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Steel Panther, 'Balls Out' -- Album Review

Steel Panther released Balls Out earlier this month. This new album is classic Panther: ridiculous lyrics and great melodies. The thing about Balls Out is that the lyrics are not as good as the songs on Feel the Steel but the music is far, far superior.

Balls Out features 14 tracks, but one of those is a throw-a-way intro. My favorite songs are "Just Like Tiger Woods," "17 Girls in a Row," and "If You Really Really Love Me." That last track there is a soulful power ballad. Okay, not really!

There is absolutely nothing original about Balls Out and I think the guys in Steel Panther are fine with that. The songs on Balls Out all pretty much sound like our favorites: Def Leppard ("If You Really Really Love Me"), Motley Crue ("I Like Drugs," "Tomorrow Night") and Van Halen ("Just Like Tiger Woods"). If the lyrics were gone and just the music left, I doubt anyone could tell if the songs were recorded in 1986 or 2011 -- and that is a good thing!

I can't help but wonder "what if" with Steel Panther, though. I listen to the band's albums and laugh but always wonder what it would be like to hear the band do a song straight-up, no jokes. Could Steel Panther pull it off? Probably. But clearly money is an issue, and the Steel Panther formula is working. Do yourself a favor and pick up Balls Out. Life is short. Laugh it up.

Reader Comments (6)

My sentiments, almost exactly, Al.

The music alone makes this their best disc since 1986... er... um... I mean, this is their best disc ever!

I don't think they would need to go as far as straight up with the lyrics to be more appreciated. What they would have to do is get more clever and between the lines with their humor.

They could take a lesson from Cheap Trick circa "In Color" and "Heaven Tonight" for inspiration on how to write double entendre, between the lines, lyrics. Their songs like "Southern Girls" for example, exemplify the art of spoofin' because the humor is between the lines and subtle. Well, as as subtle as a freight train, if you listen to the words carefully.

Rick Nielsen, Trick's lead guitarist and Satch from the Bowery Boys impersonator, had his genius level songwriting on full display for those two albums.

If Steel Panther could just dig a little deeper and move away from the full frontal (literally) humor and go for the kind of humor Neilsen pulled off back then, I think they'd actually get more play AND more respect. They wouldn't even have to remove the Spandex (Did I just say that?)...

Still, "If You Really Really Love Me" is their absolute best song to date!
November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
I think people underestimate how hard it is to creatively craft a song that "sounds like" our favorite musicians. As I listen to SP, I'm constantly reminded of this band's riff, or the intro from that band... I think, just as creative as the comedy is, the music deserves that much credit as well. Plus-as their live act shows-they can actually play.

So the question I've always had:do they consider themselves musicians or a comedy act or a hybrid? Either way they are successful and it's a brilliant group... :')
November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBluejayart
"Just Like Tiger Woods" is one of the catchiest songs I've heard in a very long time.These guys kick mondo ass.
November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Pretty much agree with everybody so far. Great album...just ish the lyrics weren't as over-the-top. Still, a lot of fun to listen to, and can't wait to see them live again.
November 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNigel
I don't mind lyrics being over the top, per se, though your description is probably accurate here -- actually, WAY over the top is how best to describe their words.

The real problem is some of the stuff is so overboard, just tryin' too hard to be funny, that it just comes off forced and, well, just plain frickin' stoopid!

Probably the right level of "over the top" would be something on the level of Spinal Tap, though I still say they could go a little more subtle and still be funny as h*ll.

Still, like I said, you can't beat them musically -- this one being their best, for sure!
November 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Also agreeing with you guys, and I really like the album... Although, I actually like Feel The Steel better! But maybe that's because I know it better, I don't know. The thing is, I'm getting worried... Really really love Panther, but I can't see what's left for a third album - is there anything? The lyrics are pretty much about the same thing all the time, and if this one's over the top, what about the next one? Would be interesting to hear them try to be "a real band", I also think they could pull it off - no doubt! But until then, I'm just excited I get to see them December 14th in London, with Mötley Crüe (!!!) and Def Leppard :)
November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

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