Sound — 9
I first heard about John 5, in the first issue of Australian Guitar. The article that featured him, basically outlined that he is an outspoken guitarist with some "extreme pickin' skills." I put this magazine down and forgot about the article for a while, until only about a fortnight ago, I was in a record store and I came across John 5: Vertigo. Seeing this immediatly jogged my memory, I bought the CD and was absolutely blown away by the incredible guitar work. The album is an instrumental (no singing) and consists of 13 tracks. John plays all the guitars, banjo, mandolin and lap steel during the album. The sound on this album is a mix of shred, mind blowing guitarwork, catchy country tunes, weird sinister dark guitar, immpossibly hard guitar riffs and to top it off, a boy shouts out "You can kiss my ass!" on track 11; Zugg Island convict. He uses High gain to really that metal tone, but on the softer songs he uses the clean channel. Even if you can emulate the tone, you'll be hard pressed to play his songs.
Lyrics — 9
It's an instrumental!
Overall Impression — 9
Vertigo is like nothing I have ever heard before. It's crazily hard guitar work makes you wanna cut your fretting hand off. It blew me away, John 5 should be much more revered as a guitarist, he is a genius. I found that Sugarfoot Rag, Vertigo, 18969 Ventura Blvd and pulling strings were the most standout songs on the album. The things that I didn't really "get" on the album were the weird effects and voices in the background of some of the songs, just a pesonal opinion of mine. If someone stole this album I would hunt them down, beat the crap out of them and get it back, if I lost it, I would be a right idiot, wouldn't I? By far the best album I own. A must have.