About Me

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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Friday, 26 August 2016

FM to re-record iconic album Indiscreet!

30 years on we are happy to announce that we have decided to record a modern-day version of our classic debut album INDISCREET. We have been asked many times if we would consider re-recording some of these tracks using today's modern technology and recording techniques and giving the songs the sound of FM as it is today. We realise what an iconic album this is to so many fans so we have always steered clear of tampering with it too much but whilst in the studio recording the follow-up to HEROES & VILLAINS one night at the end of a session we decided to put down a backing track to "That Girl" to see how it would sound with the huge sounds we were getting at the time. It gave the song a new dynamic and power that we couldn't achieve in the 80s. We played it back the following morning and decided it would be great to hear all these classic songs with this new lease of life. We are not trying to recreate the original but this is our interpretation played by FM as we are today with the sound of FM 2016. In addition to the re-recording of the original album, INDISCREET 30 also features seven bonus tracks including brand new song "Running On Empty" and a new recording of "Let Love Be The Leader".

INDISCREET 30 was produced by FM, recorded at Tremolo Studios and Coal House Studios, Staffordshire and mixed by Jeff Knowler (METROPOLIS, ROCKVILLE and HEROES & VILLAINS).

Full Track Listing
That Girl
Other Side Of Midnight
Love Lies Dying
I Belong To The Night
American Girls
Hotwired
Face To Face
Frozen Heart
Heart Of The Matter

Bonus Tracks
Let Love Be The Leader
Running On Empty
Rainbow's End
Shot In The Dark
Bad That's Good In You
Love & Hate
That Girl (Acoustic Version)

RELEASE DATE:  28 October 2016


There are two ways of getting your copy of INDISCREET 30 before the official release date:

  • Signed copies of INDISCREET 30 are available to pre-order now from the FM webshop [http://www.fmofficial.com/fmofficial/preorder-indiscreet-30.html]. INDISCREET 30 will be mailed out to you four weeks before release date. Closing date for this special offer is Monday 26 September 2016. 
  • INDISCREET 30 will also be available at the merchandise stand at the Warrington Parr Hall show Saturday 1st October and all other shows.

Preview "Love Lies Dying" from INDISCREET 30 on the FM Soundcloud page [https://soundcloud.com/fmofficial/love-lies-dying]. 






For tickets for the above, please visit the FM Live page - 
http://www.fmofficial.com/fmofficial/3_live.html 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Michael Sweet - 'One Sided War' Album Review


Michael Sweet – One Sided War

August 26th sees the release of the much-anticipated release from Stryper front-man Michael Sweet. (well, its anticipated in my house!) ‘One Sided War’ is his seventh solo release and it feels like five minutes since his last solo album ‘I’m Not Your Suicide’. I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed the heavier approach that Stryper have taken on their last two albums, and I’m very glad to report that this rich metal vein has transferred to his solo album also. Helping to add the ‘metal’ is none other than guitarist Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake / ex-Night Ranger), Will Hunt (drums, Evanescence), John O’Boyle (bass), and rounding out is East Coast shred-meister Ethan Brosh.

‘’Musically its my heaviest solo album. Its not thrash metal but there are definitely some songs on there that will pop out at you. There are some songs that have a bit of the Iron Maiden/ Dio feel to them, as well as some songs that have a little bit of Van Halen influence to them. It’s a very guitar-oriented, hard rock/metal album with lots of melodies and hooks,’’ explains Michael Sweet.

….and he is not wrong!

One Sided War, sees Sweet’s guitar army going straight for the jugular with an old school ‘twiddly-widdly’ opening, then it turns into a straight up hair metal fest with Sweet’s vocals taking centre place, trading licks with the guitars of  Hoekstra and Brosh. It’s a fast and frenetic opening salvo. Title track ‘One Sided War’ is more common fare, but is no less impressive.

I could go for hidden meanings, with the first 2 songs being 3:28 (Galatians – “There is Neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, not is there male and female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ”) Pure guesswork on my part I guess, but it’s a strong sentence.

