Genre: Hard Rock
Release Date: 23rd February 2015
Released By: Steamhammer/SPV
The Killing Kind
Run Boy Run
Ballad Of The Left Hand Gun
Devils In The Detail
The Real Deal
One And Only
Messiah of Love
King Of The Hill
Maybe I’m clicking on the wrong websites or buying grossly inaccurate magazines, but anytime lists of pioneering British rock bands are being compiled, I never see a consistent mention of UFO. Since their formation in 1969 as Hocus Pocus, they’ve seen off numerous genres of music, influenced hordes of massively successful rock bands, and released one of the most revered live albums of all time, Strangers in the Night. Not fair I say.
Despite legendary members Pete Way, and eccentric genius Michael Schenker, sadly no longer in the band, resolute vocalist Phil Mogg remains. And the UFO story continues to be told, with their soon to be released 21st studio album, A Conspiracy Of Stars. The eagerly awaited follow up to 2012’sSeven Deadly.
Vinnie Moore steals opening track The Killing Kind,
from his cruising guitar riff to the inanely melodic solo, he’s the shining light in a decent but slightly underwhelming beginning. No such problems on Run Boy Run, this menacing track would have worked better as the curtain raiser to the album. And despite cutting a very dapper figure these days, Phil Moggs’ vocals are still as mean and dirty as always.
The brilliantly titled Ballad Of The Left Hand Gun more than tips it’s hat to the blues. It’s febrile rhythm and Moggs’ smart lyrics are a joy throughout. Despite the sweet title, Sugar Cane’s dark and hypnotic tones leave a tasty bitterness. Moores’ multifaceted playing closes the song impeccably. Devils In The Detail is an admirable rocker, but doesn’t quite raise your blood levels, but the dulcet resonance of Precious Cargo is pretty much flawless. Andy Parkers’ simple but potent drum intro knits The Real Deal together, the groove inducing rhythm is instantly addictive. One And Only serves up a hugely appetising portion of classic American radio rock, featuring Mogg in seductive form.
Moore and bassist DeLuca trade off on the massive Messiah Of Love, no frills funk laden rock, that will absolutely cook live. The same can be said for penultimate track Rollin Rollin, Chris Tsangarides, who has produced heavyweights like Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest in the past, has cleverly utilised this bands natural instincts to the maximum. Just for good measure, a ferocious blast of classic UFO, with King Of The Hill closes out the album in scorching fashion. This album probably won’t blow a hole in the Billboard Top 200, but it’s still heartening to know that great rock music is still being created by great rock bands.
Written by Brian Boyle
Ratings Brian 8/10