The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
FM Heroes and Villains ALBUM REVIEW 2015

F.M. - HEROES AND VILLAINS

FRONTIERS RECORDS | Release Date: April 20 2015

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Honesty gets you nowhere but back in the day FM were never really my cup of tea. I remember being dragged along to see them back in my school days and them never quite connecting. Over the years I periodically heard them abut never really revisited them till they reformed back in 2012 and I realised what I’d been missing. Yes I was wrong – FM was always a great band.


Heroes and Villains opening statement ‘Digging Up the Dirt’ has a bluesy swagger to it that sounds great, like ‘Women’ by Def Leppard cleaned of all it’s 80’s finery and brought up to date and played like a band of Foreigners ilk would. It’s a little like taking elements of a past you loved and with just a little effort you can create a sound that again sounds essential. It’s not startlingly original but it is very pleasing to the ear.


‘You’re the Best Thing About Me’ has elements of John Waite, the same Foreigner vibe and a dash of JBJ about it and similarly it sounds damn good. That I guess is the best thing about FM, they manage to keep those that have always believed happy and for the uninitiated they evoke some damn fine melodic heavyweights.


Similar ‘Life is a Highway’ is crisp, catchy AOR, whilst ‘Fire and Rain’ (see what they did there) evokes past exponents of feisty Blues-based British Rock and is given a great melodic stamp. Of course over the years FM has produced some great ballads and ‘Incredible’ is so slick and complete a song you swear you had heard it before if it popped up on a classic Rock station. It’s a fine song that says a lot about the band in 2015 – they are as strong as ever, perhaps even more complete.


At the half way point ‘Call on Me’ takes on a real laid back West-Coast AOR flavour, light as the previous ballad but upping the tempo it’s a great lead into the Classic Rock brilliance of ‘Cold Hearted’ one of the standouts on the album where it all seems to coalesce. ‘Cod Hearted’ backs onto the intensely summery ‘Shape I’m in’ and its clear this is an album that has more than enough fuel to not only stay the distance but creep into that category of albums you know won’t be far from the turntable I the coming years. Yes, we’re edging dangerously close to ‘classic’ territory here…


Rounding out an album like this is always precarious but thankfully the quality doesn’t drop. The guitars are out for the stuttering riff of ‘Big Brother; which is lavished with some great vocal melodies. There’s a good time feel to the party anthem ‘Somedays I Only Wanna Rock and Roll’ which you can imagine in the hands of a band like Thunder. ‘I Want You’ has a vague Robert Palmer feel; and second ballad and album closer ‘Walking With Angels’ doesn’t disappoint – delivering a beautiful heartfelt acoustic finale.  


Beautifully produced, ‘Heroes and Villains’ is more than a good FM album, it’s the album that sees them back at the head of the pack. Now who would have thought that in 2015?

 


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