It’s a wise and bold move for Sweet bringing in Hoekstra and Brosh. Hoekstra is bringing 80s head turning, ear melting solos, backed with the ‘apprentice’ Brosh. He (Sweet) doesn’t exactly need to concentrate on his vocals as he still has a great voice.

‘Cant Take This Life’, has the type of modern riff that would fit in with current Thrash or a band like Alter Bridge. One thing with Sweet is his strength of melody, especially with strong choruses that just trip off the tongue and straight into your ears for instant aural gratification.  ‘Radio’ shows off Sweet’s lighter and humorous side, ripping into the ‘Rock Guys’ (you know who you are), those bands moving over to Nashville, no doubt going ‘back to their roots’. (Yeah, right. More for the money I think!). I can't wait for the full video. ‘Golden Age’ is a thunderous tune, and has Hoekstra and Brosh trading licks aplenty. ‘Only You’ sees Sweet singing about God’s love and forgiveness. ‘I Am’ is more dirtier song and slower than its predecessors, and comes straight into Dio territory. Its more chugging than blistering, until we get to the solo of course. Sweet has a strong rasp than the usual soft vocals and is a different sound to normal. He is pushing his Stryper day job well to the side for ‘OSW’.

Michael Sweet wouldn’t be Sweet without a ballad (of sorts). I’m not a huge fan of the Stryper mushy ballads of old, and ‘Who Am I’ is more akin to ‘Whitesnake’s “Is This Love’ than ‘Honestly’. It’s a job well done. ‘Make Me Wanna’ gets straight to speed with yet another hook-laden chorus.  ‘One Way Up’ is up far too quickly and sees ‘OSW’ just fly by. Its more straight up rock and roll than anything else on the album, and is a bar room belter that’s for sure.

As a bonus, Michael seems to have unearthed a gem in teenager Moriah Formica. She takes vocals on ‘Cant Take This Like’ and really proves to be a potential star in the making. Just stay away from X-Factor / The Voice type shows and you’ll do great!

The cover is unapologetically ‘Christ-like’. A ‘Crown of Thorns’, with right hand about to display the sign of the cross, it’s a striking image, even for an atheist like me. I won’t let religion get in the way of a good tune and a great singer, that’s for sure

So to sum up, its Stryper (ish), but ‘OSW’ sees Sweet go heavier than he has done before and it’s the right call for him. Its got metal infused songs, with ‘that’ voice, ramped up with pulsating drums/bass, and topped off with 80s ear blistering guitar solos. Dig out your denim vest, original 80s Dio /Maiden T-shirt, drainpipe bleached jeans (leg warmers are optional) buy the best rock wig you can buy, and head-bang away to an 80s inspired metal fest with Sweet’s modern twist and great production. Don’t think ‘Stryper are God lovin’ wimps’ you uneducated pussies; put your prejudice aside, and listen to some mighty fine rock songs. I have been good so far and haven’t sworn at all, so excuse me, as I have to say, its ‘bloody great!’

93/100

Tracklisting –
Bizarre
One Sided War
Can’t Take This Life
Radio
Golden Age
Only You
I Am
Who I Am
You Make Me Wanna
Comfort Zone
One Way Up
Can’t Take This Like (Bonus – feat. Moriah Formica)

Michael Sweet – Vocals
Joel Hoekstra – Guitar
Ethan Brosh – Guitar
Will Hunt – Drums
John O’Boyle - Bass





