While Steel Panther made a career for themselves as a living, breathing parody of the legendary debauchery and excess of bands like Mötley Crüe, like hair metal itself, the joke has run its course. On All You Can Eat, the fourth outing from the comedy rock quartet, the band continues to dig deep into its musical bag of tricks, delivering a spot-on homage to the grime and glam of Los Angeles' storied metal scene. Unlike those bands, who at least barely pretended to hide their lyrical sleaze in plain sight, with only the thinnest veneer of double entendre in place to assuage the fears of nervous standards and practices departments, Steel Panther don't even bother to go that far. Sure, the point of the band isn't subtlety, but at this point Steel Panther's escalation of the "wearing makeup and swearing over guitar riffs" joke has gone from ironic pastiche to just plain offensive. And it's easy to write off songs like "Bukkake Tears" and "You're Beautiful When You Don't Talk" as jokes, but at this point those jokes are such low-hanging fruit that they've made the transition from shocking to gross. Musically, Steel Panther still shred pretty hard, but it seems that their well of hot riffs is a lot deeper than their well of comedy. In the end, All You Can Eat is an album that owes as much to Andrew Dice Clay as it does to Skid Row and Warrant, making it more a reminder of a less enlightened era than a reminder of the fun times that might've been had there.
All You Can Eat Review
by Gregory Heaney