• Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

    Image: Megadeth, Dystopia, Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Kiko Loureiro, Chris Adler Megadeth


    More than any other metal band in history, being a hardcore Megadeth fan is truly a rollercoaster ride. This is a band with multiple duds in their catalog, and yet they always seem to rebound. Think about it, they’ve truly had some bad releases in their catalog. RISK was terrible. THE WORLD NEEDS A HERO wasn’t a lot better. And yet,

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  • Anthrax - FOR ALL KINGS

    Image: Anthrax, For All Kings, Pitriff, Chris Akin Anthrax


    Depending on your perspective, Anthrax is either having a career resurgence or floundering at the end of their career. I’m stunned how many people actually didn’t like their last effort, FOR ALL KINGS. In these ears, that was the best effort of their career. What made it great, to me, was the mixture of crushing heaviness combined with some

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  • Sevendust - KILL THE FLAW

    Image: Sevendust, Kill The Flaw Sevendust


    When I first saw Sevendust’s new release was titled KILL THE FLAW, my initial thought was “what exactly is the flaw?” It leads you to wonder just what it is that caused this band to not break big, while bands with lesser quality catalogs like Disturbed or Korn had such crazy amounts of success at the same time. This

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  • Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden


    They don’t do it that often anymore, but there’s always excitement when Iron Maiden comes out with new music. Knowing that they are closing in on the end of their career, you really do end up hoping that when they go out for good, it will be with a bang. I think it’s universally agreed upon that

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  • Slayer - REPENTLESS

    Image: Slayer, Repentless, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal, Chris Akin Slayer


    Probably more than any release in their history, Slayer came into releasing this album at a crossroads. This WAS the album that, in many ways, dictated if the band could continue on or if it was indeed time to drift off quietly to Hell. The loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the removal of drummer Dave Lombardo had almost every Slayer

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  • Operation: Mindcrime - THE KEY

    Image: Operation Mindcrime, Geoff Tate, Reviews, Music, heavy metal Operation: Mindcrime


    Geoff Tate’s falling out and subsequent two years of lawsuits, multiple versions of the same band and overall craziness in the press definitely tarnished a legacy that once seemed untouchable. Think about it. Even with over a decade of arguably bad releases (Q2K, TRIBE, AMERICAN SOLDIER, DEDICATED TO CHAOS), it wasn’t until the now infamous spitting incident and the

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    Image: WASP, Golgotha, Blackie Lawless, Pitriff, Review, Heavy Metal W.A.S.P.


    W.A.S.P. is one of those bands that has a ridiculously loyal fanbase...and good for them, actually. Doing THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, we get shit on repeatedly anytime we say anything that is less than glowing about W.A.S.P., Blackie Lawless or any of the band’s former or present members. Oh well...comes with the territory, I guess. After what seems like quite a

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Image: LA Guns, Hollywood Forever, pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, news, interviewsL.A. Guns

The thing with L.A. Guns, at least in my eyes, is that you pretty much know what you are going to get just as long as vocalist Phil Lewis is fronting the band.  They have definitely been a mixed bag without Lewis (AMERICAN HARDCORE - pretty bad, WASTED - pretty good, SHRINKING VIOLET pretty solid, BLACKLIST - awful).   But when Lewis fronts an entity known as L.A. Guns, you are pretty much guaranteed a solid listening experience from these 80s sleaze rockers.  True to form, HOLLYWOOD FOREVER is a solid effort once again from LA Guns.

To be honest, L.A. Guns has been consistently good but never great after the release of COCKED AND LOADED a zillion years ago.  While they have had several lineup changes and multiple versions of the band over the years, the consistent (and the only "real" L.A. Guns in my opinion) has been the version with Phil Lewis and drummer Steve Riley.  Their last album, TALES FROM THE STRIP, had its solid moments, but ultimately ended up filed away next to most of their albums in the collection.  With HOLLYWOOD FOREVER, it's more of the same.  L.A. Guns have put forth a solid effort that rocks, but ultimately doesn't have a lot of songs that stick with you for a really long time.  In short, they are writing good songs that will enable them to keep touring, but not great ones that will propel them back into any sort of prominence.

Again, HOLLYWOOD FOREVER is a pretty solid effort.  There's some good rockers here, and there's a song or two that feel ripped  from their HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES era as well.  Probably my favorite song on the disc is one that exhibits this; the midtempo rocker "Sweet Mystery".  This song features Lewis providing a more vulnerable, deep vocal performance than his standard sound generally provides.  In many ways, the vocal performance is similar to "It's Over Now" from the old days.  It also showcases a simple, yet strong solo from guitarist Stacey Blades.  Throughout the entire album, Blades seems right at home now in this band.  Blades rocks on songs like "You Better Not Love Me", but changes course for a more deliberate tone-setting sound on "Burn".  This song is another of the better tunes here, as it's kind of reminiscent of a slightly faster paced version of "Over The Edge"; again from HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES.  The entire disc is anchored nicely by bassist Scott Griffin and Riley on drums.

PITRIFF RATING - 76/100 - Solid, but certainly not close to the caliber of their first two albums that were damn near brilliant for their time.  It's L.A. Guns - if you liked them before, you will like them now.  If you didn't, there's not a note here to change that or the slightest inclination that these guys would even want to try to.  This is L.A. Guns doing what L.A. Guns do; it's as simple as that.

Chris Akin

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A look at one of the most polarizing, iconic and best selling albums of all time from author, rock critic and shock jock radio host Chris Akin.


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The shockingly honest and emotional first book from radio personality and rock critic Chris Akin.

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Available January 13th in Paperback and Digital Formats on Amazon and iTunes.

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