Steel Panther – Heavy Metal Rules [REVIEW]

Steel Panther’s Yelp! page has a review that reads as follows:

“Steel Panther’s power is obvious. if you listen to their album “Balls Out” back to back 3 times in a row you will get women, and gain the ability fly. Most importantly, my dog Frankie was a rescue dog who was born without bones. One fateful Monday night I rolled him up and stuffed him into a duffel bag and took him to a Steel Panther show and he began to grow bones! Don’t ask me how it happened but the magic is there. I wish I could hug the members of Steel Panther and thank them for everything they have done for my family.”

The obvious connotation here is that Steel Panther is a band who knows a thing or two about “growing bones.” The band has never taken themselves too seriously and that playful, comedic energy comes through in their live shows. They are VETERANS of the Sunset Strip. Satchel and Mike Starr played in a well known Van Halen cover band called “Atomic Punks.” Eventually becoming Metal Skool, an 80’s hairband cover show. Metal Skool shows in LA frequently drew A-List stars the likes of Miley Cyrus and Kelly Clarkson on stage to perform with the band.

Before long the guys made the transition to Steel Panther and began writing original material.

I wrote that Yelp! review about my dog Frankie back in Sept. of 2013 – It was heavily influenced by the 3 Wolf Moon shirt reviews on Amazon but that’s a whole story unto itself. Fast forward to the year 2019 and the band is about to release their 5th full length studio album “Heavy Metal Rules.”

The new album “Heavy Metal Rules” is the latest addition to the bands discography and fans can rest assured that it does not disappoint.

Steel Panther – Heavy Metal Rules – 2019

The album begins with a track called Zebraman which is a kid just telling it like it is – “Heavy Metal Rules!! Madonna can go to hell as far as I’m concerned… she’s a dick.” This leads into the first track: All I Wanna Do is Fuck (Myself Tonight). It’s a typical Steel Panther barn burner – loud, dirty and fun.

The second track Let’s Get High Tonight begins lyrically like a 1980’s movie: “Mom and Dad are out of town…” it has the type of fist pumping chorus that makes you want to tease your hair up and buy fuzzy wristbands. “I’ve got shrooms and Ecstasy – Don’t be shy they’re gluten free.” followed by a version of the chorus that goes: “Let’s Get High Tonight – Let the brain frells cy tonight” are the kind of lyrics that make Steel Panther so great. The music kicks ass but the lyrics are proof the band doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

Always Gonna Be a Ho is destined to be a radio anthem. The song is catchy, bad ass and hilarious all at the same time. The sing along chorus “It doesn’t matter what you do or who you know, you’re always gonna be a ho” will play in your head on a loop. At one point lead vocalist Michael Starr muses “I ran away, went to my grampa’s farm – I saw your name tattooed on my grampa’s arm.” Once again, just sheer brilliance on every level.

I’m Not Your Bitch might have one of the heaviest opening grooves of any Steel Panther tune I’ve ever heard. After a spacey little intro it kicks in hard and heavy and doesn’t let up until it’s over.

Fuck Everybody is one of the first single’s from the album which is kind of a brilliant move. “Fuck Everybody, Everybody can suck my dick” is the main hook. Making a song like this the single is smart when you consider most people are going to be listening to Steel Panther on YouTube or a streaming service. The band doesn’t have to pander to a radio friendly audience or edit anything to be Disney-ized. You can watch the video here:

Heavy Metal Rules the title track might be the anthem America needs right now. Clearly laying out why Heavy Metal rules and why “that punk shit should be on Mars.” The ominous chanting of the phrase “Heavy Metal Rules” makes it obvious why this song is the title track.

The riff for Sneaky Little Bitch sounds strikingly similar to something like Dancing Days by Led Zeppelin. While the riff is definitely dripping with Jimmy Page influence, the song is in no way a rip off. The riff doesn’t sound contrived or stolen. As a whole it’s a great song about relationships in 2019. Michael Starr’s girl is cheating, she’s “a sneaky little bitch” and he “should’ve listened to all of his friends”

“Sometimes it’s hard, when all the girls wanna fuck you – so you fuck em once but they just keep coming back…” This is the dilemma for Gods of Pussy – yet another 80’s noir anthem that just works on every level. There are very few bands that could pull this stuff off and Steel Panther makes it seem easy.

Last but not least is the power ballad I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling. It may not be as laugh out loud hilarious as Weenie Ride but it’s a damn good song that’s funny but also has some serious themes. “I don’t need the government or a social safety net – that ponzi scheme will crash someday if it hasn’t started yet.” Is probably the most political you’ll ever hear Steel Panther get.

All in all this is another great addition to the discography that fans of the band like myself will thoroughly enjoy. If you get a chance to see the band live do not miss it – they are 30 year veterans of the Sunset Strip and their live show never disappoints. You can see a few examples of why in our video compilation “5 Classic Steel Panther Moments”