Sunday, 14 August 2016

Christopher Shayne - 'Turning Stones' Album Review




To be fair, 2016 is a good year to be a fan of either Southern Rock / Country Rock. Its not all about Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet and .38 Special (or the boy band version of Blackfoot!).  Like the NWOBHM in the late 70s early 80s, something akin is taking place in the deep south over the past few years, and whilst not new, bands like Whiskey Myers, BSC, The Cadillac Three, and Blackberry Smoke are all gaining some serious momentum. Hot on the heels of these guys are the likes of Jared James Nichols and now Christopher Shayne. They are a part of the NWoUSSR – New Wave of US Southern Rock! It just rolls of the tongue like the Brit version. Not.
If any of the aforementioned bands make you want to break out and wear cowboy boots, drink whiskey out of a jam jar and have a hankering for Georgia peaches then add Shayne to your list. Its been penned as ‘Arizona Outlaw Desert Rock’ whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. I just call it Southern Rock, infused with a good dose of Country and good ‘ol Rock ‘n’ Roll! Simple.
Straight out of the box on ‘Give A Damn’, vocalist Chris Shayne has a gritty, earthy sound to his voice that screams Southern Rawk.  Starting off the opening line like Chris Rea on steroids before letting rip. It’s the first single from ‘Turning Stones’, and there’s good reason for it, it’s a groove laden beast of a song that you cant help moving to – if you can move ‘n’ groove to this then you’re dead! ‘Rock Show’ is straight down the middle Rock & Roll (Show). You don’t have to be a redneck to appreciate music like Shayne produces. ‘When I Come Down’ could easily fit onto Nashville. It’s a smooth, melodic number that would sound even greater, live and stripped down to its bare bones. ‘The River Revival' sees Shayne and Lansing trade licks to great effect, coupled with Shayne’s other instrument (vox) and some nice BVs and it makes for a cool tune indeed, taking its nod from Skynyrd.  They even have a third guitarist in Zachary Hughes, making Christopher Shayne the Iron Maiden of Southern Rock. Making up the rest of the band are bassist Mark Blades, and drummer Trevor Hammer (one of the best surnames for a drummer, ever).
Shayne’s songs epitomise a life that’s being lived through his songs. ‘Where is my American dream…..looks so much better on TV! I need that American dream’ Well I’m certain its on the horizon and getting nearer after every listen. ‘Find Our Way’ is obviously an anthem for the modern Arizona cowboy? ‘Outcha Mind’ gets the tempo back up to eleven, with some great slide accompanying Shayne’s vocal blast. ‘Heartache’ does exactly what it says on the tin, a heartfelt southern ballad.   
I mentioned some great bands at the top of this review. Well Chris Shayne is not out of place with any of these bands. If you haven’t had the pleasure of him/the band so far, then what are you waiting for…..?
‘Turning Stones’ is full of menacing guitars, whiskey soaked lyrics and choc full of life and soul, what more could you ask for. A diamond in the rough methinks.
There’s not that many albums I listen to repeatedly ‘start to finish’ but this is one of them. This is better than the recent Cadillac Three album, and that’s saying something. The kind of band that SHOULD be supporting The Cadillac Three in the UK later this year (but I have to add, not for long).

Score 90/100
Tracklisting -
Give A Damn
Rock Show
When I Come Down
The River Revival
Take Your Time
Turning Stones
Rolling Bones
Find Our Way
Outcha Mind
Heartache
Home
Black Mariah

Christopher Shayne
Christopher Shayne –  Vocal /Guitar
 Dave Lansing – Guitar
Zachary Hughes - Guitar
Mark Blades – Bass
Trevor Hammer – Drums

Sunday, 7 August 2016

DOROTHY - 'Rockisdead' Album Review


DOROTHY – Rockisdead

First of all, my keyboard isn’t buggered, DOROTHY is meant to be spelt in CAPS! I found these guys completely my accident on YouTube and I’m absolutely staggered by the quality of their music.

They are stated as saying in an interview, ‘’Basically, we want to make songs that we think Beavis and Butthead would like’’. I’m exactly not sold on that, as I’m one of the minority who hated them with a vengeance, but if you’re a fan of ‘proper, old school, classic rock music’ then you can look no further that this.

DOROTHY’s music has been heard by millions and featured on such TV shows as ‘Orange Is The new Black’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’. The band is Dorothy Martin (vocals), Zac Morris (drums, not Saved By The Bell), DJ Black (guitars) and Gregg Cash (bass).

