• Black Stone Cherry - KENTUCKY

    Image: Black Stone Cherry, Kentucky Black Stone Cherry
    KENTUCKY

    CD
    MP3

    This collection of southern boys are not the most original band in the world. They’ll never be accused of being the most musically gifted fellas in the world. Certainly, no one will ever listen to them and think, “wow, that’s really cutting edge music”. To the contrary though, release in and release out, the same thought comes to mind

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  • Zakk Wylde - BOOK OF SHADOWS II

    Image: Zakk Wylde, Book Of Shadows II Zakk Wylde
    BOOK OF SHADOWS II

    CD
    MP3

    Sequels to albums, at least in my listening experience, are generally poor. The two that immediately jump to mind for me are Rob Zombie’s HELLBELLY DELUXE 2 and Meat Loaf’s BAT OUT OF HELL 2. Both releases were pretty lame, and garnered attention solely because they were named after much more historic releases in their creator’s career.

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  • Dream Theater - THE ASTONISHING

    Image: Dream Theater, The Astonishing, Pitriff, Chris Akin Dream Theater
    THE ASTONISHING

    CD
    MP3

    So, Dream Theater is back with a release that many are calling their most in-depth, and yet polarizing release. Fair enough. With 34 tracks and clocking in at over two hours in length, it’s certainly the most challenging on a listener to fully grasp and comprehend. Along with THE ASTONISHING, you are expected to read the book of lyrics

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  • Megadeth - DYSTOPIA

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

    CD
    MP3

    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
    FOR ALL KINGS

    CD
    MP3

    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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Image: Jack Blades, Pitriff, CD ReviewsJack Blades
ROCK AND ROLL RIDE

I have to admit it – I’m pretty much a fan of whatever Jack Blades does. I loved Night Ranger back in the day (and as recently as their last album SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA). I couldn’t get enough of his band Damn Yankees. I even love his stuff with Shaw/Blades, specifically his covers album called INFLUENCE. Inadvertently, I was a big fan of the TMG album he did with Eric Martin as well. So, a solo record from Blades is more than welcomed on my desk.

 

Interesting though, ROCK AND ROLL RIDE really hasn’t struck a cord with me like most of his other work has. That being said, I wouldn’t call this bad as much as I might point to it as fairly standard fare. While it’s a bit more stripped down musically than Blades’ work with other projects, it’s the fairly generic tunes that made ROCK AND ROLL RIDE a fairly bland listen. Songs like “Born For This” have a big, anthemic sound, but there’s something that doesn’t feel right. In parts of this song, it feels like Blades is trying to wedge words into the lines to make them fit. Further, the chorus has a much more modern vibe that Blades is known for. Finally, he’s doing something with his voice here to try to toughen it up. It doesn’t work. Instead it comes off like a bad version of Myles Kennedy meets Gary Barden, which is kind of annoying to be honest.

Again, it’s not all bad at all. Whether it’s intentional or not, the sound and the music just don’t represent what Jack Blades’ generally does as a musician. That said, it still has its moments. No Blades’ recording would be complete without it’s “Sister Christian” moment, and that comes on the simply gorgeous “Hardest Word To Say”. Had this song come out in Night Ranger’s heyday, we’d all still be remembering it, and every 80s compilation would be considering adding it instead of the aforementioned “Sister Christian”. “Rise And Shine” is another standout track for Blades on ROCK AND ROLL RIDE. Once again, it’s got a much more modern vocal sound than Blades generally showcases, but it’s a winner.

PITRIFF RATING – 64/100 - ROCK AND ROLL RIDE is a decent effort that really did nothing more than make me pull out SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA and INFLUENCE so I could hear Blades the way I like him to sound. Being fair here, if you are reading this you are probably a fan like I am, and you won’t be disgusted with the purchase. It’s shelf life in your IPod just won’t be that long either.

Chris Akin

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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