FM – Old Habits Die Hard Review

FM's Anniversary Release: A Celebration of Consistency and Craftsmanship...

Melodic Rock

Frontiers Music srl

Release Date – May 3rd 2024

 

Line Up:

Steve Overland – Vocals/Guitar

Jim Kirkpatrick – Lead Guitar

Merv Goldsworthy – Bass

Pete Jupp – Drums

Jem Davis – Keyboards

 

Tracklist:

1 – Out Of The Blue

2 – Don’t Need Another Heartache

3 – No Easy Way Out

4 – Lost

5 – Whatever It Takes

6 – Black Water

7 – Cut Me Loose

8 – Leap Of Faith

9 – California

10 – Another Day In My World

11 – Blue Sky Mind

 

FM is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year with a release that encapsulates pretty much every era of their existence, along with some bang-up-to-date ideas. Nothing too radical; those golden tonsils of Steve Overland have never sounded better, and the band has reached a level of consistency both in terms of writing and execution that is truly world-class. It’s classic FM all the way on opener ‘Out Of The Blue’, full of pop, blues, and soul right from the Toto mold. The melodies and hooks are catchier than COVID. FM has always had a soft spot for Bad Company, and ‘Don’t Need Another Heartache’ is right down that street before the punchy pop-rock of ‘No Easy Way Out’ brings some glorious keyboards from Jem Davis as well as a wonderful Allman Bros twin guitar line. ‘Lost’ is a pumping hard rocker, then we get a classic FM summery west coast ballad in ‘Whatever It Takes’, which is perfect for Radio 2.

Things get dark and broody on the southern-flavored ‘Black Water’ before another radio-friendly pop rocker ‘Cut Me Loose’. A beautiful acoustic intro starts ‘Leap Of Faith’ before we go off in Uriah Heep/Deep Purple territory with a huge dual Hammond organ/guitar riff straight from the 70s before we get summery and poppy again with ‘California’. ‘Another Day In My World’ is right up-to-date FM. Darker, heavier but still with those glorious melodies. Talking of which, ‘Blue Sky Mind’ has everything you love about FM. FM is now confident and experienced enough to produce things themselves, making the sounds huge and crystal clear thanks to another expert mix from Jeff Knowler.

It’s absolutely criminal that FM never hit the big-league arena bothering heights, but I console myself in the fact that they produce superb albums and play places that are still intimate. Since their reformation, they have hit a rich vein of form, and this release will sit right at the top with anything they’ve released during that time and maybe before? Sacrilege, I hear you cry! Give this a listen, and I’m sure you will agree.

 

Written by: Smudge

Ratings: 10/10

 

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