• Halestorm - INTO THE WILD LIFE

    Image: Halestorm, Into The Wild Life, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, interviews Halestorm
    INTO THE WILD LIFE

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    With the release of THE STRANGE CASE OF…, I fell in love with Lzzy Hale. So much so, in fact, that I jokingly got down on one knee and asked her to marry me at Rock On The Range two years ago (a proposal that she didn’t flat out turn down, so maybe there’s still hope!!). Let’s be

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  • Marilyn Manson - THE PALE EMPEROR

    Image: Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor, Pitriff, Modern Metal, Reviews Marilyn Manson
    THE PALE EMPEROR

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    Let’s just call it the way it is. It’s been a very, very long time since Marilyn Manson recorded a really good, memorable release that any of us still listen to on a regular basis. To many, the would probably says that it’s been since MECHANICAL ANIMALS back in 1998. For me personally, I’ll be a bit more

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  • Black Star Riders - THE KILLER INSTINCT

    Image: Black Star Riders, The Killer Instinct, Review, Classic Rock, Pitriff Black Star Riders
    THE KILLER INSTINCT

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    When Black Star Riders made their decision to record under a new name instead of as Thin Lizzy, it was met with a lot of opinions. For most, I would assume they were happy that they decided to move away from the name they had been touring under. For many, I'm sure there was a lot of

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  • Lynch Mob - SUN RED SUN

    Image: Lynch Mob, Sun Red Sun, George Lynch, Classic Rock, Reviews Lynch Mob
    SUN RED SUN

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    On THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, George Lynch is regularly a topic of conversation. Maybe that has to do with the fact that Neeley is a personal friend of Don Dokken and I work for Don on his website, but I like to believe that he becomes a topic because, first and foremost, we are big fans of the

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  • Karma To Burn - ARCH STANTON

    Image: Arch Stanton, Karma To Burn, Pitriff, Stoner Metal, Reviews Karma To Burn
    ARCH STANTON

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    There are those of us who know. We will forever be known as the "fortunate ones". There are those of you that have no idea. You will be known as the "unfortunate ones". What is it we know that you don't? We know the sheer greatness of Karma To Burn. For those that are unfortunate ones, let me

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  • U.D.O. - DECADENT

    Image: U.D.O. - DECADENT, Classic Metal, Reviews, Pitriff U.D.O.
    DECADENT

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    I'm sure I'm not in the minority here, but I'm glad that we now have a killer version of Accept with Mark Tornillo as well as the continuation of U.D.O. with Udo Dirkschneider. In short, it's led to both bands stepping up their game and creating great music. While neither side will admit competition with the other band, the fans certainly

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  • Sweet & Lynch - ONLY TO RISE

    Image: Sweet & Lynch, Only To Rise, CD Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff Sweet & Lynch
    ONLY TO RISE

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    Being completely honest here, I really didn't expect a whole lot out of this. I'm not the biggest Stryper fan in the world by a long shot, and the truth is that I just never could fully get into Michael Sweet's vocals. There's just always been something about him. I'm not sure what it is. I guess

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Image: The Treatment, Running With The Dogs, Pitriff, Classic Metal, ReviewThe Treatment
RUNNING WITH THE DOGS

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Admit it: you've just about given up on England when it comes to producing quality rock 'n' roll. The land that brought us the Beatles, the Stones, Zeppelin, and of course the revered NWOBHM--in the past twenty-five years, what have they given us? The Wildhearts? Come on. The Darkness? Come the fuck on!

The Treatment are a five-piece band that hail from that benighted former bastion of rock supremacy. Their 2011 independent debut, This Might Hurt, caused enough of a buzz to earn them a support slot for Van Halen's European tour (while we Yankee pigs were stuck with Kool and the Gang). Now comes the band's second album, Running With The Dogs.

It's so easy to compare a band to AC/DC that it's become a cliche, but The Treatment do bear some resemblance to Angus and Co. Sort of. More accurately, they remind me of Airbourne, in the guitar tone and riffing style of Ben Brookland and Tagore Grey, and their overall energy and enthusiasm. But while Airbourne's singer Joel O'Keefe favors a Sam Kinison-like yell, the Treatment's Matt Jones offers highly melodic, harmonized vocals. He comes across as a mixture of Kelly Holland, the first singer from '90's classicists Cry of Love, and Robert Mason, currently of Warrant (and who was Cry of Love's second singer). It's this attention to tunefulness that sets Running With The Dogs apart from the sea of AC/DC clones, and even, to a degree, from the band's own debut. In the end, the combination reminds me of another classic-rock-obsessed British band: Thunder.

These last few years, as I've listened to one "savior of rock 'n' roll" after another, I've sometimes wondered, "where have all the hooks gone?" So many young bands strive for a retro-hard-rock sound. They tune the guitars up to E, put on some leather (and maybe some of their mom's makeup), and write some songs about chicks and partying--but they neglect about the hooks. You forget each song the minute the next one starts.

Again, The Treatment's sense of melody saves them, as songs like "Get The Party On," "Emergency," "She's Too Much," and the title track will have you humming and/or drumming on the desk all day long. The rockers are relentlessly uptemmpo, and while Jones wails away, the rhythm section of Dhani Mansworth and Rick Newman pound it out straight and simple on drums and bass. Guitarists Brookland and Grey give a B-12 shot to the old British blues-rock playbook, just by sheer volume and fervor. I really love that one extra-sleazy lick in "She's Too Much"--you'll know which one. But then, in the second half of the disc, the band throw out a pair of high-quality ballads in "Cloud Across The Sun" and "Unchain My World." The former, in particular, gives me sharp, gut-level flashbacks to the late hair-metal daze. This would've been all over MTV circa 1990, even while avoiding the great, quicksand-like pools of cheese that lurk around every corner in Balladland. The only really cheesy moments are on the album's first track, "I Bleed Rock 'n' Roll," which just tries a little too hard, and the silly, swampy intro to "The Outlaw."

PITRIFF RATING - 93/100 - I liked This Might Hurt, but didn't love it. Running With The Dogs is a big step forward. If you like no-frills, high-energy, blues-based hard rock that doesn't forget to be memorable (think Dirty Looks or earliest Tesla in addition to prior comparisons), this is the disc for you. There's also a deluxe edition available, with a bonus disc featuring some obscure English cover songs.

Image: Cause/Effect Metallica, Chris Akin

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.

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAUSE/EFFECT: METALLICA.

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Image: Little Victories, Book, Chris Akin

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

CLICK HERE to learn more about LITTLE VICTORIES.

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Read Reviews and Excerpts from LITTLE VICTORIES: A TALE OF DIVORCE, DEBAUCHERY AND FINDING HAPPINESS HERE!

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

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