With all due deference to Shrapnel Records that have been able to make their name famous in the scene since the 80’s, but that made quite a mistake with JOHN 5. With every new spin I ask myself why a well-known label like Massacre Records lets itself be carried away to licensing this unkind piece of music also for Europe. Lifeless noise over a drum machine rhythm (at least the drums sound like it) trampelling dully is truly not exciting.
Apart from the techincal skills, which seem to be there unignorably in huge amounts, the presentation of this disc has also turned out really bad. You could classify JOHN 5 somewhere between Riddler (remember Batman) and a MARILYN MANSON accomplice who has fled from the rear-rank team, and thus only a real connoisseur of the musician playing here will buy the album. Everybody who thinks of painted “goth metallers” like the aforementioned ones at the sight of the cover, is brought back to reality’s hard ground quickly and will turn away with horror, if not even run away. The music of Mister JOHN 5, which is completely instrumental, is short of exciting songs and probably serves only to praise the musician and not the fan who is excited about music and languishes for more than just perfection in most cases. For people who are only looking for perfectly played solos from the drawing-board should be quite pleased by “Vertigo” and really admire the chaos of notes.
It doesn’t help the music freak, who is longing for imaginativity, when things are switched to Bonanza-like Western and Country fiddling on “Sugar Foot Rag”, “Sweet Georgia Brown” or “Liberty”, for example, and some variation is added to the other fuddling. The subliminal Industrial touch which appears again and again and which is due to the sterile drums, is also unsuitable and questions the indecision of the guitar master. Well possible that I simply don’t understand music like this, but the feeling, the liveliness and the true fun behind the music are missing here. As you use to say in some situations: less if often more! This statement is completely true here, because with all respect towards the playing performance, you just can overdo it. Thanks and into the archive. (Online November 6, 2004)