Steel Panther - Lower The Bar album review

Metal porno-parodists take the filth amendment on their fifth

Cover art for steel panther's lower the bar

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Drenched to their spandex underpants in double- and single-entendre lyrics that push porno-parodic excess to 11 and beyond, Steel Panther’s fifth album features another dozen tumescent, hook‑laden party-rock anthems.

LA’s premier glam-metal spoof merchants are clearly not messing with a winning formula, though the lyrics here seem even more relentlessly sex-focused than ever (Pussy Ain’t Free, Goin’ In The Back Door), while the polished musical backdrop shows a little more progressive ambition: the smouldering, lightly psychedelic Now The Fun Starts could almost be a straight-faced excursion into Jane’s Addiction territory.

Like previous Panther anthems, Lower The Bar is a note-perfect, musically slick affair bursting with Russ ‘Satchel’ Parrish’s florid guitar licks. The lyrics are relentlessly puerile, but often hilarious: ‘Is it a chick or is it a dude? Doesn’t really matter if she looks good nude.’

Even the leering, sexist jokes typically rebound on the band themselves, as in the Crüe-style swagger-boast I Got What You Want, with its proudly self-deflating punchline: ‘Five and half inches of love.’

The key element missing here is live performance, since Panther are essentially a stand‑up comedy spectacle. But at least Lower The Bar adds several more arena-shafting classics to their swollen arsenal of eye-watering filth.

Stephen Dalton

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.