Never been big on guitar noodling albums. By that, I mean instrumental albums as the last one of those noodling albums I bought was Steve Vai’s “Passion And Warfare” back in 1990!
30 friggin years ago!
As many of you readers know John5 brought his arena-sized like show of props and gadgets which good friend Frank Loffredo booked into his club Crocks back in March 2019
What I witnessed along with my good pal Tbone was an all-out display of guitaring that night. We were both floored!
So it was a complete no brainer purchase for me as when John5 announced this release earlier this year that I would be on board with it.
Most of the songs on “Live Invasion” are from the album that John5 and the Creatures were plugging at the time which was his studio record called “Invasion”.
10 songs, 48 minutes of music which for me is perfect. When it comes to guitar-centered albums this is enough for me if I’m being honest about it.
John5 is an amazing guitarist as he’s very diverse. Sure he can shred as evidenced in the opening number “Crank It/Living With Ghosts” which features a female voice to Crank it Motherfucker while John 5 lifts off. John5 can also chill the hell out like “Howdy” proves. An almost country like old school jam out. Think Roy Clark from Hee-Haw electrified! That’s what Howdy reminds me of.
“Cactus Flower” once again shows the diverse playing of John5. Nice clean sound emulating from his guitar. Almost bluesy like moments
“Constant Sorrow” begins with a nice slow drum intro and features more atmospheric like playing.
This album shows what a diversified player John5 is. If it was all a million notes per minute I would be bored after 5 minutes!
Ian Ross(Bass) and Logan Miles Nix(Drums) aid John5 and these cats can play especially on tracks like “Zionks!” and “I am John5”. Tempo changes at a moment’s notice as its awesome when they go right into that classic power trio mode.
“Midnight Mass” is just crazy off the hook shredding yet it doesn’t get silly as his guitar playing keeps me as listener interested. It’s amazing how quick this guy can play. Yet it doesn’t sound like a million mashed up notes.
I can say that one of my favorite highlights of the Invasion show that came to town was the “Medley” perfromed by these guys.
Medley is 12 minutes of classic tracks. The song begins with snippets of “Limelight” and “Fly By Night(Rush)” which goes right into Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The playing is flawless. Tons of bands are covered. Sabbath, Queen, KISS, The Knack, The Police, Marilyn Manson, Zombie, Pantera, Megadeth. So good and totally amazing.
When the John5 power trio in the medley goes from “Spoonman to Dr. Feelgood to Unchained” it’s friggin brilliant!
“Live Invasion” ends with another cover tune (with vocals) and that’s “Take Your Whiskey Home” which comes from the mighty “Woman & Children First” record by Van Halen!
Joining John5 on “Take Your Whiskey Home” is Corey Taylor on vocals who pulls off a pretty good David Lee Roth like vocal. Fred Coury(Cinderella) is on the drums while VH legend Micheal Anthony snaps the driving bass line along with those classic background vocals. Such a cool cover tune.
If it wasn’t for John5 showing up to Tbay I probably would have not picked this up on iTunes. But he did show up and blew our minds, so for that reason, this was a must-buy!
Hey, even John5 agrees with me! See pic below.