Category Archives: Steel Panther

Steel Panther – Live From Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage [Album Review]

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Steel Panther – Live from Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage
2016, Open E Music

1. Show Intro/Say Yeah!
2. Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
3. Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
4. If You Really, Really Love Me
5. Gloryhole
6. Bukkake Tears
7. The Burden of Being Wonderful
8. Weenie Ride
9. That’s When You Came In
10. Michael Don’t Know
11. Community Property
12. Grindy and Sexy
13. Death to All But Metal

Band:
Ralph “Michael Starr” Saenz – Lead Vocals
Russ “Satchel” Parrish – Guitar
Travis “Lexxi Foxx” Haley – Bass
Darren “Stix Zadinia” Leader – Drums

With Steel Panther originally gaining buzz on the L.A. club scene as a hair metal cover band, it’s only natural to see them release a live album (a live DVD filmed in England had previously been released). The only question is: What took them so long?

It’s not surprising that the band would stick only to original songs but I found it interesting that the band chose to make this a stripped down acoustic/electric performance in a small setting with a female-only crowd. But then I guess that’s the joke, isn’t it? Lame brain sexist hair metal pigs posing as romantics. Like the old Monster Ballads commercial used to say, “every bad boy has a soft side” (or at least he pretends he does in order to get laid). I mean, what girl won’t soak her panties when listening to the acoustic versions of “Fat Girl” or “Community Property”?

There’s a few irrelevant short tracks that feature the band bantering, but what you’re left with is ten excellent tracks that show this band is just as awesome acoustically as they are in “plugged in” setting. Ralph Saenz has to be one of the best hair metal singers ever and Russ Parrish is incredibly underrated as a guitarist, IMO.

The band debuts one new track, “That’s When You Came In”. A very heartfelt ballad that I hope makes it to the new studio album.

For anyone that doesn’t like Steel Panther’s shtick, Live at Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage isn’t going to change their mind. As someone who is already a fan, I’m digging these stripped down tracks.

And, yes, that’s Bobbi Brown posing as Lexxi’s mom on the album cover.

Highlights: “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World”, “Bukkake Tears”, “The Burden of Being Wonderful”, “Community Property”, “Death to All But Metal”

Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life [Review]

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 Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life
2014, Rhino Records
Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. Neon Knights – Anthrax
2. The Last In Line – Tenacious D
3. The Mob Rules – Adrenaline Mob
4. Rainbow In The Dark – Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher
5. Straight Through The Heart – Halestorm
6. Starstruck – Motörhead with Biff Byford
7. The Temple Of The King – Scorpions
8. Egypt (The Chains Are On) – Doro
9. Holy Diver – Killswitch Engage
10. Catch The Rainbow – Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren
11. I – Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy
12. Man On The Silver Mountain – Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren
13. Ronnie Rising Medley (A Light In The Black / Tarot Woman / Stargazer / Kill The King) – Metallica
14. This Is Your Life – Dio
Bonus Track:
15. Buried Alive – Jasta

Well, there certainly hasn’t been an absence of Dio-related releases since Ronnie’s passing. In the 4 years that Ronnie has been gone there have been two compilations, two live releases (a third is due shortly) and at least three tribute albums by my count. Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life is the third tribute album that I am aware of. The first two tributes were Jorn’s Dio (which Wendy Dio gave her blessing for) and Joey DeMaio’s Magic (which Wendy did not approve of), though I’m sure there’s probably more out there.

As far as star power and  talent goes, you won’t find a better Dio tribute: Anthrax, Halestorm, Metallica, Scorpions, Rob Halford, Motorhead, Biff Byford, Vinny Appice, Doro, Doug Aldrich… the list goes on and on.

Most these songs are played fairly straight and faithfully but it’s still interesting to hear Dio covered by other well-known artists and the songs cover his years in Rainbow, Black Sabbath and the Dio band. The majority of these tracks range from good to excellent. Even Tenacious D (who I normally can’t stand) do a decent job.

