When the NME says “if you’ve never had sex, you might like this album” (here), you can get a pretty decent idea of the amount of shit coming a record’s way.
If you didn’t know, Steel Panther are a 80s rock band doing their business (which is largely dressing in glam metal outfits and releasing music of a similar nature) only about 40 years past its sell-by-date. Even more importantly, they take themselves and their music about as seriously as a school does on the last day of term – with similar levels of immaturity too.
For the past ten years of their existence, their schtick has told samey jokes about sex, girls, sex, drugs, sex, how good rock is, and, oh yeah, sex. So, is this their newest endeavour ‘Heavy Metal Rules’ going to be where they finally ditch the overdone shite humour and give us something different, something of quality? Well, with tracks like ‘You’re Always Gonna Be A Ho’, ‘Sneaky Little Bitch’, and ‘Gods Of Pussy’ – with probably the worst lyrics to any song ever (read them for yourself, they’re fucking abysmal) – you can figure that one out for yourself.
The wave of jokes on this record are ridiculous, and perhaps that’s enough for some, but high levels of misogynistic humour coming in 2019 feels outdated and off. Being a parody band and not being able to make people laugh isn’t great, is it? The problem isn’t that they tell jokes, it’s that the jokes told just aren’t funny. Like, at all.
So what’s left to look at? Well, the instrumentation is actually quite good, and that’s pretty normal for them too. ‘I’m Not Your Bitch’, despite being another bloody god-awful title, has some meaty riffs and a slick, sliding guitar solo – a constant of the album, actually, which instrumentally is a nice retro metal record. It’s just that the lyrics, like “I’m not your bitch / I’m only here to make you cum”, are so much more important to this track than the admirable backing that they make it mundane and quite frankly, annoying.
‘Fuck Everybody’ is beyond absurd, and about the only passable humour here as Michael Starr basically tells everyone to fuck off, but everything else is all-too-casual misogyny which is as boring now as it is unfunny.
‘Heavy Metal Rules’ may actually make you hate heavy metal if you adhere to the same style of the genre that Steel Panther ‘create’. Save yourself some time: just listen to some of the better bands they’re taking the piss out of instead and bypass this.