Are you kidding me? How is September already. This year is now flying by. The only thing slowing it down is there are so many damn political ads on TV and the web that it is making me physically ill. Ughh!! At least it is Friday and there are new music releases to help me make it through the day. It is not a huge week, but for me a very solid week of releases. I have 2 I want to hear and they are highlighted in Blue. Let me know what interests you and what I may have missed that came out as I know there are always a bunch. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Stryper – Even The Devil Believes – (Frontiers Music): Michael Sweet is a machine. Between solo albums, Stryper albums, Sweet & Lynch, the man is non-stop. He and the boys from Stryper have been putting out some of their best music in their 4 decade long career and now going in to their 5th decade (I think that is right…80’s, 90’s. 00’s, 10’s and 20’s…yep that is right). I am really looking forward to cranking this bad boy up.
John 5 & the Creatures – Live Invasion – (60 Cycle Hum Records): John 5 is one of the premiere guitarist in the industry and is so sought after for his writing as well as his playing. When not by Rob Zombie’s side, he has his solo gig and they recorded their last live tour for the album ‘Invasion’ so expect some riff-tastick guitar playing and some super talented musicians.
I can’t believe I have done 1,000 Posts. I never thought I would be able to keep up with the site let alone get this far. It all started on April 17th, 2016 with my very first post which was “Road Rage” Playlist!
And now, 1,304 days later here I am at my 1,000th post. Crazy!!
Since we are looking back, let’s take a look at the Top 5 Posts viewed and the Bottom 5 posts viewed. It is always curious to me which ones do well and which ones don’t. Sometimes I feel like I wrote a great post that was so witty and insightful, yet hardly any one sees it and then others I think I sucked at it and should have never posted and ends up getting a butt load of hits. There is no rhyme or reason for any of it I am sure.
Here are the Top 5 Posts viewed:
5. Top Rock Songs of 2018 – 4,103 views: This one only did well thanks to the one and only Michael Sweet of Stryper. I picked the Stryper song “Take it to the Cross” as the #7 song of the year and he tweeted about it and mentioned it on Facebook (and so did Stryper). As a result, this post took off!! Thanks Michael!!
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.
For My Sunday Song #130, the final instrumental we will highlight is from John 5 & the Creatures called “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”. The song is off the album ‘Season of the Witch’from 2016 and I love that album.
The song is John 5 on guitar and for the Creatures you have Ian Ross on bass guitar and Rodger Carter on drum and what a heck of a trio you have on your hands. John 5’s guitar work is unbelievable with some killer riffs and one heck of solo. But not to be outshined is that rhythm section. Ian is destroying it with his bass fills and Rodger’s drum work all add to the craziness of the song.
The song has some Satriani-esque moments, it has some funked up jazz moments, it has progressive rock moments and it is just John 5 showing off with his full arsenal of tricks and speedy-ass fingers. Ian and Rodger turn what would be great songs into something even better. The trifecta of musicians make it shine.
For My Sunday Song #107 is going to take us out into a world that is so strange and bizarre you might never want to return. We will explore the world of Rob Zombie and his song “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown”. The song is off his 2013 album ‘Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor’. The song did chart at #15 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks, but that doesn’t matter for Rob Zombie.
The song is in the normal Rob Zombie industrial style music. It is hard, heavy and slams a fist into your face. The main draw for me is his guitar player, the guitar god himself, John 5. John 5 is a beast of a guitarist. The sounds and his touch are always perfection and with this one there is at times a whole Sabbath vibe with some of his tone.
The song is about the state of rock radio today. What was once a flourishing hot bed of good music is dying off in droves. It changed the way we listened to music, but thanks to the internet and the digital download and streaming, the art of radio is dying off. I have to agree that radio seems to be a dying form. The problem with radio is no variety. They play the same songs and artists over and over and you don’t really discover new music on the radio anymore. That is what Youtube and streaming is for now.
John 5 & the Creatures bring us a new album to start the year off and this time we get their first live album. ‘It’s Alive’ was recorded live off the Season of the Witch Tour in 2017 at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, Pennsylvania in April 2017. The band consists of John 5 on lead guitar, Ian Ross on bass and Logan Miles Nix on drums. The amount of music that comes out of these there guys for this album is incredible.
In listening to an interview with John 5 on Talking Metal with Emily Strigl, I learned that album was recorded rather spontaneously. They arrived at the theater the day of the show and someone from the theater asked them if they wanted to record the show as they had a recording booth upstairs. The band joyfully said yes. And a little less than a year later, we have a live album released.
John 5 also stated in the interview that there are no overdubs or any re-recordings. What you hear is what you get. And what you hear is a live album that is near perfection which is also a little of the drawback. The album at times doesn’t sound live as the musicianship is absolutely incredible. There are probably errors, but they are not noticeable (at least to my untrained ears).