There are a few tracks I do have an issue with though. For one, Killswitch Engage’s “Holy Diver”. I don’t like metalcore and never needed to hear a metalcore version complete with unnecessary pinch harmonics that would make Zakk Wylde proud. I give them credit for trying to make the song their own, but it doesn’t make it a good cover.

Then there’s the cover of Black Sabbath’s “I”. There’s a good line-up of musicians on the track and Oni Logan is a good singer but he lacks the power to really put that song over the top like Dio did. He doesn’t sound bad, but I don’t think he’s the right fit for a song like this, if that makes any sense.

Then there’s “Man on the Silver Mountain”. Again, great musicians here. It’s Rob Halford backed by a collection of former Dio band members. Doug Aldrich’s presence is felt throughout the song and while he was in Dio before he joined Whitesnake, the song is given a slight makeover and comes across like a modern Whitesnake song. Halford sounds fine, but again, he doesn’t have the proper voice to be covering songs sung by Ronnie James Dio. Or songs sung by Ronnie James Dio that have been given a Whitesnake makeover. I’m liking this take on the song musically, I just think Halford’s vocals are out of place.

Glenn Hughes turns in a fantastic soulful performance on “Catch the Rainbow”. He is also backed by a collection of former Dio players. Motorhead & Biff Byford do a great job on “Starstruck” and I initially thought that was the Glenn Hughes track when I first heard it. “The Temple of the King” by Scorpions is wonderful as well. It’s a faithful cover of the original but it’s very cool to hear Klaus Meine on vocals.

The track that is garnering the most attention, obviously, is the Metallica track. I’m glad they are on this project because there’s no doubt they have brought eyes to this album that might not have given it a look otherwise. They do a good job covering four of Rainbow’s best songs.

The physical CD closes the album with the ballad “This Is Your Life” which is pulled from Dio’s 1996 album Angry Machines. The song is given extra weight considering the circumstances. Jasta’s “Buried Alive” is a digital album exclusive bonus track and is actually pretty good. Once again, Japan gets more material than North America because Stryper’s cover of “Heaven and Hell” and the Dio Disciples’ take on “Stand Up and Shout” appear on pressings over there. Seriously, what’s up with Japan always getting bonus tracks that never see the light of the day in the United States? I’ve never heard anyone actually address why that happens so often!

A few minor quibbles, but this isn’t a better Dio tribute album out and there probably never will be. Must have for Dio fans!

Highlights: “Rainbow In the Dark”, “Straight Through the Heart”, “Starstruck”, “The Temple of the King”, “Egypt (The Chains Are On)”, “Catch the Rainbow”, “Ronnie Rising Medley”, “This Is Your Life”

Steel Panther – All You Can Eat [Review]

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Steel Panther – All You Can Eat
2014, Open E Entertainment
Buy the album at Amazon.com

1. Pussywhipped
2. Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
3. Gloryhole
4. Bukkake Tears
5. Gangbang at the Old Folks Home
6. Ten Strikes You’re Out
7. The Burden of Being Wonderful
8. Fucking My Heart in the Ass
9. B.V.S
10. You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk
11. If I Was King
12. She’s On the Rag

Band:
Michael Starr – lead vocals, backing vocals
Satchel – lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Lexxi Foxxx – bass guitar, backing vocals
Stix Zadinia – drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals

Additional Musicians:
Vivian Campbell – Guitar (“Gangbang at the Old Folks Home”)

Steel Panther continues to prowl the streets with their special satiric blend of heavy metal, melodic rock, sex and gross-out humor. All You Can Eat delivers some of the band’s best songs to date with some interesting musical choices. “Pussywhipped” begins with an acoustic intro that sounds a bit ominous, I half expected the band to break out into 1980s-era thrash song while the keyboards portions used in “She’s On the Rag” sound like they could have very well come from a Lady GaGa song.

