Veteran British melodic rockers FM continue to mine their rich vein of form with album number 12 – ‘Synchronized’.
Words: Robert Adams
FM are a band that rarely puts a foot wrong. They seem to have that knack of writing top quality tunes and with the golden voice of Steve Overland, they have their very own secret weapon.
Album opener ‘Synchronized’ could not be any other band than FM. We have their trademark keyboard stabs, courtesy of Jem Davis, before Jim Kirkpatrick sprays a glorious riff over the top and then the unmistakeable voice of Steve Overland kicks in. It all sounds very late 80’s indeed, but that does not matter at all when the quality is this good.
‘Superstar’ and ‘Best Of Times’ follow on in the same style before things take a turn for the soft romanticism with ‘Ghosts Of You And I’. In lesser hands this would be cheesier than a cheese board at a cheese festival, But FM have a knack of writing romantic ballads that just stay on the right side of schmaltz.
‘End Of Days’ starts with a sombre church organ with radio news snippets over the top, before those glorious pipes of Steve Overland kick in again. This is the sound of FM in 2020 – highly polished melodic rock.
‘Pray’ showcases the funkier side of FM, with a fantastic groove and some sterling harmony vocals from bassist Merv Goldsworthy and guitarist Jim Kirkpatrick.
‘Walk Through The Fire’ is The most 80’s sounding track on this album. Jem Davis’ keyboard intro could easily be mistaken for Harold Faltermyer circa ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ theme ‘Axel F’ – reference for the youngsters there!
I seem to be talking a lot about the late 80’s in this review of an album from 2020.
FM have always had a signature sound, which they have resolutely stuck by through the years. That could be worrying if their output was shoddy, but thankfully it isn’t.
FM have matured through the years and just seem to get stronger with each release. ‘Synchronized’ is another fine chapter in the history of FM and long may they continue adding chapters like this.
It is simply wonderful.
(Frontiers Music s.r.l.)
Release Date: 22 May 2020