The new Steel Panther album, “On the Prowl”, was released a few days ago, but just to paraphrase the title of its first track, “It’s Never Too Late (To Write A Review)”.
Contrary to CDC recommendations, Steel Panther have stayed very active during the years when humanity was battling Covid. They did a few live-streams (one of which we reviewed HERE), and released the definitive song to summarize the complete mess the world got itself into in 2020, the aptly titled “f**k 2020”.
The band was also busy picking a replacement to original bassist Lexxi Fox, who announced his departure on July 2021. Many audition tapes an a few shows with potential candidates later, the chosen one to carry the low end of their sound was their long time friend Joe “Spyder” Lester. Having already played with them in 2018, Spyder is a solid and safe bet, and the band literally did not skip a beat, jumping straight into the production of “On the Prowl”.
One thing that should be established from the get-go is that at this point, nothing would change anyone’s opinion about Steel Panther. Having released their debut “Feel the Steel” in 2009, their debauchery and offensiveness has only gotten worse and more in-your-face through the years. If you get the joke, you’ll like it, and if you don’t, it’s better to stay away. The rewards for sticking around is that you get to have fun like old times, without worrying about getting cancelled or losing a sponsorship.
With a cover that shows their mascot in shiny silver prowling through the Sunset Strip, it’s no wonder that they decided to start the album with a whistle scream by vocalist Michael Starr, which mimics something that David Lee Roth would do. “It’s Never Too Late (To Get Some Pussy Tonight)” kicks it off with one of the most energetic songs they have released in many years. The song has already had its live debut in last year’s “Res-Erections Tour”, even before the album was released. Next up is another single, “Friends With Benefits”, another fast-paced number where the band explores the dangers and advantages of international trade and Asian migration.
Addressing what is probably the most dangerous pandemic in recent times, “On Your Instagram” talks about the excessive and deceiving use of Instagram filters. Much like on “Community Property”, one of their biggest hits, the overtly seriousness of the music is counterbalanced by the lighter tone of the lyrics.
The stock market, Warren Buffet, crypto-currencies and asset management are lumped together on “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”, a Steel-Panther-by-numbers song, if there ever was one. Things get a little more exciting on “1987”, a bittersweet number that reminisces about simpler times, when “the friends we had were real and we saw them every day, and no one once got canceled for the things that they say”. Satchel’s incredible guitar solo on this song is one of the highlights of this album. Reminding us of something Warren DeMartini would do on Ratt’s heyday, it has already been covered by a gazillion YouTubers.
No strangers to the topic of human anatomy, the band runs into more than one controversy when they decide to address this theme. The bluesy “Is My Dick Enough” discusses male insecurity, while the menacing “My Dick is All that And More” boasts about the boys’ bulky privates, with a great intro by drummer Stix Zadynia, who seems to have taken inspiration from Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator” here. These two songs are separated by the poppy “Magical vag**a”, whose title says it all. And continuing down the same path, premature ejaculation is discussed on the high-octane “One Pump Chump”.
The self-deprecation they have resorted to in previous songs such as “I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling” or “Heavy Metal Rules” comes back in full swing on “Ain’t Dead Yet” and “Sleeping on the Rollaway”, both of which close the album while also summarizing the band’s way of life: have fun now and deal with the consequences later.
While some of the reviews of “On the Prowl” mention that their jokes have worn out, it’s fair to say that critics have been saying this about the band since their second album. There is still definitely gas in Steel Panther’s tank, and any hope that they change their approach is better to be left at the door. Overall, this might be a step below their previous album, 2019’s “Heavy Metal Rules”, but most of the songs here have the potential to make their way onto their live set. Their brand is as reliable as a bowl of Cheerios – you know exactly what you’re gonna get, and there’s no such thing as too much of it.
Released By: Steel Panther Inc
Release Date: February 24th, 2023
Genre: Hard Rock / Glam Rock
- Michael Starr / Vocals
- Russell John Parrish (Satchel) / Guitars
- Joe “Spyder” Lester / Bass
- Stix Zadynia / Drums
“On The Prowl” track listing:
1. Never Too Late (To Get Some Pussy Tonight)
2. Friends With Benefits
3. On Your Instagram
4. Put My Money Where Your Mouth Is
7. Is My D**k Enough (feat. Dweezil Zappa)
8. Magical vag**a
9. All That And More
10. One Pump Chump
12. Ain’t Dead Yet
13. Sleeping On The Rollaway
While not every joke lands on “On the Prowl”, Steel Panther somehow took a risk on the new album by staying exactly the same. If you want to listen to hard rock riffs, reminisce about a time when drinking beer and hitting on girls was a solid Saturday night, and scream about your girl’s magical body parts, look no further. Steel Panther is here to deliver the goods
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