UFO - 2009 The Visitor

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit


ALBUM: The Visitor
LABEL: SPV/Steamhammer
SERIAL: SPV 306601
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Phil Mogg - vocals * Vinnie Moore - guitars * Paul Raymond - keyboards * Pete Way - bass * Andy Parker - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Saving Me * 02 On The Waterfront * 03 Hell Driver * 04 Stop Breaking Down * 05 Rock Ready * 06 Living Proof * 07 Can't Buy A Thrill * 08 Forsaken * 09 Villains And Thieves * 10 Stranger In Town

RATING: image


Would you believe it, this year is the 30th anniversary of U.F.O's classic live double LP 'Strangers In The Night'. We really should have a run on live album reviews from that late 70s era. We've done a few already, but there are still many more to add (Thin Lizzy, The Scorpions, Golden Earring spring to mind).

To think that Phil and the boys are still rocking since those hey-days, albeit with a fluctuating level of quality it must be said - is a testament to the band's survival instincts. Since the arrival of guitarist Vinnie Moore into the band, U.F.O have seen steadier times.

'Monkey Puzzle' from 2006 was a solid album, however with the latest album 'The Visitor', it's not so much a state of current day affairs.

There's a huge British blues vibe from the late 60's and early 70's going on here. Nothing wrong with that from a historical point of view - considering Mogg's lyrical leaning towards down 'n out characters who have seen hard times.

So with that in mind, those of you that prefer (let alone remember) such outfits as Free, Savoy Brown and Humble Pie, you'll love 'The Visitor'. Those of you into the flash-harry stuff of the 80's, well, you'll get a little bit of change, but not much.

The Songs

Interestingly, the band announce their new album with some Memphis styled slide guitar on 'Saving Me', however before you go and up your canoe and swan off down the Mississippi delta in a huff, Vinnie Moore swaps guitars and brings the band back into the present. Saved indeed!

'On The Waterfront' sees Phil Mogg skipping stones amid more blues laden riffs, but things get back to a hard rockin' sense of reality with the excellent 'Hell Driver'. Unfortunately it stands out among a collection of blues oriented material.

'Stop Breakin' Down' has a Quiet Riot like intro, thankfully the song retains a hard rock presence, the verses are particularly good. Vinnie Moore straps on his delta blues hat once again for the Memphis orientation of 'Rock Ready', not one of my favourites unfortunately.

I could say similarly of 'Living Proof', as it crawls along the skyline like a cat on a hot tinned roof! Another contemporary rocker in 'Can't Buy A Thrill' brings U.F.O out of the swamp and back onto the boulevard of broken vinyl turntables, a good solid effort.

Occasionally in their long discography, U.F.O will scale it back a bit - and turn down the electrics. 'Forsaken' is another one of those moments, not bad actually, though a bit tame, even by their standards.

Moore cranks up the electrics once more, for the Wild West escapade of 'Villains And Thieves', not quite the musical spaghetti western of Hill and Spencer, though that toe-tapping piano from Paul Raymond had me thinking there for a moment.

Finishing on a high is the big sounding 'Stranger In Town', with Vinnie Moore's guitar quite upfront in the mix.

In Summary

Having been bought up on a diet of U.F.O in my teens, there are still familiar elements of the band bought through on this album.

Phil Mogg will always be the quintessential spark for the band, Paul Raymond's organ work continues to remind us of his contribution, as does Andy Parker's stomping backbeat. Vinnie Moore is a great talent, and can easily handle every style thrown at him.

'The Visitor' is not a bad album by any means, it's a more traditional British sounding rock record with hooks back to the early days of that movement.

The fact that it's being played in 2009 though stylistically sounding as if it's from 1969 won't be lost on longtime U.F.O fans. For me, I'll give it a pass mark, but for now, I think I'll head back to 1979 and drag out that double live album again.

All written content on this website belongs to GloryDazeMusic.com copyright. Duplication elsewhere on the Internet is strictly prohibited, unless specific permission is granted.

Sign In or Register to comment.