A great comeback by a classic rock legend!
UFO are back and back with conviction!
Originally formed in 1969, the hard rockers from London were a strong influence in the 1980’s heavy metal scene for bands such as Iron Maiden, Pearl Jam and Metallica. UFO band members have changed frequently over the band’s 40-year career, however the present line-up features original members vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist and keyboardist Paul Raymond and drummer Andy Parker. Due to ill health, bassist Pete Way was unavailable for studio production. New to the line-up is American guitarist Vinnie Moore.
‘The Visitor’, is UFO’s newest studio release since 2006’s ‘The Monkey Puzzle’. Becoming the band’s twentieth studio-recorded album, it was released in the UK on 2nd June 2009. The album offers an array of guitar-led, mid-paced, smooth bluesy tracks covering a range of themes, from love to addictions (some may argue they are one in the same: “If the girls and drugs don’t get ya // The liquor surely will” (‘Can’t buy a thrill’)).
‘The Visitor’ is a scrapbook of styles from previous albums: for example, experimentation with keyboard sounds, particularly noticeable on ‘Can’t Buy A Thrill’ and ‘Stranger in Town’, was a common feature in UFO’s late 70’s albums ‘Force It’ and ‘Lights Out’. The band have also embraced the newly fashionable ‘southern rock’ genre, leaning heavily towards a country and blues sound, which will appeal to a wide audience. UFO have succeeded in modernising their sound without losing the magic that made them into rock icons back in their prime.
I couldn’t decide on a track that stood out from the rest as they are all enjoyable and each has a unique charm of its own: the sexy vibe of ‘Living Proof’, rebellious ‘Hell Rider’ and emotional ‘Forsaken’ to mention but a few. However, I will make a special mention of ‘Villains and Thieves’, for having the coolest, most laid-back opening riff I’ve heard in a long time!
This is a great comeback album by a classic rock legend; UFO fans will not be disappointed! My only criticism is that they may not have the right sound to appeal to the younger generation, as it is so independent of anything being produced by modern bands at present.
UFO will be embarking on a major world tour in 2009, playing 12 UK dates in June to promote the album, followed by an appearance at the Wacken Open Air festival in August. Further information can be found on the band’s website: www.ufo-music.info