In a way, Lower the Bar is the perfect title for the new Steel Panther album. You see, whether consciously or not, that’s what they’ve done on two consecutive albums now, following the two relatively lights-out records (Feel the Steel and Balls Out) that broke them out. Album No. 5 is still unmistakably a Steel Panther record — and, to its credit, one that boasts a couple of absolute panty-dropping tunes — but something’s just amiss this time out. Continue reading
Nine Circles ov…80s Glam/Hair “Metal” Albums That Rock
Look, let’s cut to the chase: if you grew up in a certain time period, it was impossible to get away from the spandex, the hairspray, the fishnet and the misogynistic lyrics. Glam and hair “metal” ruled MTV, ruled rock radio, and ruled the fashions of teenagers everywhere. It also served as a gateway for thousands of kids that would later move into deeper and darker waters. So congratulations if you only listened to “cool” music as a kid – you were either born much later than I was (early 70s), or you were one of the burnouts behind the gym smoking and listening to Slayer. In both cases congratulations: you’ll probably live longer than me in the one instance, and in the other know I secretly coveted your cool shirts and was enthralled by the music, though it’d be a few years before I bought it.
For this edition of Nine Circles ov… I tried to stay away from obvious answers and obvious classics. So you won’t see Mötley Crüe’s Too Fast For Love or Twisted Sister’s Under the Blade (feel free to fight me on those). You won’t see glammed up 80s entries from bands who rocked hard in the 70s like Scorpions and Kiss. And you certainly won’t see all the great speed and thrash bands that still kill to this day. I went under the bed and pulled out the shoebox of cassettes, dusted them off with my tiger striped bandanna and found a few gems that resonate with me 30 years later. So raise a lighter and let’s have some fun. Continue reading
Album Review: Santa Cruz – “Santa Cruz”
When you think of glam metal, a number of things come to mind: sleaze; falsity; a degree of catchiness, sure…but with that catchiness, a sell-by date—a point at which you realize that all of the hooks are mere surface sheen and then lose interest in it, absent all that much worth writing home about beyond that. It feels a little weird to be talking about sell-by dates (or, more to the point, outlasting sell-by dates) with Santa Cruz‘s new, self-titled second album—the thing only just dropped this week!—but if the early impression’s any indicator, this thing’s got a decent chance at sticking around in your head for a while. Continue reading
Episode 1: April 14, 2014
It’s time for the debut episode of Horns Up – a new weekly heavy metal chat from the creators of The Bracket!
This week, Dan and Corey riff on headlines from around the metal world, review recent concerts from Children of Bodom and The Ocean, revisit a couple of classic albums from Hypocrisy and Iron Maiden, and much more! Check it out!
Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.