UFO is one of those bands, much like THE SCORPIONS, DIO or DEEP PURPLE, that is far past its prime, yet refuses to roll over and play dead. And as far as I’m concerned, as long as these bands are having fun, why should they? Rock‘n’Roll ‘til death, right? Well that’s exactly what UFO seems content to do on its newest studio release, “The Monkey Puzzle”.
One listen through UFO’s new album will reveal a band that is not only still rocking hard in its own bluesy fashion, but that also has a few tricks up its sleeve. It’s abundantly clear that UFO is not simply resting on its laurels when the heavy-handed, thundering track “Heavenly Body” comes stomping out of your speakers. The song locks into a groove and beats you all around for the duration of playing time. “Who’s Fooling Who” is a great bluesy ballad, followed by the Sammy Hagar-esque “Black & Blue”. “World Cruise” starts out acoustically, before morphing into a funky rocker. In other words, there’s a bit of something for everyone on “The Monkey Puzzle”, although some of the straight-up bluesy rockers do begin to sound the same after a while.
I can’t say whether or not “The Monkey Puzzle” will win UFO any new fans or not, but I’m also willing to guess that the band aren’t really concerned about that. The guys know who their target audience is and “The Monkey Puzzle” will be greatly appealing to that crowd. Simply put, long-time fans will not be disappointed. Rock on.