John 5
The Devil Knows My Name


4.0
excellent

Review

by Abaddon2005 USER (18 Reviews)
April 15th, 2007 | 18 replies | 12,847 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: [I]The Devil Knows My Name[/I] captures John 5 at what might be his finest moment to date. Combining prog-rock epics with hard rock zeal, this is instrumental guitar rock like anyone would want it.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Stereotypical as I may be in my disliking to shred guitar, I can’t help to every once in awhile completely rock out to one bombastic, over the top solo or another. That said, 40 to 60 minutes of tapping and sweeping was always a bit much, next to the fact that the testosterone levels of shredders seem to sky rocket, pretty much forgetting that they’re actually writing a song. Of course there are plenty of tasteful guitarists out who can also underplay when necessary, and don’t have the need to cram as many notes in a three minute space as they can.
John Lowery, AKA John 5, is part of the latter category, being a ghost guitar player on more records than one might expect, not to mention working with several multi-platinum artists, Lowery has always been something of a hidden gem.

If a good guitarist is reconized by being able to play in whatever situation they find themselves in, Lowery is king. Flowing effortlessly from chicken-picking and bluegrass to industrial, metal and a little from everything in between. As versatile as that sounds, most guitarist could not keep that trick interesting for longer than one album before falling into repetition. John 5 is the exact opposite of this. His debut solo album was somewhat lacking, not because the aforementioned styles weren’t present, but rather because what he had in technicality, he lacked in his songwriting, particularly for instrumental music. If anything, hooks are more important in instrumental guitar music because of the lack of catchy vocal lines. By the time he released his second album, Songs For Sanity, Lowery more than made up for whatever was lacking on his debut, with catchy choruses and a diverse palette of styles that were effectively used. The question is, how can he keep this interesting on a third album?

Enter The Devil Knows My Name, an album title which one would more easily connect to Mötley Crüe than an instrumental guitar record, the album brings the rock just as much as the Crüe can.
The progress Lowery has made on this album is immense. Where his last album featured a set of very diverse and shorter songs, Lowery chose for a different style on The Devil Knows My Name, to positive results. To those familiar with the first song of his last album, The high energy rocker ‘Damaged’, this album carries a very similar feel al the way throughout. This is a good thing because Lowery strayed from the three to five minute songs to longer compositions, while not really expanding much on the complexity of the song structures. Due to the fact that the songs keep rolling, especially rhythmically, retains it from giving the listener that sense of awareness of how long a song is. Lowery also packs this with catchy choruses and epic guitar melodies throughout, in such an amount that there is room for them to sink in, but not be irritatingly present or overused.

Though primarily focused on the rock and metal side, this record, like the last, also showcases Lowery’s affection for country and bluegrass. The improvement here is that Lowery effectively meshes them with the rock and metal songs, creating a neat hybrid. On occasion where he does not choose to rock, Lowery still succeeds by adding or blending new genres into his country style. Rehashing some of his own melodies in ‘Bella Kiss’, Lowery makes up with it by adding some neat clean guitar tapping along the lines of Minus The Bear. ‘Young Thing’ brings the guitar boogie of Chet Atkins, which gives Lowery a nice break from his own country style for a more jazzy tune.
Undoubtedly his finest work to date, the biggest con of The Devil Knows My Name is the fact that it is still an instrumental, guitar orientated record full of the usual pyrotechnics and “wankery” affiliated with the genre. However, if you enjoy this kind of thing every once in awhile, this album is nothing short of an intense and enjoyable ride.



Recent reviews by this author
John Abercrombie The Third QuartetSearch/Rescue The Compound
Spandau Ballet TrueBest Interest Camera Shy But Still The Star
Linkin Park Minutes to MidnightJust Jack Overtones
user ratings (59)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ire
April 15th 2007



41754 Comments


I'd like to hear # 6

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2007



17920 Comments


john 5 fuckign rules

emoviolenceThis Message Edited On 04.15.07

Syncratic
April 15th 2007



756 Comments


Good review, dude...

I need this!

MTEK
April 16th 2007



65 Comments


I want this album! Good review!

CushMG15
April 16th 2007



1802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

John 5 is my hero, seriously. So much ownage.

MeowMeow
May 25th 2007



662 Comments


This album is his best work by far. I wish he would stop playing for crappy bands, though.

Incognito
September 13th 2007



16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, really excellent album, if anyone's curious about the welcome to the jungle cover it is pretty awesome.

I love instrumental music, but even if you're not really into I'd say you'd have a hard time not liking this album.

CushMG15
January 2nd 2008



1802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is easily the best thing he's ever done. Awesome disc. Great review too.

CushMG15
August 7th 2008



1802 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Since the guitar has almost my whole attention through this album, it took me til now to realize that his backing band on this cd is so much better, as is the production. This is an awesome disc.

jrowa001
April 29th 2009



8750 Comments


my friend and i are going to see John 5 at a guitar center where i live for free. should be cool

IGotAFloor
May 29th 2009



4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

John 5 is amazing!

Kronzo
July 29th 2009



991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty awesome album if i do say so myself. The bluegrass tracks don't seem to have much effort put into them though.

BoneNoir
May 20th 2010



10 Comments


cool subject matter on this album, i got vertigo but apparently it's "lacking," I'll probably pick this 1 up now thanks to your review, good job.

KjSwantko
December 14th 2011



9277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

John 5 is quite good actually. Songwriting is not impressive, but he has a unique style and his actually playing is respectable.

MisterSteel
December 14th 2011



453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

His songwriting definitely gets repetitive at times, but when he hits it right, it's awesome. Anyone who hasn't heard this should check out July 31st.

jayfatha
December 14th 2011



2883 Comments


Damn I gotta get this

MisterSteel
December 14th 2011



453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You definitely should. If you dig it, check out Songs for Sanity too, I like it a little more than this. The songs released so far for the new album are pretty cool too.

captaincrunch11
February 13th 2014



1198 Comments


Holy fuck this dude shreds



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy