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CD REVIEW: FM – Indiscreet 30

| 6 January 2017 | Reply

Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.

Release Date: November 4, 2016

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

British rockers FM celebrated the 30th Anniversary of their Indiscreet album with a redux of epic proportions that sees the band’s debut album getting a modern sound and twist.  After recording new material (2015’s Heroes & Villains) and touring, the band decided the time was right to tackle this material and update it – along with seven bonus tracks.  Luckily, I was unfamiliar with the original so I get to listen to these tracks with a fresh perspective.  Disc opener “That Girl” gets things rolling and this rocker blends a great melodic groove with a classic rock feel and the end result is a solid track that sets the pace for the rest of the disc.  If you listen through to the end of the disc, you get another take on this track with an acoustic version that sounds familiar while coming across as a totally different song.  “Other Side Of Midnight” marries the different sounds of the band, from the full keyboard vibe of Jem Davis and the lead guitar riffs of Jim Kirkpatrick to the chugging rhythm section of drummer Pete Jupp and bassist Merv Goldsworthy.  The vocals draped across the track enhance the feel of the song and make this one of the better songs on the disc.  “Hotwired” opens with the most diverse sound of the lot – the keyboards and guitar take on a different sound, but that soon changes and the song falls in line with what fans have come to know and expect from this band of melodic rock brothers in arms.  “Let Love Be The Leader” is a cool track that allows the keyboards to take over and lead the charge, but the guitars kick in and this song builds from there.  The opening is very Journey-like, but stands on its own without sounding like a rehashed 80’s classic.  A song that stands out in my mind is a revamped version of Ozzy Osbourne’s 1986 classic “Shot In The Dark.”  The song has a different sound thanks to the keyboards upfront in the mix and a different guitar style than Jake E. Lee delivered 30 years ago.  Other than the basic composition of the chorus, the lyrics have been redone, but this works and is one of my favorites on the disc.

“Love Lies Dying” starts off with a different feel than most of the tracks on the disc, but the song shifts gears and fits right in with the other tracks thanks to Steve Overland’s lead vocals and Davis’ keyboards.  The rest of the band kicks in as the chorus approaches and this song gains momentum that carries it to the end.  “American Girls” is a chugging rocker that has searing solos that soar above and swirl together with the keyboards in the mix.  The vocals add a touch here and there, but Kirkpatrick’s guitar work is the star of the show on this one.  “Face To Face” unfolds slowly with a bass line from Goldsworthy that is simple but accentuates the song through the intro and verse.  The guitars dance across the song while the vocals and keyboards join the fray, but the bass drives the track.  “Heart Of The Matter” is keyboard driven, but don’t discount the rest of the band on this track.  The drums and bass keep the song anchored, despite a slightly faster tempo that offers a great platform for the vocals and guitars to come to live.  The driving rhythm is contagious and draws you in.  “Running On Empty” follows is another song that leans into the bands classic sound and marries it to the thunderous groove the band has embraced over the years.

“I Belong To The Night” has a cool melodic sound that highlights the keyboards while allowing the vocals to take the spotlight.  One thing that remains constant through the track and disc are the strong vocals of Overland that take me back to Michael Bolton in his Blackjack days (it’s not a slam on Overland at all, as I still listen to the two Blackjack discs to this day).  “Frozen Heart” is another track that excels in the melodic rock venue, but has darker undertones woven through it, from the lyrics to the vocal delivery and the chugging bottom end that leads the songs attack.  The tempo is steady and keeps things flowing while the keyboards dot the musical horizon.  “Rainbow’s End” starts off as if it will be the biggest departure from the band’s sound, but the familiar vocals and guitar sound kick in and we are lulled back into familiar territory.  The tempo is fun and the breakdown on the bridge delivers a great solo and guitar tone.  “Bad That’s Good In You” is a guitar-led song that gives us a mellower groove than we have handed so far on the disc.  Jupp’s drums kick in, but the song keeps its relaxed groove, even when a catchy chorus presents itself and invites you along for a fun ride that lasts just under 5 minutes.  The final track, other than the acoustic version of the disc opener, is the heavier track “Love & Hate.”  The guitars are a big part of the song and its sound.  The song is a fitting end to the disc that ties together the various tracks, both redone and new.  This will have to hold me over until the band puts together their next great collection of songs.

​​​Tracklisting: 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 – 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)*

* bonus tracks






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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