A lot of people have said that STEEL PANTHER ”would’ve been huge” had they hit the scene within the mid-late 80’s hair metal boom. While entirely possible, the more likely scenario is that they wouldn’t have been nearly as good as they are now because they’d think that they were being serious in ’87 as opposed to a parody in 2011. Now, unless ”Ted” Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esquire show up with that Phone Booth Time Machine and try snatching the boys for a tour with WYLD STALLYNS, we probably won’t know a definitive answer to how STEEL PANTHER would be received in the 80’s. For 2011, though – STEEL PANTHER is back and going dick-tucked for their new album… BALLS OUT.
Like 2009’s FEEL THE STEEL, the ‘Panther delivers a set of straight-forward glam-rock thunder filled with riffs that are no joke. What is a joke is the unnecessary intro track entitled In the Future. Voiced by DANE COOK, the spaced-out spoken word track features bullshit rambling about birth control and is rumored to be included solely due to frontman Michael Starr (no relation to Ralph Saenz or dead ALICE IN CHAINS bassist Mike Starr) reading my dislike of “intro tracks” on this very website. If he was trying to piss me off, it was a move well-played and I congratulate him on his success.
When the rock truly starts, it’s with Supersonic Sex Machine, which was also rumored to have been written about me – specifically, my pre-marital sexual prowess. I have no idea why STEEL PANTHER has chosen to include so many of my personal adventures in their music, but I have to assume that they’re just big fans and this is how they express their appreciation for my work.
Just Like Tiger Woods is another example of STEEL PANTHER showing their affection for someone whom they admire, in this case Tiger Woods – one of the world’s finest golfers, and one who is insatiable in his quest to continue finding holes in which to sink his balls. By the time that they appear to get all of their fanboy action out of the way, it’s time for 17 Girls in a Row – the first single from the record and a worthy follow-up to songs like FEEL THE STEEL’s Community Property. Tiger Woods gets props again on If You Really Really Love Me, on which we also find out that Starr is a big fan of CALL OF DUTY (later we learn that ANGRY BIRDS is a pastime as well). It’s about here at the halfway mark that it becomes crystal clear that BALLS OUT is really just the ultimate tribute to everything that STEEL PANTHER digs themselves.
It Won’t Suck Itself features NICKELBACK frontman Chad Kroeger serving up a verse, adding a slice of authenticity from a man responsible for crafting numerous strip club anthems (and appearing on them – see: MY DARKEST DAYS’ Porn Star Dancing) along with providing the soundtrack to the unprotected trailer park sex of countless future TEEN MOM hopefuls for years.
Tomorrow Night starts off with a riff suspiciously similar to to that of the 1990 GWAR classic Slaughterama. In fact, it might be interesting to hear a mashup of both songs, where Charlie Sheen can be “winning in the bedroom upstairs,” while someone else decides to give “up pussy, stop doin’ ‘toot.” For those wondering when the ‘Panther would get around to expressing their feelings for recreational drug use, I Like Drugs does the trick. Mix that with a triple-dose of booty-lovin in Critter, Let Me Come In, and Weenie Ride, and it’s one hell of a party.
The Bottom Line: Much like this “review,” STEEL PANTHER‘s BALLS OUT gets looser as time goes on. That’s not a bad thing, because it’s rock n roll. And rock n roll doesn’t need to be perfect to be perfect. Ya dig?