The first thing to remember when reviewing a Steel Panther album is that, really, Steel Panther aren’t a band. Def Leppard are the band, Bon Jovi are the band, Van Halen are the band, Mötley Crüe are the band – Steel Panther are a parasitic sideshow on the hulking belly of stadium rock. A satire, a send up, a comedy façade performed by four apparently libidinous geriatrics in wigs and based on all of cock rocks most ludicrous traits. So the real question when reviewing the new Steel Panther record is this: Is their shtick still funny after three (THREE!) albums?
With 2012 drawing to a close, our album of the year lists done and dusted, we’re turning out attention this week to Thrash Hits’ own, personal Greatest Hits of 2012. We’re talking about the things we published that got the biggest reactions, the most views, that stirred the pot the most, and quite frankly, the articles we got a buzz out of publishing. For the first of this week’s look-back, we’re winding back all the way to January, for Tom Doyle’s review of Blessed By A Broken Heart’s Feel The Power.
Blessed By A Broken Heart
Feel The Power
Tooth & Nail / Rude Records
30 January 2012
by Tomas Doyle
For about five minutes back in the mid 2000s, Blessed By A Broken Heart were one of those bands that looked like they could’ve been absolutely massive in the UK. Shows with the then-hot-ticket Enter Shikari ensured they were in the right place at the right time, but they have struggled to convert that potential into a solid UK fanbase, concentrating harder on the US market where fans seem more willing to lap up their glam rock/mosh schtick. Their third album, FEEL THE POWER (hilariously capitalised on the promo copy we received at Thrash Hits HQ, along with ALL THE TRACK TITLES), is surely their last chance to ‘crack’ the UK. Have they got a hope? In short, no.
Occasionally, a band comes along and everyone’s talking about them – one way or another. Australian newcomers, The Galvatrons are definitely one of them. Emma Edmondson finds out more about them.
Hair metal. Hard Rock. Glam metal. Cock rock. Whatever name you get a tattooist to ink on its skin those who made it, and are still flicking hairsprayed manes on stage in time to twenty-year-old hits, were more famous than Madonna in their hey day.
They rocked thrice harder than any younger than most mayflies Liber-View rip offs think they do nowadays. And, despite some of them having drug habits that’d make Johnny Thunders and Sid Vicious seem like mere amateurs, managed to sell squillions of records and gig tickets.
This live-fast-die-inebriated penchant for hedonism, synths, booze, guyliner, tats, Edam-cheesey choruses and contraceptively tight trousers isn’t history though. There’s a new bunch of hedge haired hard rockers who are wholeheartedly unashamed of being influenced by this poodle permed past – The Galvatrons.
Watch the video to ‘When We Were Kids’ by The Galvatrons
The Aussie four-piece are Van Halen for the cyberspace generation and ignited an A&R frenzy a mere four months into band fruition getting flown over UK way to play a bunch of the satans of all shows – those dreaded industry showcases. Ugh.
“They’re always weird,” admits lead singer Johnny Galvatron. He’s not wrong.
Middle-aged music know it alls standing cross armed in semi-empty atmosphere-less venues nodding nonchalantly while eyeballing a group in the hope they’ll sniff out whether it’s a sinker or seller. Gross.
The Galvatrons – completed by Manny “Maverick” (drums), Pete “Condor” (bass) and Pete “Gamma” (keyboard) – rightfully got stamped with the latter and signed a deal here before even celebrating their first birthday. Phewf.
Albeit looking like a prettier neon clad Towers Of London (the similarities end there thankfully, as there are songs and Johnny’s vocal chords actually function) it’d be small-minded laziness to write The Galvatrons off as some manufactured man band.
Johnny, who initially made his pennies down under penning pop hits for chart humping singers, found inspiration for the band, and its name, in the soundtrack to the 1986 Transformers film he found himself watching after a (very) heavy night out.
Watch an interview with The Galvatrons from Channel Bee TV
A rocker at heart JG saw the stadium potential of combining his pop genius with those rock roots.
“I’d always been a straight rock kid,” he explains. “I wanted to kind of take everything I’d learnt about modern synths and create this electronic rock band and make really inspirational happy cinematic rock. I used to play all the heavy stuff but I realised I wasn’t that angry, actually have quite a nice life and was enjoying myself.”
The product? Laden with more synths than a Europe anthem their debut single, ‘When We Were Kids’, is a full on disco-imploding guilty pleasure that should be blasting dancefloors new earholes from their hometown of Melbourne to Manchester if people have any sense.
In fact, if it was anymore danceable you could put a pair of tap shoes on it and call it Fred Astaire. End of.