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4.8 out of 5 stars
Rockville
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2013
When FM made their comeback after a 12 year hiatus in 2007, it took until 2009 for their first new album in years to be released - and it was worth the wait. Metropolis was something special, and even featured a couple of tracks playlisted by Radio 2, for the first time in their 25 year career.

Now, four years later, the journey continues with Rockville. Not content with just one album, they had so much material that they've recorded two. And they're both knockout.

Melodic, powerful, beautifully produced and with an oustanding sound, every track on Rockville gets a solid 9 or 10 out of 10 from me. The balance of tracks, the light & shade - Steve Overland's voice is as soulful and powerful as ever, and it would be remiss not to mention Jim Kirkpatrick's outstanding lead guitar. Some of his solo work has to be heard to be believed, and fits the songs like a glove.

Crave has had a spin on Radio 2, and is surely the most radio-friendly of all the tracks - the heavier Crosstown Train has been A-listed on Planet Rock.

Rockville I arguably contains the more melodic work, with Rockville II leaning towards the heavier material, but that's not to say that either album is better than the other.

If you've ever heard of FM, or even if you haven't; if you've ever heard anything on Indiscreet, Tough it Out or Metropolis (arguably their best albums), or even if you haven't - if you like melodic rock music with catchy hooks, singalong choruses and the impression of belting along an empty motorway in the summer with the roof down, buy these.

And if you can, catch them out on tour in March. You will not regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2013
FM are one of those bands that, as a loyal long-term, make me feel proud to know their music.

There's infuriatingly catchy sing-along tunes like "My Love Bleeds" and the simple yet heart-string-tugging "Show Me The Way", then just when you think the boys might be getting a little laid back, they lob in the rocking grenade that is "Crosstown Train".

Remember in the most recent Rocky film (Rocky Balboa), where Rocky tells Paulie he "still has stuff in the basement"? Well, crank up this bad boy and revel in the sheer quality of the instrumental and vocal performances - FM still have stuff in THEIR basement! (More like this please, fellas!)

In a nutshell - this'll be on repeat for the rest of Summer!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2013
This a fabulous album - great songs as always - it is so difficult to pick out fav tracks as they are all of such a high quality - it is fantastic FM got back together and are playing such great new music - each band member plays to the highest of their capabilities - and Steve's voice is massively impressive. - a mighty fine album from a mighty fine band.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2013
I first came across Rockville on Pledge Music, a place where I previously backed another rock band The Union. I thought, I've heard of them in the early 90's, I wanna support this, so I did.

Upon release, I was blown away by the quality of music, songwriting, and Their lead singers powerful rock-soulful voice. Each track is a good 9 or 10 rating, it really is full of quality.

I remember in my youth seeing FM advertised in rock mags, but didn't look much further than that. Ho how I regret not finding these guys music earlier - and they're originally from my hometown too! I will make amends.

Buy this if you love your rock music!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2013
Brilliant Album , I have to confess this is the first FM album i have bought and only bought it because I love the track "Home bound train" after hearing it on Planetrock radio. FM were penned to be the UK's version of Bon Jovi but for whatever reason it didnt happen. There are a lot of bits on this disk that sound like Def Leppard with the vocals on the chorus but i cant knock that as the Leps are fantastic. Its a good rocking album , good mixture of rocking and softer tunes and a few ballads thrown in also.

Get it bought you know you want to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2013
I have loved FM since I first saw them live in the mid 80's and feel Steve Overland has one of the great rock/blues voices and should be held in the same general esteem as Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers and our Lord Coverdale. I spent ten years from 85 following them live (they were never less than magnificent) and playing all their albums to death.It was a sad day in 95 when I heard they were no more.

You can imagine how pleased I was to hear they were coming back. Unfortunately, unlike some other reviewers here, I found comeback album Metropolis a bit disappointing. Of course, there was some good songs but some of the material was a bit hit and miss.

Well, I can happily say FM have their mojo back! More hooks than a fishing competition, Steve Overland singing like his life depends on it and Jim Kirkpatrik's guitar strutting around the place like a peacock on heat. This is already there to be in my albums of the year and can't wait to catch them live again.

