Nothing excites the masses more than witnessing other people behaving badly from time to time. Maybe at some point Jerry Springer was your guilty pleasure? Do you love that newest rap song where every other word is edited for radio content? Or maybe you get your sleaze from the most recent political debates? In this particular case I’m referring to a group of degenerates who abuse loud guitars, jump off drum risers and command morally ambiguous girls to perform their every desire. This is STEEL PANTHER, and they’re here to destroy your eardrums and make you laugh while doing it.
Lower the Bar is the band’s fourth full-length studio album, out March 24 on Open E. They’ve given us a tight selection of 11 tracks that all fit the STEEL PANTHER formula of wailing guitars and hilarious lyrics about engaging in acts that no one with any dignity would be proud of. The production value is top notch and the boys sound better than ever. Lead singer Michael Starr may have one of the most dynamic voices in the business. Axe man Satchel is an Eddie Van Halen level guitar master. Lexxi Foxx locks down that low end (and looks damn sexy doing it), and Stix Zadinia hammers the skins as well as any drummer on the scene today.
We get our first taste of sleaze with the opening track “Going In the Back Door.” The subject matter isn’t up for debate with a title like that. Vocalist Michael Starr is doing what he does best and making it look easy. Meanwhile Sachel and the rest of the boys are hitting every note like it stole their lunch money. “Anything Goes” is a damn tasty treat. It’s a typical STEEL PANTHER tune…if typical meant awesome, and with this band it usually does. This track fits in well with the band’s pedigree of loud, offensive and often infectious songs. You can’t help but smile when these guys go where no other band dares to go.
“That’s When You Came In” is the album’s quintessential ballad. Sweet vocal harmony, tasteful acoustic guitar work and understated percussion start the song off before picking up the pace. This song checks ever box and is possibly the best on the album. Think of classic tracks like “Community Property” and “Weenie Ride” and you’ll get the idea of what to expect here. “Now The Fun Starts” is a darker track with a seedy Sunset Strip feel. One of the album’s best, it takes the band in a different direction sonically, while still delivering maximum shock value with the lyrics. A particularly tasteless line involving Bruce and Kendall Jenner realty stands out here. Oh my…
Getting this album is a no brainer if you are already a Steel Panther fan. If you aren’t then this is a good jumping on point. Lower the Bar continues the band’s successful blend of hard rocking tunes with a hilarious twist. You won’t regret picking up a copy of the newest STEEL PANTHER on March 24!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “That’s When You Came In”, “Going In the Back Door”, “Now the Fun Starts”, “Anything Goes”