UFO - The Visitor
It is hard to believe that UFO has been rocking us for almost 40 years. The band has had its up and downs over the years, sporting several different line-ups, but has still maintained a loyal following and has continued to put out solid music for the most part. The band has had a topsy turvy relationship with guitarist Michael Schenker over the years, but tried to reunite with him one last time in 2000 to see if they could re-capture the magic again. The reunited band lasted a brief 2 years before the tumultuous Schenker left again, after the release of the disappointing Sharks record. After Schenker’s departure in 2002, the band was revitalized with the enlistment of guitar virtuoso Vinnie Moore. Moore gave the band a well needed shot in the arm and got the band back on track. Moore debuted on the excellent, You Are Here CD and has solidified his place with the band. 2009 brings the 3rd post Schenker release The Visitor, let’s see how they did.
The Visitor takes a different approach from it’s predecessor’s You Are Here and Monkey Puzzle, in that it has a southern blues rock vibe about it. The lead track Saving Me sets the tone for the for the whole CD with Moore laying down a swamp rock guitar riff so nasty, it would make a crawfish blush. The band sound killer, and vocalist Phil Mogg sounds as good as he did 40 years ago, driving the tune with his soulful swagger. It is a mid tempo rocker full of crunchy riffs and a catchy chorus that will make this one an instant classic. The vibe of the record is laced in southern blues, but there are some straight forward rocking tracks, that remind you why UFO is going on their 40th year. Check out the track Stop Breaking Down which has a killer hard rocking intro with an amazing solo from Moore. Moore rips all over this track. The track has that classic 80’s hard rock sound which reminds me of the Dokken track Stop Fighting Love. The song is melodic and is destined to be a hit single for the band on rock radio.
My only critique of the CD, is that there are a few filler tunes, that really don’t make the mark, like the Rolling Stones inspired Forsaken and the rather stale track Living Proof, other than that, a stellar release. All in all a solid release from a band that doesn’t sound their age.
UFO at their best! An album full of solid hard rocking tunes with a bluesy edge.
Saving Me, Stop Breaking Down, Stranger in Town and Can’t Buy a Thrill.
Ragman is not from another planet.