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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!!!

Saturday 9 March 2013

FM - Rockville & Rockville II Album Review

FM – Rockville & Rockville II

Well rock fans, Britain’s finest have been up to it yet again, and, like a fine wine, the FM guys are getting better with age. When most are content with living on past glories, FM are out to write a new chapter for themselves with every single release.

They gained a fair bit of moolah from their Pledge campaign, showing just how popular they are

They tried and tried for many a year to crack the big time, and what with Metropolis and now Rockville they have an album that just screams for it to be heard on the radio! It’s probably not as heavy as Metropolis, but bugger me they haven’t half come up with an instantly likeable, hummable and Goddamn infectious set of songs. The lads are probably in their most prolific period since they formed back in the 80’s . Load the album into the dreaded iTunes, and they genre displays ‘pop’! If anything it’s a FM-rock radio friendly (with more than a hint of country rock thrown in for good measure) set of songs that deserve to be played on this and the other side of the Atlantic. Listen up America!

FM have tried over the years to take on the Americans at their own game. That plan didn’t work out too well, but US’ loss is the UKs gain. FM have a talent for polished, and attractive songs.

Opener “Tough Love” (mid-paced and catchy!)and “Wake Up World” (soulful, and a shoe in for the upcoming live gigs) both typify the 21st Century FM..less heavier, still hankering for the 80s a little, but with a bit more soul (in both senses of the word). No more so than ”Only Foolin’’ the first single that typifies the FM/Kirkpatrick groove. “Crave” has ‘The Voice’ showing off his chops, and its got Radio 2 written all over the thing! Yes R2 sounds shite to some young whippersnappers, but for me this is the big time!!

Mr O goes all kinky on us by singing about “My Love Beads!” Tinnitus is a horrible thing to contend with, I’m assured its “My Love Bleeds”. Highlight of Rockville is the new classic, “Crosstown Train”, a brooding number where JK truly lets rip. A heavier beast than the rest, its up there with their finest and if I can recommend buying an album based on one song alone, then “Crosstown Train” is it! Ill give you two reasons...the other being "Only Foolin'" another catchy Overland classic of the present and future.

All the others roll along in a similar FM-vein WYSIWYG, powerful, catchy as Hell, and delivered with a muster that few bands can match nowadays.

FM_rockville2_cover_300dpi_w250So, moving onto Rockville II.....
FM have been in prolific writing form of late. In an age where fans like to have a number of formats, special editions etc, the FM fan-base will be in their element with Rockville II. ‘High’ is another FM slant on the SO back catalogue, with “High’ getting the treatment this time round. (I know The Ladder, not FM covered “Baby Blue” before any smart arse kicks off!). “Bad Addiction” is a mix of ‘Aint Gonna Run’ and ‘Primitive Love’ and should have been a contender for the main event. 
Folk music often concerns being far away from where the singer resides. Steve Overland must have very itchy feet and a desire for travel in its various forms with songs like ‘Crosstown Train; Desolation Station; Runaway Train and Paradise Highway’, and continuing on the travel theme with ‘Brother Take Me Home’!! If you could put two genres together it could be country rock, but the amalgamation isnt too good...."Crock!" or even "Cock"

So there you have it – a mighty fine main event and a solid set of songs on Rockville II that any discerning FM fan will lap up. Whilst it doesn’t break any musical barriers, FM are in very fine form indeed.




Tough Love
Wake Up The World
Only Foolin'
Show Me The Way
My Love Bleeds
Story Of My Life
Better Late Than Never
Crosstown Train
Goodbye Yesterday 
High Cost Of Loving

Rockville II

Bad Addiction
Desolation Station
Runaway Train
Living For The Weekend
Forever And A Day
Paradise Highway
Brother Take Me Home
Last Chance Saloon


1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I've just listened to Rockville1..
    As a long-time FM fan I admit to be disappointed with this release:

    it's a too disparate collection of songs, lacking a rock organic feel as a whole.
    I guess the problem lies in the choice of splitting Rockville in part1 and 2!
    there's too much laid-back country pop and little rock(not to mention hardrock)!
    Maybe the band should have stayed to
    original project "DesolationStation" that I suppose was more rockin and release that..
    then release a separate album with the songs left out from that.

    As of now,instead, we have 2 Rockville albums which none of them is really satysfing.


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