Most know him as ex-guitarist for Marilyn Manson or the current guitarist for Rob Zombie, but for those who have witnessed the extraordinary talent of guitarist John 5 know he is playing on an entirely different level than other guitarists from this decade. John 5’s current offering with his band the Creatures (Ian Ross – Bass and Logan Nix -drums) is titled Invasion and features an intricate frenzy of musical brilliance with plans for a separate music video for each track. Time and time again John 5 has exhibited talent that extends beyond his work with Manson and Zombie. His knack for being able to transition from shredding some metal on one of his guitars, to chicken-plucking on the banjo, to playing the mandolin, it all seems to come as naturally to him as breathing. It is obvious that John 5 is not fueled by a predictable idea that someone else is expecting because this record is a perfect storm of unpredictability. John 5 has always had the ability to makie any instrument his bitch. He can play anything and this album proves it.
The album begins with title-track Invasion, a two-minute instrumental prelude to utter badassery. Track number two opens with a techno beat and robot voice intermittently saying the song title I Am John 5 with the addition of a progressive heavy metal guitar riff. Midnight Mass is a heavy metal shred fest full of emotions and John 5’s signature guitar scales and track four sparks a total Scooby-Doo vibe in the music video for Zoinks.
Just when you think this is purely a rock n’ roll album, John 5 chicken-picks his way through Howdy. His lifelong love of the TV-show Hee-Haw materializes throughout the song. Crank It/Living With Ghosts sounds like it could be a Zombie song yet it isn’t, with a Pantera style guitar riff, a female says “crank it motherfucker” throughout the song which also goes a bit trance in certain parts. But fear not, there are more moments of John 5’s signature scaling up and down the fretboard. Cactus Flower starts with Piper Laurie’s famous line “They’re all gonna laugh at you,” from the 1976 classic horror film Carrie, playing over and over and fades into a humming tone and some more good old fashioned classic rock on the mandolin. Then, John 5 adds music that seems like it came out of a Pink Floyd album.
I Want It All features more robotic lyrics and synthesizers and I Like The Funk is what the spawn of funk, 90’s grunge and heavy metal would sound like. This is a fun song and definitely danceable. The addition of minimal lyrics not only on this track but a few others on the album are a welcome element Constant Sorrow is a feel-good hoe down to rock n’ roll and ties in all of the diverse styles John 5 has included on the record. Invasion showcases everything that makes up John 5 and is a fun ride through the mastermind’s love of monster movies, horror, Hee-Haw, metal and everything in between.
John 5 and the Creatures are currently on tour. For tickets and dates, please visit: https://www.john-5.com