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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

UFO – 'Seven Deadly' album review

UFO – 'Seven Deadly' album review
Released through: SPV / Steamhammer. Release date: Available now!

One of, if not my all time favourite band, UFO are back with a new album in ‘Seven Deadly’ with the same line up that recorded the last two releases from the band.

The two original members in Phil Mogg (Vocals) and Andy Parker (Drums), alongside Paul Raymond (Keys, Guitars, vocals) from the ‘classic’ UFO lineup that recorded ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Obsession’ as well as the live gem, ‘Strangers in the Night.’
Rounding  things out here is guitar maestro Vinnie Moore, who has in fact played on the last three studio releases prior to this, as well as the live ‘Showtime’ release.
Special guest on bass for the album is studio session man Lars Lehmann from the Hanover area.

Pete Way it sadly seems is now quite out of the picture, due to his health and shall we say ‘habits.’ I wish you well Pete. I hope you can get yourself sorted mate.
So this being the 21st studio release from UFO, what new gems do they bring?
Read on folks and I’ll tell you!

Opening number ‘Fight Night’ has a riff and chorus that actually at times reminds me of AC/DC, but Phil Mogg stays true to his completely unique vocal phrasings and vocally does sound on form.
Otherwise it’s certainly on a par to me with anything from the (Paul) Chapman era.

Oh yeah, I love ‘Wonderland’ right off the bat! It comes off the starting blocks as it means to continues, rockin’ and kickin’ some serious arse or ass for my good old American friends and family!
It actually reminds me a little of ‘Pushed To The Limit.’ Excellent stuff!

I have to say, the band tends to take on an almost (Led) Zeppelin grooving hard rocking blues swagger with ‘Mojo Town.’
Steady enough number ...

‘Angel Station’ is a slower number, nice kind of ballad like number, although can’t help but be reminded of the Collective Soul number ‘Shine’ but I still really like the number, especially Vinnie’s solo.

There’s a great, cool groove to the mid-paced ‘Year of the Gun,’ almost kind of funky feel about it, also little reminiscent of the later Chapman years sound. Nice one.

‘The Last Stone Rider’ starts laid back, before getting into its rock groove, but do they also give a slight nod towards the Allman Brothers ‘Midnight Rider’ in the verse? I could almost sing, ‘I’ve got one more, silver dollar here!’
That’s OK, people like familiarity right?!

There is certainly more of a laid back style groove about this album, as ‘Steal Yourself’ continues to prove.
Not so many real hard rockers on here, but then the band has so many of those in its back pocket, so why not ease back a little, eh?! Another nicely done solo from Vinnie here too!

Wow! Check out the big old harmony backing on ‘Burn Your House’ down, haven’t heard the guys do anything like this in some time. Another slower, steady number and the album I would say has a very almost kind of bluesy feel to it, in it’s presentation, but it’s not the heavy blues. The magic of UFO has always been to capture so much melody in what they write.

‘The Fear’ even brings a little harmonica into the blues equation and this has a wonderfully, blatant blues groove to it.
It’s all good stuff though. Enjoyable to a fault!

Closing track on my version – The regular one … The digi-pack has two bonus tracks. – is ‘Waving Goodbye.’
It’s a partly acoustic driven, but the levels change throughout so electric takes over in places and just after the bridge about halfway through, Vinnie plays a class solo once more.

Good solid performance in my mind and it kind of made a change to me, as although ‘The Visitor’ and ‘Monkey Puzzle’ were good releases I personally think this one perhaps has a slight edge for me.

Andy Parker is solid, Phil is in good form, Paul Raymond is right there – Although would’ve liked a little more Hammond here and there! – Vinnie, very good and guest bassist Lars Lehmann does exactly what’s needed.

I for one really have enjoyed listening to this one, now what would make my year would be for UFO to finally come back through Detroit for the first time in eight years!
Yes guys, it really has been that long!
It was the ‘You Are Here' tour in 2004. Come on, you won’t regret it!

Rating: 4 out of 5

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