MARCH 15th 2018

Review By: Ruben Mosqueda

Live records theses days aren’t held in high regard, the era of the live album died in the 70s with records like; Peter Frampton ‘Comes Alive,’ KISS’ ‘Alive’ and ‘Alive II,’ “Aerosmith ‘Live Bootleg,’ and Ted Nugent ‘Double Live Gonzo.’  The purpose of the live albums then was to give people a feel for what they were missing out on, later in the 80s they became a means to free a band from their contractual obligations from their label.

John 5 [John Lowery] currently performs as part of Rob Zombie’s band but has quite the resume having performed with the likes of Rob Halford [2wo], David Lee Roth band,  K.D. Lang and Marilyn Manson. During down time with Rob Zombie John 5 writes and records solo albums. These being all instrumental albums with his backing band The Creatures. In studio the band includes a rotating cast of bass players and drummers. The Creatures [live] are comprised of bass player Ian Ross and drummer Logan Miles Nix.’It’s Alive!’ claims to have been recorded live on the band’s last stop in Sellersville, PA with no ‘sweetening.’ As far a live recordings go, ‘It’s Alive!’ does have the atmospheric vibe of a true live performance. It captures the energy of a band that hits the stage; is then launched out of a cannon and doesn’t lose any momentum until the last note has rung on John 5 Telecaster.  

If you follow John 5’s solo work you’re fully aware that he delivers eclectic records; that range from pop to hard rock to metal to flamenco to blue grass to country [at times] all in one album. Obviously, having such a vast amount of material to cull from it is reflected in the set list. Let’s not forget that there’s a visual ‘horror’ theme as John 5 goes through various costume changes during the set.  ‘It’s Alive!’ features killer cuts like; a cover of “Beat It,” the metal tune “The Is My Rifle,” the bluesy and country tracks “Hell Haw,” and “Jiffy Jam.” John 5 And The Creatures close things out with a show stopping ‘mother of all medleys’ that features everything from Van Halen to RUSH to Rage Against The Machine. In short ‘It’s Alive!’ is a fun record and you don’t have to be a guitar geek to appreciate and love this album.