Steel Panther – Powerstation: October 17, 2022

Steel Panther is a super-realist, anime glam heavy metal shitstorm of band who thunder out an outrageous party on-stage. Fiercely hetero and amplifying cock strut and swagger to a level that would make Mick Jagger blush.

Goin’ in the Back Door and Tomorrow Night are big, brutal and unsubtle glam metal crowd anthems. I’m going to a party/ I’m gonna get some pussy.

Ralph Michael Starr Saenz is the voice and looks like a fat David Lee Roth by his own admission. Russ Satchel Parrish the pyrotechnics and flash on guitars. The core members who were there from the start of this millennium, when they were Metal Shop and Metal Skool.

The engine room thrust is supplied by Darren Stix Zadinia Leader drums and Joe Spyder Lester on bass. They’re from Los Angeles, where else!

The sold-out Powerstation crowd sees plenty of decadent glam outfits and diversity in full bloom tonight. There is a curious biker presence but the ambience is certainly not heavy.

As much an R18 comedy act as musicians. They do it simultaneously. Anyone who’s seen Chopper from Aussie would embrace their profane expletive-laden stand-up routines.

“A four-fucking year lockdown for a fucking cold bug!” says Satchel. Takes me back to this same room in February 2020 when the Sleaford Mods played their debut show, and told us the same truth in advance. They are from California where the population took a battering from the covid fall-out.

They were last here in Auckland four years ago. This time he renames it Cockland or Fuckland. They launch into Asian Hooker. Misogynistic fun and games and they pull up a young woman from front of stage to dance with them.

They are the Beastie Boys set to glam metal.


Ratso are a five-member sonic assault and attack force who come from various parts of Auckland. They play punk in the same manner as the blitzkrieg of MC5 and the Ramones.

Singer and visual focal point is John Baker. He looks like one of Rob Zombie’s Devils Rejects. Could be malevolent clown Captain Spaulding’s cousin. Equally funny and menacing. Jake Harding (D4 and 3 Rum Coves) sings and plays guitar. Tomi guitar, Takumi bass and Alex drums round out the group.

Shut Yer Face is the sound of original punk.

Arseholes and Bullshit sounds like activist trade union hall socialist punk. The singers bellow and Baker looks royally pissed off.

They play fast and violent riff barrages. Occasionally a metal guitar solo surfaces from the continual waves of attack.

We are the living dead. A line from the one song which starts with a slower tempo. A bit like Black Sabbath. Which they eventually whip up into a punk maelstrom.

They finish with Fuck Ratso. Baker has handed out placards to the audience, one of which is Kick out the jams! Great low-register guitars cut through. Industrial strength riff merchants.

Steel Panther

Anyone offended by now is told to write a complaint to the venue on a special pad at the bar. And then to roll it into a tube and ‘shove it up your ass’.

All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight) is honed battering music with the relentlessness of Motorhead. Katy-Lou (not her real name) jumps on stage and shows her breasts. They add a coda of I Love Rock’n’Roll  to finish.

As well as Joan Jett, there is a fair debt to Gary Glitter and the Glitter band in a number of their songs.

Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) has some classic Seventies rock guitar tones and also fits in a slow ballad section. For some variation.

Never Too Late (To Get Some Pussy Tonight) is their brand-new single. The Gary Glitter style is to the fore.

Aim a crotch-kick at K-Pop music. Then cover Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train. Satchel gives it some Randy Rhoads guitar, and Starr races back on looking uncannily like Ozzy. Bites the head of a soft-toy bat.

The guitar solo centre-piece, whilst it is wild is also highly disciplined. Drone riffs and great flights of improvisation. Could be Pat Metheney or Coltrane inspired. Atonal and all.

Weenie Ride. An extended strap-on workout which has echoes of Captain Beefheart’s Tarotplane, and the scathing comedy of Lou Reed’s live Take No Prisoners.

Seventeen Girls in a Row. The girls have crowded the stage now. Some naked boobs. Great sexy dancing and suggestive hip-shaking. Cocaine is repeatedly praised.

Community Property. It’s a nice love-story ballad. My heart belongs to you/ But my cock is community property.

Encore with Gloryhole. But you never really know/ Who’s sucking on the other side. It has a little of the sound of the Ramones Pet Sematary tonight. 

Great rock’n’roll dirty party to get to the heart of it. It is very funny, sexy, and a little uncomfortable at times to be honest. How did they get all those girls to perform?

The last word on Steel Panther goes to Beavis and Butthead. These guys are cool rock Gods. Look how many chicks they get. 

Rev Orange Peel        

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