Steel Panther - Balls Out
Universal Records
Glam Metal
14 songs (47:28)
Release year: 2011
Reviewed by Cory

It is very easy to dismiss Steel Panther for the juvenile joke it is, and if that is your prerogative then I certainly can’t blame you. Crude, obnoxious, flamboyant, it’s as if someone took the most irritating and offensive parts of Motley Crue, Poison, and all of the other Hair Metal bands that nearly put a stake in Metal’s heart during the late 80’s and created their own “Million-Dollar Man”. Faster, stronger, more likely to make your parents disown you for listening to them. Hell, my own wife would rather listen to Manowar at their worst, and she HATES Manowar with a passion. I should not like this. I enjoy serious, thought provoking music that liberates me from man-made vices like greed, hedonism, and vanity. Steel Panther rolls all of those things into one grimy, polished package and offers it on a silver platter next to some condoms and cocaine. Their spandex clad image screams of being 25 years late to whatever party they have going on in their heads, and everything in my metal soul tells me this is a band that will crumble under its own ridiculousness. Then I listen to Balls Out, Steel Panther’s follow up to 2009’s Feel the Steel (another guilty pleasure, i admit), and I come to a harrowing realization. All of those things are true, but underneath all of the superficial junk (I know it's a joke in the vein of Spinal Tap, but it is still hard to swallow), there is a real sleazy genius at work that keeps me listening to songs that never should have seen the light of day in the first place.

Things start off with a ridiculous intro that I am pretty sure they must have pulled from some random 80’s porno (it also features Dane Cook, who I cannot stand). This leads into the first cut, Supersonic Sex Machine, and two things come to mind. One, the song writing is tight as hell with hooks and melody to spare. Two, the lyrics are so bad they are actually quite funny, and the thought of a prototype sex machine created by lesbian dykes from outer space landing on earth is something I should have stopped finding funny just after high school, yet here I am laughing my ass off. Even so, that song pales in comparison to Just Like Tiger Woods, which I readily admit is one of my favorite songs this year. The tale of Tiger’s descent into mistress hell is ripe for parody, and Steel Panther nails it to the wall with a tune that rival’s anything Motley Crue or the like ever came up with during their day. Seriously, look this song up on youtube and you will know what I am talking about. I would see these guys in concert for this song alone. None of the other songs reach the level of glory Tiger inspired, but there are still some great tunes to come. 17 Girls in a Row rocks out hard, despite its implausible premise. If You Really Really Love Me raises questions about Steel Panther’s long-term relationship possibilities, and It Won’t Suck Itself draws attention to survival tactics when one is snake-bit in a most inconvenient location (and features Chad Kroger from Nickleback, another reason to hate).

Strangely, the idea well starts to run dry at this point and none of the remaining songs maintain that careful balance of good song writing with ridiculous lyrical content. It’s not that songs like That’s What Girls Are For and I Like Drugs are that much worse, they just start becoming redundant as the gag starts wearing thin. Critter is a particular offender, and probably the worst track on the album. At this point the balance is completely gone, and what you have are generic catchy tunes with lyrics so bad that even your teenager past-self would drag you into a back alley and beat the shit out of you if you listened to them in public (though he would also ask you to burn him a copy in secret, such being the nature of Steel Panther’s music). Ball’s Out is more of the same from Steel Panther, though perhaps a bit tighter and better written overall than Feel the Steel. I hate myself for saying this, but if you find cleverly done dick and sex jokes coated in 80’s sleaze to be palatable to your “tastes”, as apparently I do, then Steel Panther is here to make your day. Balls Out is juevenille, retarded, sexist, ridiculous, offensive, and never meant to be heard in broad daylight. Yet if you can shelve all your sense of good taste for a few moments, there is some real brilliance to be found here. Now please excuse me while I go apologize to my wife.

Killing Songs :
Supersonic Sex Machine, Just Like Tiger Woods, It Wont Suck Itself
Cory quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Steel Panther that we have reviewed:
Steel Panther - Feel The Steel reviewed by Elias and quoted 80 / 100
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