If you like you rock melodic and bluesy, you need to own this record. Can't wait to hear Rockville II now.
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on 28 October 2013
This is the First FM album I have owned, having bought Rockville II at the same time and listened to This onet for a couple of days before Rockville II arrived. I had never heard the band at all before, save a couple of live videos through their website. I know their new guitarist Jim Kirkpatrick is an outstanding talent so I was reasonably confident that there would be something I'd appreciate in this album. I listened to more rock when I was younger but have had a good 10 years away from this style, so I was not expecting to like it as much as I did. It is honestly quality and enjoyable all the way through, which is all the more surprising given the number of tracks on it. Some are less catchy and anthemic than others but they all have some great demonstrations of music talent in them and I wouldn't call any fillers. I expect FM fans will be delighted with this album, and if you're new to FM but appreciate hearing good musicians, you will like this album. Before I bought this FM was described to me as "classic 80s soft rock, a bit Bon Jovi, all the classic 80s rock aspects you've heard in other bands mashed together into one". That's not a million miles away, but I'd say they're heavier than Bon Jovi, more soaring rock than Pop, and with more empasis on the music than the catchy hooks of the former, although plenty of these tracks are catchy feel good songs. From my perspective it was like the best aspects of many other bands in this genre all in one package. A one stop rock shop.
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on 23 March 2013
What an achievement! I think that this is FM's strongest all round album to date. Not a weak song in sight from start to finish, this album is immediately engaging and keeps you wanting more. It's hard to pick standout songs because every song could be given this accolade.

Tough Love, Only Foolin' and Crosstown Train are classic melodic rock, hook laden and beautifully structured. Wake Up The World, has inflections of classic Bad Company as it builds from a laid back acoustic intro into a power chord driven chorus. The haunting melody of 'Show Me The Way' leads into the fantastic mid-paced 'My Love Bleeds'. Thereafter, Steve Overland breaks your heart with his beautiful delivery of the soul filled 'Story Of My Life' a song about regret and second chances. Broken hearts are immediately mended as Jem Davis B3 drenched intro to 'Better Late Than Never' lifts you right up again. The penultimate 'Goodbye yesterday' and finale of 'High Cost Of Loving' demonstrate what first class songwriters FM have become. Combining intricate interplay between harmony and melody, always tugging at the heart strings and keeping a subtle element of suspense. These are truly genre crossing songs, which I would suggest if covered by artists like Leanne Rymes or Carrie Underwood in the USA would be massive hits. Here's hoping 'Rockville' brings FM the success they deserve.

It would be impossible to review this album without mentioning the fantastic individual performances that make up the collective force that is FM. There are not enough superlatives to describe Steve overland - what a voice! Even Steve hits notes here that I have not heard him hit before, he just keeps getting better and better as a singer. What's more he delivers even more live! Steve is without doubt right up there with the best singers of this genre. Often overshadowed by his voice but worth mentioning is Steve Overland's guitar playing, there is some excellent lead and rhythm work from Steve here.

Jim Kirkpatrick's performance is jaw dropping. Jim combines fantastic playing technique with sublime touch, taste and tone. What a guitar player! A truly intelligent guitarist who plays to enhance the strength of the song and the band, rather than to selfishly demonstrate his obvious guitar playing prowess. Jim's note bending and vibrato always seems to come from his heart rather than his head, very reminiscent of the late great Paul Kossoff. When Jim does 'let loose' it can make you come over all unnecessary - wow!

Jem Davis keyboards are ever present on 'Rockville', it's great to hear the strong ever soulful inclusion of Hammond B3 which drives many songs. Beautifully structured keyboards throughout help make this album the phenomenon it is.
The rhythm section of Pete Jupp and Merv Goldsworthy are the back bone of FM, doing what all great rhythm sections do by laying the foundations for the vocals and lead players. What should also be mentioned here are the fantastic backing vocals and harmonies produced by Merv, Pete and Jim.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2013
A rollicking good melodic rock album from start to finish, a true masterpiece from a band who IMHO should have been bigger than Bon Jovi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2013
If there was any justice in the world this band would be one of the biggest on the planet,unfortunately whilst the likes of Bon Jovi can release a mediocre album and soar high in charts around the world this class act will pass a lot of people by which is great shame. Full of great songs,superbly played sung and produced this deserves more. Rockville 2 is just as good.
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