John 5 - God Told Me To

John 5
God Told Me To
60 Cycle Hum/Mascot
OMG! The “weirdo”, shredding supremo with possibly the widest taste for good music is BACK! After about half a dozen or so of albums, that pretty much followed a rather standardized formula, at least in terms of how they were structured, so as to accommodate J5’s need to do his bluegrass and bluesier stuff, along with the rock, he finally decided to drop the ball and let rip.
A haunting, eerie female voice commands “Play the guitar, play it again my Johnny” to be answered by a brutal, industrialized male taunt: “Welcome To Violence”... and does Johnny play his guitar? Like %$#$ he does, unleashing hell on the said track, a shred-fest, supreme, that also has a riff very reminiscent of whatever the music of Doom’s E1M1 map, had. It’s super-fast and super catchy and really interesting. For the entire duration of the disk John decides to allow his shred-ability to shine, but he does so, not at the expense of the songs.
Next up is a tighter, edgier and heavier take on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. I kinda like the grittier sound and the “personal” touches that J5, imprints on the song, making it “his”.
“Asland Bump” is a 3 minute, noodle-fest... while, those bluesy and grassroots, notions have taken a backseat on most of the album, here they are front-row, center.
“Killa Fornia” is another interesting bit. It has the industrialized feel, of say Rob Zombie and some very interesting leads running throughout, so it sits perfectly well, on the sequence of the album.
“The Castle” has a very, cool electroacoustic sound and is hauntingly beautiful.
On “The Hill of the Seven Jackals” Johnny tries to fit as many notes possible, inside each measure, hahaha, which makes it furious and for the most part quite fast, but there are melodic passages throughout.
“Noche Acosador” is believe it or not a flamenco inspired number, showing that our dear fella, is fearlessly treading in unfamiliar waters, just for the sake of doing so. Actually, he does it pretty well.
“The Lust Killer” is a moody, shred-piece, with industrial undertones. It has a very brief 15 second acoustic interlude, around the 3:30 mark and then resumes reaching a climactic end.
“The Lie You Live” is a trippy, dark and beautiful, number that showcases a lot of J5’s abilities and is one of the better displays on the album as well as in his overall solo career. Had it vocals, it would have been one of the best ballads, you’ve never heard. But it doesn’t!
Finally the closing track “Creepy Crawler” is another acoustic number, with some really beautiful guitar-scapes, that is ideal to finish this record.
John 5, is one of the best players out there today. Mashing up and accumulating all his influences, he molds himself differently, to fit all the different band projects he gets involved with, but let free, he’s just WILD, but also contemplative, expressive and eclectic. He’s shredding yes, but he does it with such finesse and backed by such good ideas, that he avoids becoming a caricature of himslef like so many other pretenders to the throne that Yngwie has left gathering dust, for many many years. “God Told Me To”, represents a nice, “shuffle of the deck” and sounds renewed and vital. Longtime J5 fans will love it and newcomers should be impressed all the same. You can’t really go wrong by picking it up!