We are already to the end of the first month of the year and some good ones so far. And we are ending the month with some even better. My choices are highlighted in Blue. There should be a little something for everyone this week. Let me know which ones you want or if I missed something. I have a lot to get through this weekend. Have a great weekend!!
Rick Springfield – The Snake King – (Frontiers Records): I love me some Rick Springfield. I am not afraid to admit it. I was a fan as a kid and he was my first concert my sister and I went to go see. Back in 2004 with his album Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance, I garnered a new found respect for him and have been following him with more gusto. The new album is more blues rock and a nice change of pace. He keeps trying new things and keeps getting better. I enjoyed the single “Little Demon” and expect great things to come.
The Poodles – Prisma – (GAIN/Sony): The Poodles have returned after a little break and some little side projects. My only disappointment with this album is it is not new material. It is a cover’s album which I am not always a huge fan of. I will listen, but worried. I don’t want it to be karaoke and from what I hear with “It’s No Good” tells me it won’t be.
Phil Campbell & the Bastard Sons – The Age of Absurdity – (Nuclear Blast): Motorhead guitarists has his own band and they come at you with dirty, gritty rock and exactly what you need. I am looking forward to devouring this release and blowing out the speakers!
Delta Deep – East Coast Live – (Frontiers Records): Delta Deep delivers their first live album which is great considering I was unable to attend a show they did last year. Def Leppard’s own Phil Collen is on guitar and Stone Temple Pilots’ own Robert Deleo on Bass, Forrest Robinson on drums and the great vocals of Debbi Blackwell. I got in to them thanks to my Bro-in-law as he did the sound for all their live shows. This should be good…no great!!
John 5 & The Creatures – It’s Alive – (60 Cycle Hum Records): As much as I loved his last solo release with the Creatures, a live version is a no brainer. Can’t wait to dive into this and to see what I missed when they came to town last year.
Ammunition – Ammunition – (Frontiers Records): Former members of Wig Wam together again…enough said. This will get some spins for sure.
Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa – Black Coffee – (J&R Adventures)
Loudness – Rise To Glory – (Frontiers Records)
Steve Hackett – Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham – (Inside Out Records)
Armik – Pacifica – (Bolero Records)
Machine Head – Catharsis – (Nuclear Blast Entertainment)
Craig David – The Time is Now – (Insanity Records)
I have been wanting to see Hired Gun since it was announced as a documentary in the Summer of 2017. Thanks to Netflix, I finally got that chance. If you don’t know what it is, I will tell you.
‘Hired Gun’ is a documentary about those musicians singers and bands hire to be in the band whether to help make an album or to do a tour. They are the “hired guns” and they aren’t actual members of the band. For me, that sounded like a very interesting story to be told. What do these musicians/artists go through to get the gig and to actually keep that gig.
The people they interview are incredible musicians. You might not know them all by name, but you would probably recognize a lot their work. They are as follows:
2017 has been a fabulous year in music, but mostly for all the Anniversary Editions of some of my favorite albums from Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Stone Temple Pilots. However, there were some stellar Rock albums this year as well.
This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year. All other types of music will be for a later post. I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre. It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2017:
My #1 Album of the Year:
Jonny Lang – ‘Signs’: This album is straight-up Blues Rock and was one of two albums I can’t stop listening to this year. With songs like “Make It Move” and “Wisdom” how could I vote for any other album as #1. If that isn’t enough, Jonny’s guitar playing is sensational and his vocals are filled with so much emotion you are attached to these songs. Here is what I said in my review…He has brought a rawness back to his music that brings a more authentic blues sound and brings a lot of emotion. There is no reason you should skip out on listening to this album. (Click at the top to see the review).
John 5 is one of my favorite guitarists and there isn’t much of his work I don’t have. I came across him while listening to Rob Zombie and from that point I was hooked. I now have all his solo albums and a lot of his work with Marilyn Manson and of course, all his Rob Zombie albums.
He has done so much more with guest spots on so many albums including a couple on Ace Frehley’s last album, ‘Origins, Vol. 1’. His real name is John William Lowery, but goes by John 5 thanks in large part to the stage name given to him while working with Marilyn Manson. The name stuck and he has used it ever since.
He is now on his 8th solo album and this one is entitled ‘Season of the Witch’. The darkness, morbid sound he had with both Rob & Marilyn is still prevalent on this album as well. Once you are in the darkness, it must be hard to get out…however, you don’t want him to get out. This is his speciality.
His band The Creatures consists of Ian Ross and Rodger Carter and together these 3 musicians take you on a nightmarish musical journey that is ‘Season of the Witch’. The 13 track instrumental album takes you from metal all the way to evil bluegrass. Strap yourself in and be prepared for the terror of John 5 & the Creatures.