My love of this band comes with a caveat - If you’re NOT a fan of reverb and distortion then keep well away, as its used in abundance on every song. I cant work out of Dorothy Martin has….
a.     natural reverb in her voice
b.     she is singing through a loud hailer
c.      it was recorded in someone’s bog (for those not in the UK, bog = toilet)
d.     it has shitloads of intended reverb and distortion

Basically, if the reverb in her voice is say for example at a level ‘100’ as a measuring tool, then bass is ‘110’, drums ‘120’ and guitar is somewhere above ‘150’!!! On every bleedin’ song.

This is something that could easily get up your tits, but it all adds to the experience, as the quality of the songs  (for me, anyway) completely bypass any ‘dist-verb’ sensory overload.

‘Kiss It’ immediately gets all limbs kicked into gear, and the use of her ‘ahhh-ahhhhs’ takes the melody higher. I have to say that her voice is one of the few that has had me excited in quite some time. ‘Dark Nights’ has this pulsating rhythm thread that weaves its way through every song on the album (except the last). ‘Raise Hell’ is a song that screams Southern US, down and dirty, sweaty, sexy, and rhythmic; the kind of song that would feature on True Blood or Banshee. ‘Wicked Ones’ is my personal favourite on ‘Rockisdead’. Again the use of ‘eee-hooos’ is a simple thing, but oh so effective. ‘Gun In My Hand’ comes across as hymn, a powerful preach of a song, and Martins voice mixed with the harp, and acoustic slide combine beautifully. ‘Medicine’ man is simple bewitching, like a voodoo ceremony that you would see on the Discovery Channel. ‘Woman’ had a classic rock vibe, with Zac Morris twatting holy hell out of his kit, and DJ pushing them to the limit. Only ‘Whiskey Fever’ is the song that falls behind DOROTHY’s high standards, it’s a little repetitive. Its good, but as everything that comes before is so wonderful, ‘good’ is a noticeable drop! ‘After Midnight’ and ‘Missile’ bring the quality back up to 11,  and they finish on a ballad (of sorts) with ‘Shelter’ a bluesy number that I could easily hear Jay Buchannan adding his voice to. For me, to hear Rival Sons similarities is a big complement. The song revolves around Martin’s raspy, sultry and emotional voice and is a great finish.

Lots of female fronted bands in the 80s and 90s go deals on the gorgeousness of their singer. Dorothy Martin is a beautiful woman, but her voice is the key here as it’s just bloody fantastic

It is probably one of the best 35 mins set to vinyl / CD I’ve come across in ages. The songs are mostly sort, snappy and straight to the point. An album doesn’t have to be 75mins to be good!

The album is great. Take my work for it. Also check out YouTube for some live performances that’ll really set your pulse racing. It’s pushing Rival Sons for my album of the year so far and that is saying something….my hope is that they make it big, really big. “Rockisdead’ is a bit of a ‘one-trick’, but that ‘trick’ is one of the best you’ll hear or see. There’s now’t wrong with a huge slab of blues/ heavy / swamp / stadium rock. I can’t wait to see where they go next.

Check out their version of Jay Z (Zed in the UK) and Kanye West’s version of  ‘Church In The Wild’ below. DOROTHY’s is a far superior version. Now THAT’S how you do a cover version)

Score 95/100

Tracklisting –
Kiss It
Dark Nights
Raise Hell
Wicked Ones
Gun In My Hand
Medicine Man
Woman
Whiskey Fever
After Midnight
Missile
Shelter

DOROTHY
Dorothy Martin – Vocals
Zac Morris – Drums
DJ Black  - Guitars
Gregg Cash - Bass



Tuesday, 26 July 2016

NEWS: Not just.......for Gillan Fans Only!



Good news is afoot followers. A couple of years back there was a release on CD of all the Gillan albums, and a very nice Box Set of CD singles. Now on the near horizon comes the much anticipated vinyl release of five Gillan albums.....


