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Feel the Steel ()

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In case you're wondering, despite what VH-1's Behind the Music might have you believe, hair metal is still alive and kicking. Unfortunately, it's more low-brow than ever, thanks to L.A.'s Steel Panther. Taking debauchery to the next level for their debut, Feel the Steel, the band gathers inspiration from Warrant, Poison, and Mötley Crüe as they pretend to be a metal group with two primal desires: rocking faces and scoring chicks. Metal satire is a well-traveled road, with Bad News, Spinal Tap, and Tenacious D all taking their respective turns portraying lunk-headed metalheads. Likewise, one-time L.A. Guns frontman Ralph Saenz (playing the part of "Michael Starr") does his best impression of an egotistical David Lee Roth/Bret Michaels type who dedicates 50-percent of his time on the microphone objectifying women ("Fat Girl Thar She Blows) and the other half boasting about his appendage. It's a convincing act, as is the performance by the rest of the band (drummer Stix Zadinia, bassist Lexxi Foxxx, and lead guitarist Satchel), with their text-book Hit Parader shredding and spot-on attention to '80s production details. Metal references fly out of every corner, with nods to the Def Leppard ultra-processed "Whoa Oh" sound, Richie Sambora's "Bad Medicine" guitar talk box intro, and a slapping acoustic ode to Extreme's definitive power ballad "More Than Words." Steel Panther's ability to create songs that sound like they came from 1987 is commendable, and as ridiculously clichéd and crude as the lyrics are, there are some chuckle-worthy moments. That said, it's not a disc for the easily offended or the faint of heart. ~ Jason Lymangrover, Rovi Hide synopsis

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