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| 19 April 2017 | Reply

Kobalt Label Services
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
6 ½ /10

Steel Panther hit a dangerous fork in the road with their last studio album, All You Can Eat, released a full three years ago: their one-joke-pony had grown stale, fast, even though their unapologetically hair-metal playing remains vibrant and exciting.

Brand Panther only had two ways they could turn: more of the same; or lose the campy comedy and start writing songs about something more than sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.

Hardcore fans will be pleased that they chose the former option – but it’s a case of diminishing returns for the rest of us.

It’s not that there’s anything BAD about Lower The Bar – it’s just more of the same lyrics about the same stuff, set to more of the same cock-rock homage soundtracks.

Tellingly, the best track on offer here is a cover of Cheap Trick’s cult favourite, She’s Tight… but Steel Panther’s version brings little (if anything) new to the mix. Much like Poison’s covers album some years ago, it seems pointless if all they’re doing is a note-perfect soundalike of the song.

The ten originals tick all the hair metal boxes: meaty riffs, dextrous guitar solos, soaring melodies, anthemic choruses… there’s just little to distinguish them from an of Steel Panther (or some other hair metal bands)’s previous albums.

Anything Goes and the power ballad That’s When You Came In are amongst the best tracks here, but there’s little doubt that the wig-wearing contingent at their shows will lap Lower The Bar up, regardless of any lack of originality that I or anyone else perceives.

Category: CD Reviews

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