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MUSIC REVIEW: FM – Synchronized

Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.

Release Date: May 22, 2020

Rating: 88%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

FM is dropping another slab of melodic rockers, and the disc is exactly what we have come to know, expect, and love about the group.  Disc opener and title track “Synchronized” gets us started with a great swirl of guitars an keyboards that provide a great background for another round of great vocals from Steve Overland.  I have said it before and I will say it again… this guy has a great voice that takes me back to early Michael Bolton, and in my opinion that’s a great thing.  The song is the perfect launch pad for the disc.  “Superstar” has a cool cadence that keeps the foot tapping from open to close and provides an excellent foundation for the song.  The vocals are tight and blend well with the keyboards and guitars throughout.  “Ghost Of You And I” unfolds with a beautiful piano interlude from Jem Davis that is soon joined by Overland’s vocals and some mellow percussion.  This power ballad has great lyrics that are delivered with precision and emotion.  These guys flex different musical muscles on this track without losing sight of their root sound and melodic vibe.  “Change For The Better” allows the vocals, guitars, and the rhythm section, anchored by bassist Merv Goldsworthy, to ebb and flow throughout the track, but this one seems to be keyboard driven at moments, without a prominent keyboard sound.  The track is appropriately peppered with the sound and runs with it.  The bridge features a cool solo that is melodic through and through.  “Pray” kicks off with a wall of sound layered vocal that quickly shifts to a guitar driven rocker.  The vocals help lead the charge and carry the track.  The rhythm section and keyboards provide a cool launchpad for the song, but the guitar work and vocals are the stars of this song.  The layered vocals on the chorus create a full sound between verses and the bridge.  “Hell Or High Water” is a solid track that ties together all of the different facets of the band and disc in one tight package.  The vocals are spot on and the rhythm section chugs along underneath the mix while the guitars and keyboards dance across the musical landscape.

“Best Of Times” kicks off with a wall of sound vocal layering that adds punch to the opening of the track before the song shifts to an a slightly stripped back rocker that allows the guitars to shine through the chorus and verses.  The heavy-handed drumming from Pete Jupp give the track a little something extra.  “Broken” is a slightly different tune than most of the others on the collection.  This one has a more straightforward 80’s rock vibe to it that takes me back to 1983 and some of the fringe rock sounds.  The keyboards and vocals work perfectly together and build a nice sound for the disc, with contributions from the guitars and rhythm section.  “End of Days” opens with an almost religious vibe that soon morphs into a cool rock groove with a chugging riff, steady keyboards, and a great scream from Overland.  Jim Kirkpatrick and Steve lay down some great riffs, runs, and other fret board magic that add depth to the track, while swirling nicely with the keyboards on the bridge.  “Walk Through The Fire” has a familiar vibe and sound that makes it seem very familiar without tipping its hat in any direction.  The tandem of the guitars and keyboards in the mix that float beneath the vocals are a fun mix of 80’s rock, modern rock, and melodic touches tossed in to for good measure.  While a bit mild from an intensity or tempo standpoint, this is one that draws me in each time I hear it.  “Angels Cried” slows the mood and tempo without giving up any of the vocal intensity from the rest of the disc or sacrificing any instrumental prowess.  The keyboards help steer the track while the guitars, bass, and drums do their job throughout… especially when the guitars crank up at the bridge.  Disc closer “Ready For Me” takes us out on a high note with one of the best guitar solos on the disc soaring over the bridge.  The vocals on this track are killer and the keyboards in the mix raise the bar.  This is one of the best tracks on the disc and will keep you restarting the disc time after time… trust me!

Tracklisting: Synchronized – Superstar – Best Of Times – Ghost Of You And I – Broken – Change For The Better – End of Days – Pray – Walk Through The Fire – Hell Or High Water – Angels Cried – Ready For Me

Lineup: Steve Overland (vocals / guitars) – Merv Goldsworthy (bass) – Pete Jupp (drums) – Jem Davis (keyboards) – Jim Kirkpatrick (guitars)






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.

Comments (2)

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  1. michc says:

    Good review of a fantastic band !.. And the most underrated one 😉
    I love this album but I’d love it even more if payed more attention to the tracklist,
    ..something more like this:


    Feel free to comment 🙂

  2. I agree – they are underrated! I like your sequencing as well, but we reviewed the disc as provided by the label and then put down words as I went through the disc…Thanks for the feedback, keep reading, and keep 100% Rocking!

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