• 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: Donnie Vie, Pitriff, CD Review, Wrapped Around My Middle FingerDonnie Vie
WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER

I'm one of those guys that just worshipped the work Donnie Vie did with Enuff Z'nuff. Even now, where I've actually hosted shows where Vie was a drug addled embarrassment to the point where I regretted having the name of my radio show tied to his performance, I never stopped appreciating the enormous musical talent that Vie has. I have all those Enuff Z'nuff albums on my IPod and they get regular play in my ears.

 As a solo artist, Vie has been spotty though. His songwriting and his choices to prostitute the old Enuff Z'nuff songs as a solo artist really lead me to believe that he wasn't capable of writing quality music without his musical partner Chip Z'nuff. It's safe to say that all changes with WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER. While a lot darker than the happier, party vibe that dominates the back catalog, WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER proves that Vie can still write tunes with incredible melody and strong hooks. He can still sing to; fusing his own sound with that John Lennon influence that has been the signature of his sound since his moment in the sun in 1989.

There are so many great songs on WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER. "Rattle On" is a great song that showcases the new Donnie Vie. Gone are the days of "Joni Woni Rides The Pony" silliness; replaced with more real world messages of life like this song. This song reaches for a place we've all been - that spot where you want to just settle for the fact that life sucks before someone tells you to snap out of it. While Vie seems to be singing this to a girl, one has to wonder if this isn't a metaphor to a lesson that's been thrown at him over the last decade. Whatever the case, this song is a simple singer songwriter dirge that just works on a lot of levels.

As I stated previously, WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER is a bit darker and emotional than previous Vie efforts. Songs like "No Escape" are as emotionally scarred as Vie has ever decided to go, while other songs like "I Won't Let You Down" feel almost like desperate cries to a woman; begging her to stay in the wake of previously emotional misfortune in a relationship. Still, while this album has it's share of dark moments, there's still some of that patented Enuff Z'nuff songwriting sound that so many fell in love with back in the day. Songs like "Wrapped Around My Middle Finger" are straight forward, fun rockers, while "Lollipop" is punchy and fun.

PITRIFF RATING - 88/100 - Being honest, this is a really pleasant surprise. While Donnie Vie is one of those "sing the phonebook" guys to me, he hasn't been very good without the framework of Enuff Z'nuff. WRAPPED AROUND MY MIDDLE FINGER is the strongest thing Vie has been involved with in awhile - even more so than the last two Enuff Z'nuff albums he did. I'm glad to see there's still some gas in his tank!

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.

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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