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With a CV detailing recording and touring work with such rock/metal luminaries as Marilyn Manson; Rob Halford; Paul Stanley; David Lee Roth; Rob Zombie; The Scorpions; Meat Loaf; and Lynyrd Skynyrd, renowned virtuoso guitarist John 5 has also had a career as a solo artist since 2004 with four studio albums to date, the most recent being 2008's 'Requiem'. 'Remixploitation' contains, as the title would imply, remixes of select tracks from his solo back catalogue, with 'Eat It Up' being the sole new track. The first thing I notice (I mean, how could you miss it?!) is the cover of the CD, adorned by a plethora of naked women with one holding a picture of the man himself, and another his trademark Fender telecaster. A pastiche of the artwork for The Jimi Hendrix Experience's 'Electric Ladyland', it is obviously less controversial than its 1968 counterpart due to society's changing attitudes towards nudity etc (the original apparently caused much furore in the sixties), but is still a striking image, and could either be read as a tribute to one of John 5's idols or maybe a bold statement of self-confidence in his guitar credentials against the likes of Hendrix. High commendation from Steve Vai no less with the remark "John 5 is an underrated guitar Giant" is perhaps attestation of the latter, and any guitarist could surely hope for no more praise. I admit to being unfamiliar with John 5's back catalogue so am approaching his music afresh and, from what I understand, although the tracks on 'Remixploitation' are significant re-workings by Jeff McDonogh, Bob Marlette, Chris Baseford and Sid Riggs, enough remains of his original guitar playing to be impressed first-hand and agree with Vai's approval. With the remixes pertaining to a dark aesthetic, tracks incorporate sporadic soundbites from various horror movies including 'American Psycho' and 'The Bride of Frankenstein' ('Dorsia'); 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'Children of the Corn' ('Unbelievers'); 'Cape Fear' ('Shoot the Dog'); and, of course, the unmistakable tones of Jack Nicholson's dialogue from 'The Shining' ('How Do You Like It?') including "I'm not gonna hurt you; I'm just gonna bash your brains in...I'm just gonna bash 'em right the fuck in", complete with Shelley Duvall's screams. The use of such soundbites, together with the album's dark industrial aesthetic and virtuoso fretboard widdlings is kind of like Steve Vai meets G.G.F.H. As bizarre and unlikely as that fusion of styles sounds, it actually works a treat, and the 38 minute playing time seems to pass by very quickly. For people who like both horror movies and virtuosic guitar playing, this is probably the perfect album for you. Go buy it now!
Mascot Records
Review by Mark Holmes
4th April 2009
1) Dorsia
2) The Lead Sprinkler
3) Say Goodnight To Your Soul
4) Sin
5) Eat It Up
6) Unbelievers
7) Shoot The Dog
8) 2 Bullets
9) Plastic
10) How Do You Like It?
"Steve Vai meets G.G.F.H."