Demon Records has announced the release of a new must-have Gillan vinyl boxset on 2nd September. ‘The Vinyl Collection 1979-1982’ will feature 5 chart albums - 7 LPs in total - including Mr Universe (1979), Glory Road (1980, 2 LPs, with bonus disc ‘For Gillan Fans Only’), Future Shock (1981), Double Trouble (2 LPs, 1981) and Magic (1982).

Ian Gillan was delighted with the vintage feel of the finished product: “It’s a wonderful thing, vinyl… Best held in two hands and treated with respect, as you place it carefully upon the turntable. You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves” - he comments, observing one of the records - “aren’t they cool. Read the lyrics and enjoy the artwork, while you are in the groove. No computers involved in the making of this music…enjoy”.

The 180g heavyweight vinyl records will all be exact replicas of their first pressings; Future Shock, Gillan’s highest scoring album, reaching No.2 in the UK chart, will include the same 16-page booklet as featured in its original release. An exclusive edition available via Amazon here http://smarturl.it/IanGillanExclusive
will also contain a bonus 7” single for Spanish Guitar. Other Gillan classics featured in this priceless collection include Sleeping On The Job, No Easy Way, Trouble, Mutually Assured Destruction, New Orleans, No Laughing In Heaven, Nightmare, Restless and Living For The City.
Full tracklist as follows:



Double Trouble - DEMREC172

Side A
I’ll Rip Your Spine Out
Restless
Men Of War
Sunbeam 

Side B
Nightmare
Hadely Bop Bop
Life Goes On
Born To Kill

Side C
No Laughing In Heaven
No Easy Way
Trouble

Side D
Mutually Assured Destruction
If You Believe Me
New Orleans 



Future Shock - DEMREC173



Side A
Future Shock
Night Ride Out Of Phoenix
The Ballad Of The Lucitania Express
No Laughing In Heaven
Sacre Bleu

Side B
New Orleans
Bite The Bullet
If I Sing Softly
Don’t Want The Truth
For Your Dreams



Glory Road - DEMREC172



Side A
Unchain Your Brain
Are You Sure
Time And Time Again
No Easy Way
Sleeping On The Job

Side B
On The Rocks
If You Believe Me
Running White Face City Boy
Nervous

Side C
Higher And Higher
Your Mother Was Right
Redwatch
Abbey Of Thelema
Trying To Get To You

Side D
Come Tomorrow
Dragon’s Tongue
Post Fade Brain Damage
Egg Timer
Harry Lime Theme



Magic - DEMREC175



Side A
What’s The Matter
Bluesy Blue Sea
Caught In The Trap
Long Gone
Driving Me Wild

Side B
Demon Driver
Living A Lie
You’re So Right
Living For The City


Demon Drive Reprise





Mr Universe - DEMREC171



Side A
Second Sight
Secret Of The Dance
She Tears Me Down
Roller
Mr. Universe


Side B
Vengeance
Puget Sound
Dead Of Night
Message In A Bottle
Fighting Man



Gillan was born on the ashes of the Ian Gillan Band in 1978, when Ian decided to abandon the jazz-fusion style of his previous project in favour of a more progressive direction, together with keyboardist Colin Towns. The band was dissolved in 1982 following the Magic tour, partly due to Gillan’s health issues with his vocal chords. Still in its brief existence they managed to release 5 top 20 albums and ride the popularity of the NWOBHM sweeping the continent.

Ascended to rock royalty status as the lead singer of Deep Purple, Ian Gillan continued making an impact on the rock scene, and has become an erudite elder statesman of the genre. He sang in the role of Jesus in the original Andrew Lloyd’s Webb’s Jesus Christ Superstar and he co-wrote and sang the iconic ‘Smoke on the Water’ among dozens of other hits. He has played to tens of millions of fans, and sold over one hundred million records.  To this day he approaches writing, recording and touring with the zeal, passion and commitment of an eighteen year old.