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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » FM (UK) - 2013 Rockville
FM (UK) - 2013 Rockville

ALBUM: Rockville
LABEL: Riff City Records/Membran
SERIAL: 233704
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Steve Overland - lead vocals * Jim Kirkpatrick - guitar * Merv Goldsworthy - bass * Jem Davis - keyboards * Pete Jupp - drums

TRACK LISTING: 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


WEBLINKS: www.fmofficial.com

Many of you have had the first two FM albums in your collection since they came out well over 20 years ago. Not me (unfortunately), as I had not heard of them until a few years ago on this site. And I did not get either of them (or the three they put out in the 90's) until after I obtained 'Rockville' this year. So my perspective on this album may be quite different from yours. My introduction to FM was with 2010's 'Metropolis' release, which again was quite different from their earlier output. Reviewing a new album from a beloved legacy band can be tricky. Three of the five members are the same as on 1986's 'Indiscreet', including the lead vocalist. So even though I generally consider the guitarist & keyboardist to be more important than the bassist or drummer for the sake of consistency, three of five is enough to say it's the same band. More importantly is what they do musically. FM is not trying to duplicate the sound from 20+ years ago - so how does that work out for them?

The Songs
This album came out in March, and no one here has written about it yet, which makes me believe this batch of songs did not make a spectacular impression on a few of you. If you were hoping for another 'Indiscreet' or 'Tough It Out', I can understand. If you liked where they went with 'Metropolis', then this should suit you well. 'Tough Love' opens the album with a riff reminiscent of Def Leppard from their 'Hysteria' days, but the song quickly moves to a more standard affair that sets the stage for the remainder of the album. It is obvious that Steve Overland sounds as good as ever. And that the rest of the band is up there with him. The production is clean and crisp too. 'Wake Up The World' starts out with a heavy dose of acoustic guitar before kicking it up a notch or two. This reminds me of earlier Bad Company, with a sound that sounds like it could have come from the 70s. 'Only Foolin'' would have been right at home on radio in the 80's. Jem Davis gives the keys a good workout, including that horn section sound that I love, while Jim Kirkpatrick lays down a scorching guitar solo. 'Crave' is another good rocker that would have fit comfortably on a Bryan Adams album. 'Show Me The Way' is a slightly more subdued affair with a positive message about the hope for a better world. 'My Love Bleeds' picks up the pace again - another strong tune.

You know how sometimes you find yourself listening to a modern commercial rock station (mainly us U.S. folks), and amidst the drivel you hear a song that makes you think 'maybe there is hope'? 'Story Of My Life' is such a song. I was hoping for a few songs like this on the new Daughtry album. Shame that only a handful of people will ever hear this excellent power ballad. 'Better Late Than Never' keeps the party going with another fun rocker that again could have been on a Bryan Adams album. 'Crosstown Train' is a real winner for me. It's the hardest song on here, but not at the expense of great melody. This would have worked great on the new Daughtry album (or on 'Leave This Town', as it fits that theme nicely). Great lyrics on escaping a dead-end situation. If I have to pick a favourite, that's it. 'Goodbye Yesterday' is another positive song, a little lighter but still with plenty of crunch. The album closes with the excellent 'High Cost Of Loving'. I love songs about that girl with whom you fall in love and then get your heart broken, and this is great example of such a song. Come to think of it, this one might be my favourite. Definitely ends the album on a strong note.

In Summary
Your enjoyment of this album may very well depend on your acceptance of the way they sound now versus how you remember them from the 80's. This picks up where 'Metropolis' left off, with a sound that is both retro and modern, more late 70's than 80's but still sounding fresh. It is nice to see a real band in this age of projects and collaborations. They have a very active internet presence, and they have recorded several videos. It is amusing looking at their old videos compared to the new ones - less hair, more wrinkles, less attempt on getting the right look. But it is obvious they're having fun. And without the need to make it 'big' in the industry, they're making the music they want to make. And making it well. This may be a sound that is more different than the olden days, but I'm really enjoying it.

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This article has been tagged
Tags: FM (UK) 
#1 | gdazegod on December 23 2013 10:02:45
This is bloody good actually. Look fwd to 'Rockville 2' Jeff!
#2 | jeffrey343 on December 23 2013 14:33:36
Lots of videos for their two new albums on their official site (as well as their YouTube site).

#3 | dangerzone on December 23 2013 16:14:43
Gave Rockville 2 a shot but didn't quite hit the spot for me unfortunately, hence why I gave it a wide berth for a review as you assumed in your above review. Haven't heard this one though.
#4 | jeffrey343 on December 26 2013 01:31:16
Alun, I'm kinda surprised you didn't like 'Rockville II' since you really liked 'Metropolis'. To me, they're less different than 'Indiscreet' and 'Tough It Out'. You may find this one more to your liking, especially if your favorite tunes from the second album were 'Bad Addiction' and 'Runaway Train'. But the two Rockville albums are fairly similar.
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