John 5 and the Creatures are back with their second studio release called ‘Invasion’. Their first album together was their 2017 release, ‘Season of the Witch’, which was a nightmarishly spectacular release. John 5 is currently one of my favorite guitarists in rock today and man is he everywhere. He is always writing for other artists and when he isn’t doing that or playing with the Creatures, he is on tour with Rob Zombie.
And if that isn’t enough, you should check out his Instagram page as he is constantly posting videos of him noodling around with his guitars usually wearing interesting masks and/or costumes and those hairless cats of his walking around. He knows how to keep you coming back.
And he keeps me coming back. When this album came out on July 31st, I am not sure I have stopped playing it since that day. It has been on constant rotation. And I have to say , I might like this one better than ‘Season of the Witch’ which I didn’t think would be possible. John 5 and the creatures, Ian Ross and Logan Miles Nix are nothing short of spectacular.
The album kicks off with a storm brewing as the band readies itself to invade every piece of your body. The ominous bass and hard hitting drums come across with an eeriness that is ready to battle and then John 5 comes blasting in with his killer riffs to lay waste to the land. And the “Invasion” has begun.
The sound goes a little electronica with the the robot screaming “I Am John 5”. And John 5 is on this in spades. It is a heart-pounding, adrenaline rush of speed guitar mixed with the electronica elements and some funk bass playing by Ian Ross. And it doesn’t stop there.
The almighty guitar master takes the alter and delivers his guitar shredding sermon and reigns down his power over his minions with “Midnight Mass”. You will drop to your knees and worship at the feet of John 5. It is a face-melting, heavy song that leaves you wanting more.
Then we get the Scooby Doo inspired song “Zoinks”…okay, the title at least is inspired by Shaggy. The song is mix-up of so many styles and it is hard to believe three people can make so much happen with 3 instruments, but they go nuts and throw in everything possible. It is another fast driving song and keeps you invested because you can’t wait to see what comes next. And don’t forget the video. You have to watch the video as it has Nikki Sixx in it and will take you back to the Scooby Doo cartoons.
“Howdy” comes at you with its bluegrass hoedown fun and what could be Grannie Clampett screaming “Howdy” at the beginning and then end. Now there is no denying John 5’s picking abilities a la Roy Clark, but these songs he always throw in are not my favorite. I prefer the all out rock song songs to the country style with these.
Thankfully, we go right back to the hard hitting sound with “Crank It – Living With Ghosts”. It has a cool, gritty riff that opens the song, a driving beat and a nice bass line that keeps this song moving at 100 mph. Plus you get an Alexa sounding voice that says “Crank It, Crank It Motherfucker”. What more could you want. John 5’s solos are outstanding and this one doesn’t disappoint. I love playing this in the car and ‘cranking’ it as loud as I can stand.
Then we get another country style song called “Cactus Flower”. It is much slower, almost ballad-type, It doesn’t have the bluegrass speed picking, but it does have that country twang. Again, one I could skip. Sorry John 5.
“I Want It All” is another rocker that is hard-hitting with those heavy drums and of course John 5’s fingers dancing all over the guitar, going up and down the frets like it was effortless. He is so technically precise it is crazy.
Now we get to one of my favorites, “I Like the Funk” and let me tell you, I really do like John 5’s guitar playing on this. There is a great melody and some cool riffs. Plus, Ian’s bass is so funky. He slaps it with the best of them. And Nix is keeping them in the groove with his drumming. John 5’s songs are never boring as he keeps them moving and changes things up so you don’t get a one trick pony the whole song.
The album ends with “Constant Sorrow” which is heavily inspired by the Soggy Bottom Boys “Man of Constant Sorrow. There is a country tinge to it, but this one works so well with the steady beat, the hand clapping and it is an overall great song.
- Invasion – Keeper
- I Am John 5 – Keeper
- Midnight Mass – Keeper
- Zoinks! – Keeper
- Howdy – Delete
- Crank It – Living with Ghosts – Keeper
- Cactus Flower – Delete
- I Want It All – Keeper
- I Like the Funk – Keeper
- Constant Sorrow – Keeper
The track score is an 8 out 10 tracks for a strong score of 80%. I am not a huge country fan so those songs don’t do anything for me. I want to rock it out when I hear John 5 despite his many talents and influences, I just like the rock.
Now the overall album is sensational. The songs were rocking out, were heavy, and John 5 displayed his proficiency with the guitar like so few can. His creativity and style are unmatched currently and his songs feel like songs which some instrumental albums don’t come across that way. It isn’t all show-boating. Plus, with Ian Ross on bass and Logan Nix on drums, he is surrounded by nothing but talent and their contributions don’t go without being noticed. It is a talented trio. I will give the album a score of 4.25 out of 5.0 Stars. All I can say is Buy It, Play It and Crank It MOTHERFUCKER!!!