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    Image: Halestorm, Into The Wild Life, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, interviews Halestorm
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    Image: Marilyn Manson, The Pale Emperor, Pitriff, Modern Metal, Reviews Marilyn Manson
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Image: Pitriff, Muckraker, Will Price, pitriff, news, reviews, interviews, heavy metalMuckraker
BIG BLACK BUS

I'm one of those music snobs that doesn't like the "known" music nearly as much as the stuff that flew under most people's radar.  That said, there was a band that came and went in that I loved in the late 90s called Boiler.  While I'm sure most of you don't remember them, I do.  Two brilliant CDs and an EP...THE NEW PROFESSIONALS, COW TIPPIN' IN C SHARP and YEEHAW...three releases that have found permanent residence in my music collection, and three that still get played a lot.  Boiler was one of those bands that you could always put on to give you an energy boost as well as a shot of attitude along the way.  Songs like "Railroaded" or "Stegasaurus" are addictive as Hell.

When I found out that Boiler frontman and bassist Will Price had put together a new band that, I knew two things.  One, it was going to rock, and two...it was going to pack a lot of attitude.  Right and right.  BIG BLACK BUS has that old Boiler thump to it, but definitely leans a bit more toward the stoner side of metal (think Down, Eyehategod, heavier COC).  Price and his new band of rock enthusiasts have packed a highly charged, somewhat political and fully vicious assault of metal explosiveness into their BIG BLACK BUS.  Price has a bit more depth to his vocals than he previously exhibited.  Songs like "Haymarket Square" have a very Zakk Wylde meets Neil Fallon vocal sound, which is quite appealing.  Price rants and raves throughout, and yet he's just part of a successful formula here.  As a three piece, Muckraker has a big, fat sound.  That's due in large part to the work of guitarist Ray Mulligan.  While Mulligan's tuning is in line with most of the bands of this ilk, he's much more loud and clean than most that play this kind of music.  Instead of going for the fuzzed out guitar tone, the rich, full tones on songs like "V" and "Kingmaker" just works well on this effort.  The same can be said for drummer Batz Capo.  His drums are booming throughout, reminding me a lot of the work captured on the first couple Brand New Sin releases.  He's got an arena rock sound on songs like "The 4th Estate" that reminds of the huge sound Kiss captured on CREATURES OF THE NIGHT.  To say the least, these guys are a very cohesive unit.  They bring it all together on material like the politically charged aural assault called "We Are The Majority".

PITRIFF RATING - 91/100 - Muckraker may be an unsigned, independent band, but their sound is huge and as good or better than the bulk of Southern Lord bands that come across my desk.  While I'm not necessarily on board with all the political themes here, I like the definitive message and, more importantly, I'm a fan of the no bullshit punch in the face the music provides.  In short, I'm jumping on the BIG BLACK BUS.

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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