by Nikiforos Skoumas
– Columnist —
It really seems like yesterday when the debut album by some newcomer glam metal band boldly named Steel Panther hit the music stores in Europe; Feel the Steel became available in May 2009 effectively putting hair metal on the map as an international musical genre once again.
You could tell by the numerous interviews that would appear on the internet and music magazines that Steel Panther would be taking a leading role within their genre. Provocation, aggression and sarcasm were key elements of a marketing approach that would establish the band in no time and make Steel Panther a household name the world over.
Fast forward in 2012 and you would be hard pressed to find a rock fan who does not know who Steel Panther are and what they stand for. With a second studio album Balls Out already in the market, numerous arena tours supporting such legends as Motley Crue and Def Leppard, and of course their own headline shows, a live album and video seemed very much in order.
Steel Panther’s The British Invasion is based on a UK headline show dating back to 2010 at which point the band were promoting their debut album Feel The Steel. In an attempt to update the package a second part recorded at the Download Festival 2012 has been added. This section features a total of five songs three of which are taken from their second album Balls Out.
Clearly the 2010 show recorded at the Brixton Academy is the main course of this audio-visual menu. Steel Panther perform Feel the Steel in its entirety in front of a sold out crowd. None of the theatrics we have seen time and time again on their Youtube videos have been spared on this live show so you do get all the different costumes, the pyrotechnics, the dancing girls and the elevated stage set-up; the highlight of the extravaganza is probably when Michael enters the stage in a super-sized, old-fashioned Chinese taxi as the band drive into “Asian Hooker.”
Beyond the rap that goes on between the songs, Michael, Satchel, Lexxi and Stixx are real pros in rock. They deliver their debut note-for-note, every solo every vocal harmony is recreated on this live video and performed with the kind of intensity that does perfect justice to the Panther’s reputation. Beyond the twelve songs of the album, the set list includes Lexxi’s legendary “Hair Solo” plus an oldie from the band’s “Metal Skool” days, the anthemic “We Want Pussy.”
As a fan-item one should note that the Blu-ray booklet features the lyrics to all the songs found on the set list as the original pressing of Feel the Steel did not come with the lyrics.
Overall The British Invasion is a documentation of Steel Panther’s remarkable career progress going from newcomers to keepers of the glam metal genre and overall rock stars in just under five years. It goes without saying that The British Invasion is a must for anyone into glam metal or ‘80s rock in general. It’s exactly what you would expect from Steel Panther.
Genre: Glam Metal, Melodic Hard Rock
Michael Starr (Ralph Saenz) – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Satchel (Russ Parrish) – lead guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Lexxi Foxx (Travis Haley) – bass, backing vocals
Stix Zadinia (Darren Leader) – drums, percussion, backing vocals
01. Eyes Of A Panther
02. Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin
03. Feat. Girl
04. Hair Solo
05. Party All Day
06. Hell’s On Fire
07. Stripper Girl
08. Asian Hooker
09. Turn Out The Lights
10. Girl From Oklahoma
11. We want Pussy
12. Community Property
13. The Shocker
14. Death To All But Metal
Label: Universal Republic
Hardrock Haven rating: 9/10