If you know me, you know I’m virtually senile.
Yes, I wear white cotton socks pulled midway up my shins. Yes, I spend my Sunday afternoons bird watching on my favorite bench in the Branford courtyard. Yes, I’m balding.
But I’ve recently realized a hint of youth. There’s a kick in my step and a stylish hole in my chinos. The cause? I tripped on Cross Campus while trying to walk to the unrelenting beat of the new Steel Panther album, titled “Feel the Steel.”
LA parody “rawk” band Steel Panther, formerly known as Metal Skool, made its newest contribution to the study of music history Sept. 29. “Feel the Steel,” their fourth album together, is an album that attempts to draw on the qualities that made the band known as the “Kings of Sunset Strip” sometime back in the ’80s. “Feel” features plenty of pounding, straight-beat drumming, screaming guitar solo and inane lyrics, including this pearl off the album’s second track, “Asian Hooker”: “Sucky fucky/ Smells like sushi!”
It’s music that makes the listener feel young, as is explained by the band’s online photographs with crowds of 18-year-old groupies in the late ’80s. But this time around, they make the listener feel young for a very different reason: the band’s attempt at reviving its former glories comes off as amateurish and sophomoric, making its audience feel naively youthful for having spent $7.99 on iTunes for the album.
But before we get to the music, we should probably discuss the more important aspect of the band’s endeavors — its image.
The group is composed of four men — vocalist Michael Starr, guitarist Satchel, bassist Lexi Foxxx and drummer Stix Zadinia, whose jaw lines and hairstyles might be enviable, given you’re a competitive drag queen. These men, posed on the album’s cover in holey spandex and inch-deep make-up, at first glance look like a handful of stylized transvestites about to appear on a Tyra Show special about “alternative beauty.” Now don’t get me wrong, they’re not pretty. Rather, they represent that brand of beauty — one willing to wear anything tight and pink found on a Forever 21 sales rack — that would make for a great addition to Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey. But nonetheless, it’s an effective image, successfully banking on crass humor, cheaply lampooning the easily-parodied type of glam rock to which American Idol 8 runner-up Adam “Glambert” Lambert subscribes.
And that’s exactly what one hears in “Feel.” The disc is a collection of eleven songs that play out as coarsely put together licks and beats supporting even more immature lyrics. There are the occasional bright spots, like the romantic lines that litter the love ballad “Community Property” — “I’ll kiss your mouth even after/ You swallow my load.” Oh baby.
But, even with the room for excitement and controversy on pieces like “Fat Girl” and “Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’,” the music, and humor, falls flat.
Yeah, listening to this album, I feel kinda young again. I feel like a 19-year-old. I feel like my skin is firm and my life is full of potential. And strangely enough, even though I am young, their music also makes me feel like I am desperately clinging to possibilities of youth. I’m belittled to begging someone to reaffirm the fact that, yes, my life has not become irreversibly banal.
Hmm … I guess this album makes me feel like the desperate New Jersey housewife who dresses like a member of Steel Panther when picking up her children from tee ball practice. Or maybe I feel like a washed up 40-something who’s still singing about semen and fellatios years after his sperm count has halved.
Haha, dudes, funny! =C