Overall Score: 6/10 Comedy: 6/10 Consistency: 5/10 Musicality: 8/10 Pros: Great riffs | When they get it right, it's great Cons: Way too inconsistent | slightly lacking in ideas
Good times are abound in the world of Steel Panther. Their profile, particularly in the UK has never been higher and they’ve just performed their highest profile performance at the Download Festival so far at the 2014 edition. They’ve also announced their first UK arena show at Wembley Arena for March 2015 on the back of the release of their newest album, All You Can Eat. But is the joke wearing thin on album number three or are Steel Panther still at the top of their comedy game?
Musically this album stands up well against it’s predecessors. It’s full of groove, riffs, guitar hooks and enjoyable melodies, but then Steel Panther’s ability to play their instruments to a high level is one thing that’s never been in doubt. But when it comes to the lyrics, content and themes of the songs on All You Can Eat, it’s very much hit and miss (providing you are not one of those people who finds them offensive in general. If this is you you may as well stop reading this review now).
The album starts in promising fashion; Pussywhipped is a headbanging, foot stomping worthy track and seems like a good gig setlist opener (it worked well at the Download Festival). Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World is also enjoyable (particularly when accompanied by it’s very NSFW music video) though it lacks the impact of previous singles like Death To All But Metal. Most recent single Gloryhole is outrageous; With a guitar riff that instantly embeds itself in your skull and an insanely catchy chorus, you’ll forget just what you’re singing about – just be careful not to sing the chorus while you’re walking down the corridor at work unless you want some very strange looks. The even more outlandish Bukkake Tears is perhaps the most horrifying Steel Panther song lyrically yet – yet it’s crafted in such a way you can’t help but enjoy it and smile in spite of yourself (“There’s so much love on your face”). But it’s after the opening third the album takes something of a downturn.
Songs like Gangbang At The Old Folks Home, BVS and Fucking My Heart In The Ass just feel a bit crude for crude’s sake or like they’re running somewhat thin on ideas, with little of the humour that normally accompany the best Steel Panther songs. The Burden Of Being Wonderful is a definite highlight in the second half of the album (and proves that Steel Panther can do quality songs without being filthy) but to paraphase The Panther themselves, that song is the Maserati in the field of Kia’s that is the second half of All You Can Eat.
Regardless of the shortcomings of All You Can Eat, Steel Panther’s march to world domination continues. March 2015 will see them team up with Skindred for one hell of a party on their biggest tour yet including the aforementioned Wembley Arena show. To keep themselves at the top table of metal they must ensure the quality doesn’t deteriorate any further than this and look to return to the standards of the first two albums.
All You Can Eat is out now through Kobalt Label Services.