• Iron Maiden - THE BOOK OF SOULS

    Image: Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Review, Classic Metal, Pitriff, Chris Akin Iron Maiden


    They don’t do it that often anymore, but there’s always excitement when Iron Maiden comes out with new music. Knowing that they are closing in on the end of their career, you really do end up hoping that when they go out for good, it will be with a bang. I think it’s universally agreed upon that

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  • Slayer - REPENTLESS

    Image: Slayer, Repentless, Pitriff, Review, Thrash Metal, Chris Akin Slayer


    Probably more than any release in their history, Slayer came into releasing this album at a crossroads. This WAS the album that, in many ways, dictated if the band could continue on or if it was indeed time to drift off quietly to Hell. The loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman and the removal of drummer Dave Lombardo had almost every Slayer

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  • Operation: Mindcrime - THE KEY

    Image: Operation Mindcrime, Geoff Tate, Reviews, Music, heavy metal Operation: Mindcrime


    Geoff Tate’s falling out and subsequent two years of lawsuits, multiple versions of the same band and overall craziness in the press definitely tarnished a legacy that once seemed untouchable. Think about it. Even with over a decade of arguably bad releases (Q2K, TRIBE, AMERICAN SOLDIER, DEDICATED TO CHAOS), it wasn’t until the now infamous spitting incident and the

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    Image: WASP, Golgotha, Blackie Lawless, Pitriff, Review, Heavy Metal W.A.S.P.


    W.A.S.P. is one of those bands that has a ridiculously loyal fanbase...and good for them, actually. Doing THE CLASSIC METAL SHOW, we get shit on repeatedly anytime we say anything that is less than glowing about W.A.S.P., Blackie Lawless or any of the band’s former or present members. Oh well...comes with the territory, I guess. After what seems like quite a

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  • Halestorm - INTO THE WILD LIFE

    Image: Halestorm, Into The Wild Life, Pitriff, heavy metal, reviews, interviews Halestorm


    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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Image: Poison Smile, American Dog, Pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviewsAmerican Dog

I don't know what to call the development of a band like American Dog.  For most bands, you would say that they have matured as a band.  But I think if bassist/vocalist Michael Hannon or guitarist Steve Theado heard me say they had matured, they would knock me to the ground, give me a wedgey and piss in my face to prove that nothing had changed in the always crazy world of Canine Country!  Clearly, a band like American Dog does not "mature",  Just their playing does.

Reviewing POISON SMILE is pretty easy to do in all honesty.  If you have liked them in the past, you will love this.  If you hated them before, well...wait until tomorrow and a new review will be posted.  As a fan, I'm always excited to receive a new American Dog release because they always deliver for me.  Their own special brand of made in America, barroom rock n' roll is some of the best in a genre that is very crowded with great bands.

Listening to POISON SMILE, the one thing that jumps out at me is the new tone of guitarist Steve Theado.  Arguably the most underrated guitarist in all of rock music, his playing on POISON SMILE is a bit less boisterous and a bit more clean than ever before.  Where on albums like HARD and SCARS N BARS Theado was a loud, obnoxious shredder, here on POISON SMILE he's almost more...dare I say it...professional sounding.  Songs like "Old Dog New Tricks" showcase a much more focused and superiorly recorded guitar sound from Theado than on any other album in the band's career.  That's not to say it's stale or processed in the least.  It's not.  There's still moments where you get that blast of midnight at the bar, raw riffs ("The Real Nitty Gritty"), but overall this is like a graduated Theado on guitar.

Someone who's clearly graduating or any more grown up is bassist/vocalist Michael Hannon.  Hannon once again brings his couth-lacking vocals to song after song.  Hannon loves to party, and he loves to sing about it even more.  There are always times with Hannon where he strays into some obscene territories, but more times than not his tales of debauchery are lyrically genius in their absurdity.  Take a song like "Bathroom Romance".  While the song definitely definitely details some of the less than finer moments of being a musician that makes his living one bar at a time, the lyrics are both fun and enticing.  The in-timing toilet flush at the end of the song - a very nice touch that was good for a giggle.  Hannon and new drummer Michael Harris also lay down a much thicker, steady foundation than on the last album MEAN.  "Splinterin' Sally", and virtually every other track, are stabilized by a thick bottom end that will have you rockin' out with each and every listen.

PITRIFF RATING - 94/100 - There's never a really unwelcome time for an American Dog record.  They are definitely the leader of the pack for me over other bands like Rhino Bucket or Broken Teeth that make similar music, as their albums are always just that much more fun and ballsy.  The "don't give a shit" attitude that always dominates an American Dog album is still very present here, but the songs are a touch better than the last album provided.  Highly recommended.

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.

 Image: Keel, pitriff, heavy metal, news, reviews, interviews

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