Steel Panther Review - Bringing Metal Back

As we are now clearly past the halfway point of the decade, music has yet to latch onto an artist or group that can define the era. With the odd sprinkling of significant acts, the industry is vacant of a ‘sound’ that not only paves the way but also influences social style and fashion. Much like the mop-tops of The Beatles or the flannel shirts of Nirvana, clearly the statement made by the sound and look of the eighties rivals all. From parachute pants to spandex and punk rock to glam bands, we were all affected.


Realizing where their passion and talent lie, Steel Panther are capitalizing on “the decade of decadence” by rebottling the ingredients and drinking to the success of all that it has to offer. Exploding off the Sunset Strip, the L. A. quartet have commanded international recognition for what local bands around the world have been trying to recapture since the beginning chordal intro to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” first hit radio.



Taking raunchy to its absolute limit Michael Starr (vocals) and Satchel (guitar) levelled the audience with their highly sexual and profane banter. Lapping it up, however, was a full house at Michigan’s Royal Oak Music Theater with most cloaked in metal garb chanting right along to a set list of classic Panther. Opening the set “Pu**ywhipped” broke the seal to a night of relentless debauchery. Followed closely by “Asian Hooker” and “Just Like Tiger Woods” hits poured out like a bottle of Jack Daniels.



Holding down the bottom end Lexxi Foxx (bass) and Stix Zadinia (drums), both excellent musicians despite their played-up fall guy personas, added further character to the shtick of the band.  Not just average players, Panther is stacked with talent. Satchel, who formally played lead guitar for Fight, metal icon Rob Halford’s project during his sabbatical from Judas Priest, made difficult guitar riffs appear effortless. His solo spotlight featured eight-finger tapping, tremolo bar dive bombs and even a guitar and drums salute to some classic rock riffs all performed by Satchel simultaneously. Starr’s image and signature metal posing along with his high-register vocals layered with eighties-clad screaming, are impressive enough to make any rocker take this band seriously. In fact, he was recently asked to take over lead vocals for a one night reunion of David lee Roth’s solo act with Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan and Greg Bissonette.  A well-earned tip-of-the-hat to the once front man of a Van Halen tribute band.


Simply mimicking an era of music would have only garnered so much notoriety, but the true key to Steel Panther’s success has been in creating their own material. With the first three albums each having established hits, their just announced fourth album due out in early 2016, has a slight change in recipe. Without foretelling its title, they are now offering up an acoustic live record that will no doubt exhibit the raw talent of each musician.


Though realizing that they are not appealing to pop culture, the band has secured a cult-like following who flock to their shows each tour. Their attendance grows in their unpredictability onstage as much if not more than the debut of any new material. In our recent interview, Starr spoke about what to expect when attending one of their shows. He stated, “We’re like a bottle of vodka … you know you’re gonna get drunk, but you never know what’s gonna happen after that!’’

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