I think to give a fair analysis of my musical taste when it comes to UFO. I am not, on any level, a fan that's been there from the start of this band. They are OK, but certainly not a band I've ever considered to be great by any level. I never really followed them, so the who's who of the lineup is not of great concern to me like it might be to other fans of the band. Further, I'm definitely not one of those guys that celebrates Michael Schenker as the god of the six strings like so many do. I have all his work, and I'm yet to be really bowled over by anything he's done. As it relates to UFO, I'm not one of those guys that will immediately dismiss an album with Vinnie Moore on it because it simply doesn't feature Schenker.
With all that said, we come to SEVEN DEADLY - one of the very worst albums in the UFO catalog. While the last couple of records have been passable without really being overwhelming, SEVEN DEADLY is remarkably drab, dull and surprisingly undynamic album that feels a lot more like a Vinnie Moore blues rock solo project than anything in UFO's catalog.
To be fair though, the problem is not Moore. The problems are twofold - the musical direction itself and vocalist Phil Mogg. Having caught the band on one of their recent tours, it's clear that Mogg has turned more and more into a rock n' roll vagabond hippie than ever before. He's all the way there lyrically here. To put it bluntly, much of this album comes off as fairly incoherent rambling from a stoned lunatic. Some of these songs, like "The Fear" really sound like they were put together by writing the last word of every line first so they all rhymed, then going back and filling in the rest of the words so there was something to sing. Add to that the fact that this song is closer musically to Blues Traveler than UFO and you can start to realize the problem here. When they do find it musically, like on "Wonderland", Mogg again pollutes the song with rantings that just don't translate to anyone with lucid thought process. He goes on and on about "The Monkey" - whatever that is. I tried to figure it out, thinking it could be anything from a drug addiction to an actual monkey, and none of it makes any sense at all.
Musically, it's just not there on this release either. I've always thought that every heritage band that's been out for 20 plus years should have to spend a day or two in a room just hanging out and listening back to their entire catalog before ever writing a single note of music. Never has that been more clear than on SEVEN DEADLY. This music has literally nothing to do and/or not a single moment in common with the sound and style UFO built their career on. Songs like "Mojo Town" could easily win you a bar bet trying to get an unsuspecting fan with an MSG shirt on to guess who the band playing was. "This sounds like Phil Mogg, but that's definitely not UFO" - most probable answer you would get if playing that game with a fan.
PITRIFF RATING - 30/100 - Musically dull and lyrics so bizarre at times they make Lou Reed's LULU lyrics seem well defined and thought out, SEVEN DEADLY is a disaster of a project. To their credit, UFO is still cranking out new music every few years. To their demise, UFO is still cranking out new music every few years. Sad to say, but this is pretty lame.