Heavy Metal Rules
Steel Panther Inc.
If they hadn’t made it clear already, perhaps the one thing Steel Panther love more than their sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll mantra is heavy metal in the glorious, mega-blockbuster style of the 1980s. The appropriately titled Heavy Metal Rules, the band’s fifth album – their first since 2017’s Lower The Bar – delivers just as you’d expect from the not just the band, but also an album with such a title: 10 tracks of hard-hitting, balls to the wall, in your face rock music set to outrageous and often comedic lyrics.
Spawning massive singles “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)”, the power ballad “Always Gonna Be A Ho”, and “Gods Of Pussy” ahead of Heavy Metal Rules, it was clear from the start that this record was going to be huge. Not only did the two of the three singles boast impressive music videos — especially “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)” – but the three tracks brought a sound that was none other than that of Steel Panther. The latter kicks off the record with a larger than life intro following the actually opening track, “Zebraman”, a thirty second sampled rant about how heavy metal rules. Not only is “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)” a strong opener, but it certainly stands among the best material from Heavy Metal Rules.
That being said, there is plenty of great tracks beyond the singles. “Let’s Get High Tonight” feels grittier and heavier than most of the record, while providing an anthem for teenage angst while proving to be the ultimate soundtrack/instructional manual to an out of hand party from any 2000’s film. The oddly emotional ode to rock ‘n’ roll that is the title track also stands as one of the stronger tracks on the album with a song structure that teeters between a power ballad and a rock opera epic, making it one of their more adventurous tracks. The acoustic album closer, “I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling”, also brings Heavy Metal Rules to a strong, impactful close while also feeling refreshing among the other nine hard rock bangers.
Heavy Metal Rules stands as further proof that it is simply unfair to write Steel Panther off as a parody or comedy band. Lyrics aside, which are many things – corny, cheesy, comedic, outrageous – all of them brilliant, this is a verytalented band performing rock in the style of that from the ‘80s. Their performance far exceeds that of parody into homage as they deliver a series of sweeping solos, crunching riffs, screaming vocals, and power ballads, nearly all proving to be as catchy as some of the actual hits from the decade.While not breaking any new ground (that would defeat the purpose, no?) Steel Panther have delivered a new album that feels oddly nostalgic and without trying to pretend to be anything else, they have captured the true essence of ‘80s rock on Heavy Metal Rules.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: STEEL PANTHER – HEAVY METAL RULES