For my money, Steel Panther is one of the best rock/metal bands around. Not only are they funny but they are great musicians and songwriters. Pop, heavy metal, glam… it doesn’t matter. They do it and do it well (and I’m not just talking about having sex). Though the band already has some great songs in their catalog, this is probably their best record to date. I can’t get “The Burden of Being Wonderful”, “You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk”, “Bukkake Tears” or “She’s On the Rag” out of my head. In fact, I’ve had to correct myself at work because I’ve found myself mumbling the lyrics on a number of occasions. And trust me, “Bukkake Tears” and “She’s On the Rag” are two songs you don’t want to sing aloud unless you want a visit from HR!

Even so, “Bukkake Tears” and “The Burden of Being Wonderful” are two of my favorite songs of the year. They are nothing short of modern pop-metal masterpieces. I realize some people many not be accepting of that given the lyrics, but that’s how I feel. If these guys toned down the humor for one album, they’d probably deliver one of the best hair metal albums of all time. Even with the humor, they are still delivering some of the best hair metal albums. Filler tracks here would be “B.V.S.” (which stands for Big Vagina Syndrome) and “Ten Strikes You’re Out”.

All You Can Eat is an extremely fun album with great riffs and catchy choruses for days. Gonna be tough to beat this one at the end of the year.

Highlights: “Pussywhipped”, “Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World”, “Gloryhole”, “Bukkake Tears”, “The Burden of Being Wonderful”, “You’re Beautiful When You Don’t Talk”, “She’s On the Rag”

Steel Panther – Balls Out

Steel Panther – Balls Out (2011, Universal Republic Records)

1. “In The Future” … 1:28
2. “Supersonic Sex Machine” … 3:10
3. “Just Like Tiger Woods” … 3:41
4. “17 Girls In A Row” … 3:41
5. “If You Really, Really Love Me” … 2:25
6. “It Won’t Suck Itself” … 2:54
7. “Tomorrow Night” … 2:58
8. “Why Can’t You Trust Me” … 4:01
9. “That’s What Girls Are For” … 3:59
10. “Gold-Digging Whore” … 3:55
11. “I Like Drugs” … 4:19
12. “Critter” … 3:38
13. “Let Me Come In” … 3:30
14. “Weenie Ride” … 4:20

Band:
Michael Starr – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Satchel – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Lexxi Foxxx – Bass, Backing Vocals
Stix Zadinia – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Chad Kroger – Vocals (“It Won’t Suck Itself”)
Dane Cook – Spoken Words (“In The Future”)

Producer: Jay Ruston

The mighty Steel Panther has returned with another round of heavy metal parody. What’s great about these guys is that while they certainly have the glam-metal mimbo image down pat, these guys can actually get pretty heavy when they want to. Just check out “Death To All But Metal” from Feel The Steel or this album’s “Supersonic Sex Machine” (which apes Judas Priest’s “Rapid Fire” quite well). As far as musicianship goes, these guys are no joke.

There’s a bit of a trade-off with this album in comparison to Feel The Steel. FTS had funnier songs (“Asian Girl”, “Death To All But Metal”, “Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin'”, “Community Property”) but I think overall Balls Out is a much more consistent listen. And this is coming from someone who LOVED Feel The Steel! I’m not sure if the joke has played itself out or what, maybe it’s a case of “been there, done that” but I wasn’t as entertained by the lyrics this time.

Don’t get me wrong, the lyrics are humorous and still a big part of Steel Panther’s charm. They are, after all, a parody and you get the overly sexist lyrics that belittle women (seventeen women if you believe Michael’s tale in “17 Girls in a Row”) with references to anal sex, oral sex, gold diggers, “weenie rides”, drugs and masturbation while asking important questions like “Why can’t you trust me?”

Musically, their style hasn’t changed a bit. It’s glam, it’s hard rock, it’s heavy metal! Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Warrant, Poison, Ratt, etc. are still the main influences and Satchel gets to show off just how much of a monster he is with his guitar. There’s some filler such as “Weenie Ride” and “I Like Drugs” but overall this is a very strong rock/metal release that puts it near the top of the pack for 2011.

