UFO - 1982 Mechanix

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ARTIST: UFO
ALBUM: Mechanix
LABEL: Chrysalis
SERIAL: CHR1360
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2009, Chrysalis, CHRX 1360

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Phil Mogg - vocals * Paul Chapman - guitars * Neil Carter - guitars, keyboards * Pete Way - bass * Andy Parker - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Writer * 02 Something Else * 03 Back Into My Life * 04 You'll Get Love * 05 Doing It All For You * 06 We Belong To The Night * 07 Let It Rain * 08 Terri * 09 Feel It * 10 Dreamin

Background

Michael Schenker's departure from UFO was supposed to spell the imminent downfall for the band in 1979, but they hit back impressively with two albums that maintained the vitality of the Schenker years, 1980's 'No Place To Run' and the definite classic 'The Wild, Willing And The Innocent' of 1981.

Signs of problems were raised with guitarist Paul Raymond leaving after a lengthy stint, replaced by Carter, formerly of Wild Horses.

Musically 'Mechanix' showed the music becoming increasingly ragged despite moments of the hard rock magic the band was known for.

Commercially the band was still charting in the top ten in England, but without Schenker their profile in the US was somewhat dampened.

'Mechanix' interesting in that regard, the sound of a band who should have been huge but were instead floored just when it was about to happen. Subsequently this ranks as a lesser effort.

The Songs

By 1982 you couldn't blame UFO for starting to think their moment had passed, especially with the glut of NWOBHM acts that dominated the charts.

'The Writer' sees them continuing with their traditional sound pioneered back in 1974 and perhaps on the verge of becoming dated for the time, although only in the eyes of the press I suspect! The keyboard solo and sax work reek of class however, demonstrating UFO's often different take on hard rock.

'Somethin' Else' opts for a throwback rock and roll sound, with sax again included, a lot more lively than the stale ballad 'Back Into My Life'.

Lacking originality and spontaneity is run of the mill rocker 'You'll Get Love' and 'Doing It All For You' makes up for this with guitar solos that make one forget Schenker.

It all comes together with the furious 'We Belong To The Night', the exact type of riff heavy metal the band needed to be unleashing, but weren't.

'Let It Rain' follows suit, saving the album, but going through the motions and tired sounding again are 'Terri' and 'Feel It'.

'Dreaming' at least ends the album on a heavy note, when on form UFO almost untouchable.

In Summary

Hindered by a host of mediocre tracks, the brief flashes of UFO's reckless abandon give the album enough credibility to warrant a listen.

Pete Way showed his disillusion by quitting the band shortly after its release, which was the death knell for UFO at that point in time.

Billy Sheehan took his place for touring purposes and to be fair to Mogg 1983's 'Making Contact' could have been a lot worse.

Such a shame that events transpired the manner in which they did for UFO as they deserved a better fate than to fall apart in such grim fashion.

Mogg's lyrics remained a high point on 'Mechanix' even if the music didn't match them often, his storytelling worth reading for one.

The album covers good for a laugh too, perhaps the sole reason Way left!


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