FM band photo

FM – Rockville

FM - RockvilleWay back in the day, the 80’s that is, British melodic rockers FM were the talk of the town for a short while. I was never a big fan, but I remember the word on the street was that FM would probably the next big thing after Bon Jovi. At that time, there was a lot of British bands that rock media claimed to become huge in a short while. Little Angels, Thunder, Shy, Quireboys were other acts that were on the verge of making it big – all of them were really big in Britain, but elsewhere around the world, the interest never got that big, specially in the US, a market everybody and their mother tried to break into but few succeeded. Me, I liked almost all of those bands, but there was quite a few who never got my attention in a big way and FM was one of those. I’m not sure why, because I really liked their two first albums, Indiscreet (1986) and Tough It Out (1989), but for some reason I lost interest after that. Not that I found their albums that bad, they just didn’t reach out and grab me. FM never made it huge, but they still had a pretty successful career. They did, however, call it quits in 1995 like so many other melodic rock and AOR bands did. The 90’s belonged to grunge and alternative music and melodic rock was looked upon as a pariah. But fortunately, trends come and go and so did grunge and after the new millennium, melodic rock slowly started to make its way back.

Now, reunions seem to be the thing of the 2000’s but it would take FM until 2007 for a reunion, when they played an acclaimed concert at the British AOR / Melodic rock festival Firefest said year. The response the guys got was so overwhelming that the band just had to keep playing and in 2010 they did the inevitable, a new record had to be made. The album was called Metropolis and the feedback the album got from the fans even shocked the band themselves. FM was back and this time it was permanent. The success story continued and now it’s time for the guys to show the world that their come back album wasn’t just a one-off. Me, I actually missed their comeback which means I haven’t heard said album, so I have nothing to compare this album with.

The album opens with “Tough Love”, a great song that sounds like classic FM with big Def Leppard influences and it takes me right back to Tough It Out. “Wake Up The World” follows. It’s an awesome melodic rock / AOR track with a big groove and a  bigger chorus, “Only Foolin'” is a great melodic hardrocker with a beat that is almost danceable and sounds like a heavier Loverboy, “Crave” is a totally stunning melodic killer that must be a single at some point as it is a hit to be and “Show Me The Way” is a very good soft rocker. The guys take on a Def Leppard cruise with the shimmering pearl that is “My Love Bleed”, the gorgeous ballad “Story Of My life” has a piano melody that is a complete Aerosmith “Dream On” rip off, but the chorus is big and the song turns into a great power ballad and “Goodbye Yesterday” is a great melodic rocker.

I must say that this album just might be the surprise of the year. The guys have made one hell of an album that takes us back to the sound of their finest moment, Tough It Out, but never even once does it sound dated – and not only with the sound, the album is easily their best effort since. It’s very well produced, the performances are great and Steve Overland still has that soulful voice with a big range. FM once opened for Bon Jovi and wished they had their success. With this album, FM totally kills Bon Jovi of today. If life was fair, Bon Jovi should open for FM today. I’m impressed.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

1. Tough Love
2. Wake Up The World
3. Only Foolin’
4. Crave
5. Show Me The Way
6. My Love Bleeds
7. Story Of My Life
8. Better Late Than Never
9. Crosstown Train
10. Goodbye Yesterday
11. High Cost of Loving

7 comments on “FM – Rockville

  1. I don’t mind the track you’ve posted. It has elements of the classic FM sound (as much as I’m familiar with it anyway) and I hear those Leppard-isms clearly too. This is pretty good!

    I always get this band confused with the Canadian one with Nash the Slash.

  2. Very different. Progressive synth music, no guitars. Have you heard of a guy named Nash the Slash? He played electric violin with the Canadian FM, always dressed in a top hat and mummy bandages, been around since early 1970’s.

    Something about Canadian bands. We also had a band called Bush in the mid-70’s which forced Gavin Rossdale to change his band’s name to Bush X in Canada.

  3. Sorry, never even heard of the name Nash The Slash…
    Bush X, huh? Didn’t know that either. I’m not into Bush so maybe that’s why… 😉

  4. Hi Jon,
    I liked the review so much.. maybe because FM are my fav band and you seemed genuinely impressed by the album !
    There’s also Rockville part 2 !
    Metropolis is good as well but more pop-ish and straight in a way

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