Review Summary: A mediocre release from a once great hard rock band who were starting to exhibit some signs that they were finally running out of ideas.
There is no doubt that UFO peaked during the late 70's with the Michael Schenker fuelled releases 'Lights Out' and 'Obsession'. The departure of Schenker left a gaping hole but by the time this album was released his spectre had been fully exorcised and UFO had demonstrated that they were still a force to be reckoned with on the excellent 'The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent'. Surely they would now consolidate their position and build on their new found confidence "
Sadly this album is a step down from 'The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent' in several respects. That particular album had contaned some wonderfully epic compositions such as 'Long Gone' with its multi-layered approach and string section and the album as a whole had attained a level of consistency that was missing on the previous 'No Place To Run'. However, 'Mechanix' finds UFO sliding back down into mediocrity. There are some respectable early-80's style hard rock songs on here such as 'We Belong to the Night' and 'Dreaming' but the main problem herein is the abundance of filler. The lacklustre cover of Eddie Cochran's 'Something Else' seems to sum up the whole album and points to a band who are really running out of inspiration. The album actually spawned a minor US hit in the guise of the ballad 'Back Into My Life' and UFO were indeed renowned for their mastery of hard rock balladry in their heyday but this particular song is a tired and forgettable representation of how far they had now fallen.
There isn't anything particularly bad about this release. The production is adequate, the songs are adequate, the musicianship is adequate but there are none of the moments of brilliance which marked out their previous work. The standout track is probably 'The Writer' which actually manages to capture some of the magic of their previous work with it's memorable riff and tasteful dose of saxophone but overall this is a tired effort from a band who were inching into that zone which is often referred to as being past their sell by date.
UFO's releases became extremely hit and miss after the departure of Michael Schenker. This album certainly doesn't approach the worst of what they had to offer, that dubious title must be reserved for 1985's awful 'Misdemeanor'. However, 'Mechanix' is a formulaic effort that doesn't really offer up anything of note. If you like 'The Wild, The Willing and the Innocent' it is worth checking out because there are some good moments on here but this is by no means an essential listen even for UFO fans.