John 5 and The Creatures – Invasion (Album Review)

Determination is the key to opening the door to prosperity, and in the case of Michigan born Rock Star John William Lowery, aka John 5, his path to success one worthy of examination. Beginning to making a name for himself back in the late ’90s working along side David Lee Roth, and later with both Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, John 5 developed into one of the best guitarists in the business. Fast forward to 2019, and he returns once again with his latest album, Invasion

Releasing the new LP on his birthday, and working as a unified team with Ian Ross alongside creatively destroying the bass in the best way possible, John 5 and The Creatures’ sound is kept in check and rounded out by Logan Miles Nix on drums. A prolific period for John 5, the new material marks the third album in three consecutive years – 2017’s Season of the Witch, 2018’s It’s Alive, and now 2019’s Invasion

Bringing an unexpected brigade of style that he constantly and progressively transformed from album to album, John 5 makes intricacy sound simplistic. That said, despite the ever-changing creativity, concept, as well as execution, there is never any mistaking the John 5 sound. The perfect introduction diving head first into the electrocuted waters of Invasion, the album takes off with the title-track slowly and steadily building to the climactic break away just over two minutes in. Next, in case any confusion arises, there is a cut entitled “I Am John 5” which is the first of those including guest voice-over work from Butch Patrick, aka the iconic Eddie Munster, playing the mad scientist role in the video series of the songs.

Moving on, John 5 and The Creatures dabble with industrial flavor, mixing it with some very fast progressive riffs that range almost near an Dubstep octave. This is quite noticeable on the track “Midnight Mass” which transitions flawless into the funky progression “Zoinks!” The latter a masterpiece full of interesting solo guitar riffs that chase and corner you into submission, do not miss the chance to check out the Scooby-Doo inspired music video as well.  

The next road traveled is a dirt one stemming from John 5’s ‘He Haw’ influenced roots channeling in a little Elvis along way, bringing “Howdy” to life. This is while the dance party hits the floor with “Crank It-Living With Ghosts.” Then mildly wild confusion sets in with backing tracks from 1976’s Carrie intro along with mellow funky farmland chords. Just as it seemed to run away with itself, another electro funk jam comes into play with a very reminiscent dance vibe altered to the likes of John 5’s current mood. Electrically engaging until the final note, the album closes out with “Constant Sorrow” using the original melody concept Soggy Bottom Boys’ “Man Of Constant Sorrow,” creating a happy vibe and fun closure ironic to the title’s implications.

Comparing or ranking John 5 albums seems trivial when you really should just concentrate on the individual moments and the divergence between them that the guitarist is so sly at creating. As an eleventh masterful creation that can not be denied its technical prowess, Cryptic Rock gives John 5’s Invasion 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

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