FM – Rockville (2013)

FM - Rockville (2013) mp3 , download


FM, Great Britain’s finest AOR band – I say this in terms of elegance – are releasing a new album today entitled “Rockville”.

Since the return after a long hiatus in 2007, Steve Overland & Co. decided to publish their new recordings by themselves to take complete artistic control of their material.

Anyone looking for anything other than prime-time FM should look away. What the band have produced in “Rockville” is an album that could have been made back in their heyday, more specifically around ’92.

This means “Rockville” is not essentially fluffy AOR, it’s more adult Melodic Rock oriented. It’s probably not as heavy as previous album ‘Metropolis’, but bugger me they haven’t half come up with an instantly likeable, hummable and Goddamn infectious set of songs.

FM have always veered toward the soulful end of the melodic / AOR spectrum, spearheaded by Steve Overland’s classy vocals, and that’s exactly what it is on display here.

The CD opens with a muted guitar and muffled drums that take a few seconds to burst into stereo (yeah, it’s an old trick) and we’re off with “Tough Love”, a mid paced track that rattles along with a strong beat until the catchy chorus kicks in. If there’s something FM know about it’s catchy choruses, and this one will have you singing along immediately.

Next “Wake Up the World” is actually one of my favourites on the album. It starts off like a slow, soulful ballad, picking up the pace and moving to a superb chorus that should have hands waving live.

The quality continues with “Only Foolin’”, which fans should be aware of from the EP release last year, then it’s on to the first truly AOR track on the album, “Crave”. This is a guitar led summery song with a great hook, and although it’s about a failed love affair the melody is so infectious you’ll be glad it failed.

Next up there’s a nice little duo in “Show Me The Way” and “My Love Bleeds”, two tracks that bounce along very infectiously. The first more poppy AOR, the latter with a chunky riff driving the tune.

We’re at track number seven, and it’s time for a ballad in the shape of “Story Of My Life”. As with any FM ballad, it’s lifted from potential obscurity by Overland’s soulful delivery, showing how his pipes gained a deep tone with the years and sound better than never for this type of songs.

“Better Late Than Never” kicks off with a solid, bluesy riff from Jim Kirkpatrick, morphing into a more standard AOR track which will keep your toes tapping and your fingers clicking with its cool beat and a groove that flirts between melodic rock and blues thanks to Jem Davis’ keyboards.

One of the best tracks and surely a future fan favorite arrives with “Crosstown Train”, the hardest song of offer here where FM finally get to let loose with some truly big riffage and a faster pace. Jim gets to play with fills, riffs and a great rockin’ solo.

The album closes with another two great tracks, marking a full house for the album, quality-wise. “Goodbye Yesterday” and “High Cost Of Loving” both score high in the melody stakes, with the former treading familiar melodic rock territory and the latter with a more soulful edge.

Suffice to say, this is an album FM fans will adore.

“Rockville” is a mature and enjoyable CD plenty of finely crafted melodies in the typical FM adult Melodic Rock style. Not fluffy, synth-driven material this time, but surely AOR oriented.

The clear and warm production allows Steve Overland croon as well as he ever does, showing off the very tidy licks & solos from the elegant Jim Kirkpatrick and the solid beats by Pete Jupp, always effective behind the skins (and at the recording desk).

FM recorded a lot of new songs, so “Rockville II” is expected to be released in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, enjoy this set of polished, very attractive tunes.

01. Tough Love

02. Wake Up The World

03. Only Foolin’

04. Crave

05. Show Me The Way

06. My Love Bleeds

07. Story Of My Life

08 Better Late Than Never

09. Crosstown Train

10. Goodbye Yesterday

11. High Cost Of Loving

Steve Overland – Vocals & Guitars

Jim Kirkpatrick – Guitars & Backing Vocals

Merv Goldsworthy – Bass & Backing Vocals

Pete Jupp – Drums & Backing Vocals

Jem Davis – Keyboards


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