Merv Goldsworthy - bass, Pete Jupp - drums and Steve Overland - lead vocal and guitars is the core members in the classic cult rock band FM (UK) and their reunion in 2007/08 was very awaited by the fans (including me). They made five studio albums between 1986-95 and a few compilations albums and in 2010 they released 'Metropolis'.
It's time to assess whether the years have made these gentlemen rusty or awkward, or are they still potent hard rockers? Since the reunification Jim Kirkpatrick is the man on guitars (who is a very talented guitarist) and the new keyboard player is Jem Davis in the FM line-up. Already the first track on 'Rockville' blows away all my small doubts! FM is back with full force. The UK guitar based hard rock with awesome melodies wrapped in a superb production.
'Tough Love', 'Wake Up the World', 'Only Foolin', 'Crave' are mind blowers if you like this kind of easily digested hard rock with smooth melodies and incredibly well constructed rock songs. The vocals are flawless (as expected) and the sleek background choirs do rub my worn out rock mind like a mental massage. The first ballad on the disc 'Story of My Life' is a shining and polished gem to listen to on a evening with your beloved. 'My Love Bleeds' sounds like they had written the song in the 80's and spiced it up with modern, stiff guitar riffs and put on a fat and juicy production on the top of it all. One of my favourite tracks is the lush song 'Better Late Than Never' with some elegant guitar solos. In 'Crosstown Train' they do play in a heavier style and it's over six minutes of pure classic hard rock - no doubt. The tranquil and atmospheric melody 'Goodbye Yesterday' breaks off and get my heart rate to go down a few beats per minute. Really nice song that even my wife likes quite a lot. The album ends with 'High Cost of Loving' and as I said before, there are no fillers on this disc. Eleven top songs that will be picked up and played at home for a long time.
The catchy, mature and groovy blues
rock is appealing to the most sensible people,
because it must be impossible to consider this
bad music. Perhaps by old deaf death/black metal
rockers? The melodies float controlled and stable like a
steam boat on calm water. Guitars, drums and bass harmonize
together like a finely tuned grand piano. Overland still has all
the magic power in his vocal cords and delivers like never before. I'm
still looking for something to reject, but
(un-)fortunately for a critic/reviewer, I have a hard time finding something derogatory with this
piece of art.
"Rockville" will certainly be on my best of 2013 album list.