• Wretch - WARRIORS

    Image: Wretch, Warriors, Review, Power Metal, Chris Akin, Pitriff Wretch


    There's an unwritten rule that I rarely follow here in Cleveland. That rule is that if a band is from Cleveland, I'm supposed to write all glowing things or else be called a hater by the local community. It's sad that it's like that, but the truth is what it is. For years I've lived with that stigma, to the point

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  • Machine Head - BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS

    Image: Machine Head, Bloodstone & Diamonds, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal Machine Head


    What happened to Machine Head really is a crime. Unfortunately for them, it's a crime they perpetrated upon themselves. With a mistake so many made in their youth, this band singlehandedly torpedoed themselves from ascending to the heights in metal held by only the select few like Metallica and Megadeth before them. After THE MORE THINGS CHANGE came

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  • Nashville Outlaws - TRIBUTE TO MOTLEY CRUE

    Image: Nashville Outlaws, Motley Crue Tribute Nashville Outlaws


    With the music industry pretty much dead anymore, nothing really comes off as shocking. After all, you have very desperate companies trying to hang on and make money from an industry that has about as much relevance today as the typewriter ribbon makers of the world still do. The current trend for the last half decade

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  • Texas Hippie Coalition - RIDE ON

    Image: Texas Hippie Coalition, Ride On, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Review, Classic Metal Texas Hippie Coalition


    I tell this story often, but it's one of my favorites of the past year. I had the chance to interview the Texas Hippie Coalition earlier this year at Rock On The Range in Columbus, Ohio. I was in a small tent with a bunch of photographers. The tent was fairly quiet really, as the much bigger adjacent

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  • Sammy Hagar - LITE ROAST

    Image: Sammy Hagar, Lite Roast, NonMetal, Review Sammy Hagar


    I get it. You are Sammy Hagar. You've seen huge success in virtually every world you've entered. In music, he was the main focus of Montrose. He parlayed that into a very successful solo career. That wasn't enough, so he joined the world's largest band at the time (Van Halen), and took them to commercial heights that even they

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  • Cavalera Conspiracy - PANDEMONIUM

    Image: Cavalera Conspiracy, Pandemonium, Pitriff, Death Metal, Review Cavalera Conspiracy


    There's always good news and bad news whenever Max Cavalera gets busy with new music. The good is that you get a whole lot of new music, seemingly all in a very short time. The bad news is it's generally spotty at best, because he simply writes and releases too much music at the same time. His band Soulfly released

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  • Slipknot - .5 THE GRAY MATTER

    Image: Slipknot, .5 The Gray Matter, Pitriff, CD Review, Modern Metal Slipknot


    With a ton of speculation and even more wonderment on this band's ability to continue on without founding members Paul Gray and Joey Jordison, Slipknot has returned after far too long of a layoff with .5 THE GRAY MATTER. I've listened to this release multiple times a day for the last week or so that I've had it,

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Image: Kid Rock, Rebel Soul, Pitriff, Heavy Metal News, Reviews, InterviewsKid Rock

You know, I regularly get my ass kicked by readers and friends for claiming that Kid Rock is the most talented, and best artist out there today that's making music. That's fine. I know that as primarily a metalhead, I'm supposed to loathe what Kid Rock stands for. Let's face it, he did make his mark as a rapper, and then sold that out to do what he actually wanted to do, which was make primarily rock music. I guess I see that. I also guess I don't care. I thought he was really good as a rapper. I think he's better as a modern day classic rock artist. The one thing that's never changed with Kid Rock has been his attitude. He's done whatever he wanted from day 1, and he's made it big in spite of the expectations that people in the industry throw on him. Every album now comes with a heavy dose of "fuck you" combined with a side order of "you don't know shit" that he happily throws in the face of an industry that's hellbent on defining trends instead of listening to fans and their desires. Thank God for Kid Rock.

REBEL SOUL is, in my eyes, Kid Rock's finest hour. In so many ways, REBEL SOUL reminds me of THE SOUTHERN HARMONY AND MUSICAL COMPANION album from The Black Crowes from so many years ago. It does so because this album is chock full of tremendously catchy and fun songs, but it's so against the grain of not only what's going on but Rock's own career that it just moves you. Lyrically, Kid Rock has done some different things here, going for a lot deeper political messages this time around. "Catt Boogie" deals a lot with governmental moves that are creating a one world government, while the first single "Let's Ride" makes a very pro-troops statement in the most real and hardcore way Rock can.

Talk of political messages should not influence anyone into thinking that this is strictly a message driven album like a Rage Against The Machine might put out. It's still Kid Rock after all, so there's just as much fun rockin' as there is serious moments. Songs like "Cucci Galore" prove once again that there's still a heavy dose of "let's get naked and party ladies" vibe to Rock. Other songs like "Celebrate" and "Happy New Year" are simple party rockers that get stuck in your head like gum in a middle school girl's hair. As always, there's songs celebrating music in general ("God Save Rock And Roll"), and there's the always needed celebration of Rock's hometown ("Detroit, Michigan"). This album is about as dysfunctional as anything Kid Rock has done lyrically, but the overriding vibe he's created here is one of an album that you don't merely listen to a track or two from. This is a "start to finish" album that you just put on and groove to for an hour; very much like you would back in the day with the work of Rock's musical hero Bob Seger.

While there's a lot of talk about different songs and different meanings, Rock has recorded not only one but two of his best songs ever on REBEL SOUL. The title track, "Rebel Soul" is, without question, the most complete picture of what Kid Rock is as an artist today. By contrast, the ballad "The Mirror" is the most touching, deep track lyrically that Rock has done to date; light years past his previous best "Amen" from ROCK N' ROLL JESUS.

PITRIFF RATING - 97/100 - I'm sure the hate mail will again come for saying Kid Rock is great, but bring it. Kid Rock is fucking great, and his latest REBEL SOUL is the greatest thing this guy has done to date. Truly a moving album!

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.


Buy Now:  Paperback    Digital

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

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