroom. I guess it’s because of situations like that you end up with song titles like Pussy Ain’t Free, She’s Tight and Going in the Back Door, and I guess it’s because of situations like that, and everything Steel Panther epitomise and represent, that this record blows (pun intended – see kids, it ain’t hard to make sex jokes). Save your money, your bandwidth allocation and raid your Dad’s wax collection for some Guns n’ Roses instead. Shit man, they actually were sex, drugs and rock and roll, not some cheap knock off doing the rounds thirty years later.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Poontang Boomerang, Pussy Ain’t Free, She’s Tight
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Warrant, Twisted Sister, Motley Crue
Steel Panther is out now.