FM – “Rockville”

FM – “Rockville” (Pledge Music)

I’ll always remember the summer of ’84: movies like ‘Red Dawn’, ‘Karate Kid’ and ‘The Last Starfighter’ were out and I was seeking solace in “Ride The Lightning” at the overwhelming onslaught of AOR. Leppard had released “Pyromania” the year before and it had opened the floodgates to luvvy duvvy rock. Honestly, it was all over the music press, the airwaves and even TV seemed to at last have warmed to an unthreatening rock genre. FM were probably the best of British AOR – if you could call it that at the time – and were formed by Samson’s former rhythm section and the Overland brothers. With a very American sound made up of soft rockers but importantly passionate ballads, they were made for the market and there began their meteoric rise: I think at one point in the late 80s they seemed to be on every damned support slot so you couldn’t avoid seeing them! However, just when they were on the verge of going global in the mid 90s they disbanded. Inevitably, demand brought them back in 2007 and credit to the band, they returned in fine form on “Metropolis” which was somewhat more British sounding. However, “Rockville” is the full Americana beast again unleashed making my hard boiled ego cringe once more. Steve Overland’s passionate, smooth vocals are still up there with Foreigner’s Lou Gramm or Joe Elliott, not to mention the overt vocal harmonies from the rest of the band. Chuck in heart seducing guitar melodies and crooning solos with keyboards layered so thick you’re in danger of AOR mental seizure on songs like ‘Goodbye Yesterday’, ‘My Love Bleeds’ and ‘Show Me The Way’. Lock up your mothers cos FM are back threatening wimp rock once again upon the world.

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