Treading the path between musicianship and outright parody is a tricky balancing act that few can maintain. Either the joke wears thin or the musicians are uncovered as talentless, or both.
Tenacious D are a notable success and so, to some extent, were The Darkness. Not overtly comedic, Justin Hawkins' band still went out of their way to let the fans know they were in on the joke. But both have in common a genuine ability to write and perform bona fide rock music; something that has enabled Steel Panther to get away with some outrageous innuendo and smuttiness in recent times. Their most recent albums, Feel The Steel (2009) and last year's Balls Out, came with neither a nudge nor a wink.
There is also no hiding the abiding message behind tracks like Fat Girl, Eatin' Ain't Cheatin' and, ahem, Just Like Tiger Woods. Thankfully, the artistry of Michael Starr, Satchel, Lexxi Foxxx and Stix Zadinia means that Steel Panther also provide a more than generous side helping of soaring guitar riffs, drum breaks and eighties' glam styling to go with the schoolboy humour.
It works and Steel Panther are a particular hit here in the UK with the spring tour selling out most venues. There's a Glasgow Academy date tonight, followed by Manchester on Friday and then Brixton on Sunday. We have some Premium tickets available for Friday/Saturday.
After that, Steel Panther play Download 2012 in June before kicking off the autumn tour in Nottingham on 5th November, taking in Edinburgh, Manchester and more before the final gig at the Hammersmith Apollo on 15th November 2012.
We will have tickets on sale from 9am on Friday 30th March, priced from £17 (£19.50 for London).