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The Arkanes
Label: SPV Recordings
Release: 25.04.2014
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Buckle Up and Shove It
Peter Pan Speedrock
Label: Steamhammer
Release: 30.05.2014
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01 Love is forever
02 Unraveled
03 Miss the lights
04 Midnight train
05 Fools gold
06 The middle of madness
07 Smell of money
08 Rise again
09 Serenade
10 Cowboy Joe
11 The world & his dog
01 Mother Mary
02 This kids
03 Let it roll
04 Out in the streets
05 Venus
06 Pushed to the limit
07 Love to love
There are line-ups where individual musicians just can’t be replaced without losing an important part of the puzzle. And where would U.F.O. be without their three most important protagonists Michael Schenker, Phil Mogg and Pete Way? The band experienced their greatest moments with these very musicians and are unreservedly accepted only in that combination. When Schenker’s unusually fluent guitar with its classical quotations meets Mogg’s clear, charismatic voice, there are no words to describe the effect – a very special sound, a feeling, a sparkling atmosphere that only this combination could achieve. The term ‘magic’ has been worn a little thin, but it certainly hits the core of the emotions that U.F.O.’s new album Covenant evokes. Covenant was recorded by the line-up consisting of Michael Schenker (guitar), Phil Mogg (vocals), Pete Way (bass) and Aynsley Dunbar (drums) and is the successor to their celebrated Walk On Water album. In between there were countless fantastic gigs, sell-out tours and euphoric reactions from all parts of the world. Mismanagement and lack of organization led to a temporary split. Schenker continued his Michael Schenker Group, while Mogg and Way continued under their own names. Luckily all problems have since been ironed out, the path to new achievements has been cleared. Covenant is the current release by a mature band that combines talent and experience to a perfect union. Even the powerful opener ‘Love Is Forever’ proves that ideas and energies abound. Schenker delivers one of his unmistakable riffs straight from the hip, spices it up with a brief solo lick, while Mogg sets about refining the song with his unique voice only seconds later. At the very latest when they get to the chorus you realize: the flying saucer has returned, and it’s as strong as it was in its heyday. ‘Unraveled’, ‘Midnight Train’, ‘Fools Gold’, ‘Smell Of Money’ and the brilliant ´Rise Again` are chips of a similar block and also work on the basis of Schenker’s strong riffs, additionally presenting drummer Aynsley Dunbar (ex Frank Zappa, Whitesnake, Journey), who worked with Mogg/Way before as well as with Michael Schenker on his solo record Adventures Of The Imagination, as a powerful drummer with infallible timing. ‘Miss The Lights’ with its catchy guitar lick and classic vocal lines will remind the avid fan of the great days of Phenomenon and Force It. Yet U.F.O., mark 2000, have the confidence to reduce the speed where it seems apt and to also loosen up gritty numbers with occasional quiet passages, while ‘Serenade’, a composition that does not only recall the band’s history but also turns into a new U.F.O. anthem with its catchy hook line, proves how it is possible to make a guitar sing and lend a song wings. In other words, a rock classic in the true sense of the word. With the release of Covenant, recorded by their indisputably best line-up to date, U.F.O. present eleven new tracks, which bring to mind not only memories of the band’s greatest days but also promise of a glorious future. Covenant was produced by U.F.O. and Mike Varney at the Prairie Sound Recordings studio in Cotati outside San Francisco. A brilliant album, musically as well as technically.
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