Steel Panther – On the Prowl [ALBUM REVIEW]

The mighty Steel Panther has returned with On the Prowl which, pound for pound, might be their best record to date.

The boys have a way of making 80’s hair metal seem cool again. Maybe it’s the way they humorously inject modern themes into the music with tracks like “On Your Instagram.” Maybe it’s the penchant they have for writing songs that are simultaneously hilarious and catchy as f**k as they do with “Magical Vagina.” Or maybe it’s the tongue in cheek lyrics of a song like “Ain’t Dead Yet” where Michael Starr laments… “Can’t shoot the jizz no more.” In reality, it’s probably a combination of all these things. Steel Panther embodies the spirit and style of 80’s metal better than just about any band in existence today and “On the Prowl” showcases their unique ability to make serious metal that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The first track “It’s Never Too Late” is the all too familiar tale of a horny young man who has almost exhausted all of his options to “get some pussy tonight.” He flips through Tinder and talks to an amputee at a bar during the course of the story. The band tells a humorous story with yet another memorable hook that you’ll find yourself singing along with after a few listens.

Friends with Benefits has some amazing guitar work and the video is a parody of one of these MILF island shows. At the end of the song when he says “We are friends…. with benefits” I lose it every time… it’s just so funny to me for some reason.

The song 1987 is yet another classic. The song has some funny lines like “Poison was lookin’ so damn good I wondered if I was gay…” but the anthemic chorus and nostalgia driven lyrics make it damn near unforgettable. The track could easily fit into rock radio rotation in the year 1987 but also sounds incredibly fresh by today’s standards.

The standout track for my money is the song “Magical Vagina.” It has the energy of a modern 2020’s rock ballad and the chorus is just ridiculously catchy… and hilarious. If you have ever heard the track “Weenie Ride” this song has the same sense of humor. A dirty minded pop song with incredible comedic timing. The little echoey guitar part Satchel plays after the first chorus calls to mind overly sappy radio rock bands like Maroon 5. Aside from just being an incredibly well written song it also works as a sarcastic backhand or a diss track to bands that make this kind of music seriously and not as a joke.

While there is a wealth of sexual content on this album, “All That and More” is the 2nd track that lead vocalist Michael Starr has written entirely about his own penis. If “Is My Dick Enough?” is a thoughtful, introspective cock rock song, “All That and More” has the confidence and bluster of a throbbing, veiny erection. Starr belts out: “My dick is all that and more – headlining a motherf**king sold out tour” with so much conviction you can feel how proud he is. This song has the type of “my dick” bravado you would expect to hear in a rap song.

Then on “One Pump Chump” Starr returns to poking fun at his own sexual inadequacies.

The ballad “Ain’t Dead Yet” has a line that I have been thinking about since I heard it:

“Can’t shoot the jizz no more, it just dribbles on to the whore…. I just met… but I ain’t dead yet.”

If there’s any single line or lyric on this album that perfectly exemplifies Steel Panther this is it.

The final track “Sleeping on the Rollaway” is a great song but if I’m being honest the album should’ve ended with “Ain’t Dead Yet” – That’s my only real criticism of this otherwise flawless album. I think maybe this one could’ve been a b-side because “Ain’t Dead Yet” would cap off the record in the same way Pantera did when they put “Planet Caravan” at the end of Far Beyond Driven. After the album just beats your face in, they hit you with a mellow closer so you want to hit play again when it’s over and take another face punching.

Panther is not Pantera but they are a top tier metal band in their own right and this album is a testament to that. Banger after banger, incredible guitar work, clever lyrics, catchy hooks – 9 out of 10. A damn near perfect album and an absolute must listen for fans of 80’s metal.