The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

UFO – THE VISITOR


The Visitor is Phil Mogg’s album – always one of the most underrated hard rock vocalists, his voice has matured with age and is now – at the age of 61 - warmer and velvety than ever, like heated golden syrup.

 

UFO have long been Mogg and Pete Way’s band, but are without Way on this latest offering and Mogg and guitarist Vinnie Moore have steered the sound in a more bluesy direction, whilst still retaining the ‘Classic rock’ feel. Nowadays UFO’s trademark sound may just be Mogg’s voice itself, but let’s not underrate Moore’s performance here – the riffs are crisp and loud and classic, and the soloing is intense and incendiary, like a summer bushfire. The boy has chops and shows it with aplomb, adding a fiery edge to this album.

 

Saving Me starts the show and sets the tone – this is a big guitar-driven album with Mogg’s voice laid on top and allowed to melt down through all the layers, enveloping the rock solid music in a golden glow.

 

Stop Breaking Down is another highlight, and the band – completed by UFO veterans Andy Parker and Paul Raymond – are tight and sound great. Rock ready, Living Proof and Villains & Thieves showcase more of Mogg’s eccentric British humour in the lyrics. The former is pure boogie woogie, Living Proof a slinky old blues laid over a 70’s classic rock foundation, while the latter is almost a modern day boogie-styled Gypsies Tramps & Thieves.

 

Great stuff from a tragically ignored classic rock band, and this third studio album into their recent rebirth shows they aren’t content to rest on their laurels, adding new elements into their well proven mix to great effect.

 

Shane


 

UFO is a rock legend. They were the first band I ever saw live, and so hold a special place for me in my personal rock history. Despite their ups and downs over the years musically over the last few years they are certainly on an ‘up’.

Track Listing:
1. Saving Me
2. On The Waterfront
3. Hell Driver
4. Stop Breaking Down
5. Rock Ready
6. Living Proof
7. Can't Buy A Thrill
8. Forsaken
9. Villains & Thieves
10. Stranger In Town

 

The new album ‘the Visitor’ keeps up the quality of their last two releases and turns up the volume some. This is a very good album.

 

It’s the Seventies again and we’re infusing this CD with large portions of MELODY and lashings of BLUES. There may be no Peter Way this time due to health issues and Michael is long gone, but UFO are certainly standing tall again and at the moment seem remarkably steady on their feet for men of ‘a certain age’.

 

There’s a lot to like about this CD. You get the feeling that Phil and the boys are actually enjoying themselves, on this their 20th studio album. The sound is simple and honest, cool and laid-back. Parker and Raymond keep it ‘tight but loose’ at the back whilst Mogg and Moore add the sparkle.

 

The first track ‘Saving Me’ is a storming song to begin proceedings. If you don’t like it then there’s really little point going much further. What you get with this CD is something pretty akin to a superior version of this line-ups first release ‘You Are Here’; something better than the most recent and more variable ‘Monkey Puzzle’ album.

 

‘Living Proof’ is one of my favourite tracks here; it’s a beautiful mature blues that really sums up 2009 UFO for me. But there are so many great tunes you will find your favourites switching with each listen. “Hell Driver’ and Rock Ready’ certainly give it a run for its money.

 

‘Can’t buy a Thrill’ takes us back to the mid Eighties, it’s a fun track that recalls DLR in his prime (especially if it was speeded up just a touch). ‘Stranger in Town’ is as great a Deep Purple song as they never made.

 

Phil’s voice gets better with age. It may not have the range but the timbre is much more rounded these days and really well suited to this Bluesier material.

 

Well worth the purchase. But like most releases these days there is a version with a bonus track, not reviewed here.

 

Mark