John 5 is a name that has been around the Rock and Metal scene for over 30 years. He got his start working for some pretty well known artist including Marilyn Manson, David Lee Roth, and the Metal God himself, Rob Halford. He is probably most well known as the lead guitarist for Rob Zombie, although he has been putting out solo albums since 2004. In 2018 John 5 and his band The Creatures are releasing It’s Alive, a live retrospect of his eight album catalog.
It’s Alive was recorded spontaneously at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville, Pennsylvania in April 2017. That being said the quality of the audio does not reflect an album that was recorded impulsively. In fact the mix and quality of the recording are better than most live albums out there today.
It’s Alive begins with an orchestral introduction and quickly elevates into “Guitar Tits and Monsters.” Blues influenced guitar riffs mixed with fast tempos carry “Guitar Tits and Monsters” down a free flowing river of guitar doodling while taking the listener on an auditory white water raft adventure that make one’s fist clinch to hold on and then slowly relax as the waters subside. As It’s Alive progresses it becomes apparent that John 5 has a diverse style to his playing, mixing Western Swing and Spanish style guitar with Heavy Metal. One of my favorite tracks on It’s Alive is “Season of the Witch.” A melodic, dense, guitar dominated song with an early Slayer sound, that evolves to incorporate the shock rock components John 5 is known for, eventually giving way to a metal rendition of the machete wielding madman chasing a teenage victim through the woods. It’s Alive comes to an end with a six-string homage to some of the great guitar riffs of the last 40 years. I am not going to list them. You will have to purchase It’s Alive by John 5 and The Creatures and play guitar riff Jeopardy. It’s Alive is out now so pick up your copy.