Highlights: “Supersonic Sex Machine”, “Just Like Tiger Woods”, “17 Girls In A Row”, “It Won’t Suck Itself”, “If You Really, Really Love Me”, “Critter”

http://www.steelpantherrocks.com/
http://www.facebook.com/steelpantherkicksass

Buy ‘Balls Out’ at Amazon.com

STEEL PANTHER – Feel the Steel

Steel Panther – Feel the Steel (2009, Universal Republic Records)

1. “Death to All But Metal” … 2:30
2. “Asian Hooker” … 4:02
3. “Community Property” … 3:39
4. “Eyes Of A Panther” … 3:37
5. “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)” … 4:38
6. “Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin'” … 3:50
7. “Party All Day (Fuck All Night)” … 3:03
8. “Turn Out the Lights” … 4:24
9. “Stripper Girl” … 3:35
10. “The Shocker” … 4:10
11. “Girl From Oklahoma” … 3:57

Band:
Michael Starr – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Satchel – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Lexxi Foxxx – Bass, Backing Vocals
Stix Zadinia – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Justin Hawkins – Co-Lead Vocals (“Party All Day (Fuck All Night)”)
M. Shadows – Co-Lead Vocals (“Turn Out the Lights”)
Allison Robertson – Lead Guitar (“Party All Day (Fuck All Night)”)
Scott Ian – Rhythm Guitar (“Asian Hooker”)
Corey Taylor – Backing Vocals (“Death to All But Metal”, “Asian Hooker”, “Eyes of a Panther”)
Matt Nelson – Backing Vocals (“Eyes of a Panther”, “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)”, “Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin'”, “The Shocker”)
Brett Anderson – Backing Vocals (“Eyes of a Panther”)
Joe Lester – Backing Vocals (“Community Property”, “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)”, “Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin'”, “The Shocker”)

Producer: Jay Ruston

Steel Panther is a band that is a satire of my favorite rock genre — glam metal. At various points in their career, they have been known as Danger Kitty (in a popular Discover card commercial), Metal Skool and up until a few years ago — Metal Shop (under this name they self-released an album called Hole Patrol in 2003). Having signed with Universal (What? A major label signing ANYTHING that has to do with glam metal ?!), the band once again changed their name, deciding on Steel Panther. Definitely a cool glam band name, but I think I like Danger Kitty most!

Steel Panther has been an extremely popular L.A. club band for years, many big name celebrities have come to their shows and sung along with them on all kinds of ’80s hair metal songs (a number of musicians cameo on this album). They were initially a ’80s rock/metal cover band, but as you can see, they have moved on to original material. The music is spot on and the production is great. The album covers the bases well and sounds like an actual ’80s band and I mean that in a good way. This is a parody, but the music itself is never really the punchline, only the lyrics are… which are sexist, macho, filthy and perverted. Just like any good glam band’s lyrics would be!

Guitarist Satchel (real name Russ Parrish) really shines on this album and Ralph “Michael Starr” Saenz is an amazing vocalist. Plus, he knows a thing or two about hair band excess having briefly been the lead singer of L.A. Guns in ’97 and ’98. Ralph also fronts the Roth-era Van Halen cover band The Atomic Punks and throughout the album, you can definitely hear why he’s a great fit to cover the Roth tunes.

I see a lot of reviews saying this album has no staying power, Steel Panther is a one night joke, blah blah blah. Look, the lyrics are intentionally juvenile. Even after years of being familiar with some of these songs (the band has rotated them on their MySpace page for a number of years), I still think they’re funny, but I have a genuine love for the genre so if you aren’t a huge hair/glam fan, then I could see where this could get old fast for some people.

Forget the lyrics though, the most important thing is the actual music and it is great. I would put Steel Panther up against any glam band in their prime. That’s just how good this music is, which seems to be a blend of Poison, Motley Crue, Warrant, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi and Van Halen. As much as I’m defending the lyrics though, I would love to hear another album from this band dropping the intentionally humorous lyrics but keeping the same exact sound because I hate the fact that this band is getting labeled as “just” a comedy act.

Highlights: “Death to All But Metal”, “Asian Hooker”, “Community Property”, “Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin'”, “Stripper Girl”, “Turn Out the Lights”, “The Shocker”

www.steelpantherrocks.com
www.myspace.com/steelpantherkicksass

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