FM - 'Heroes and Villains'
http://www.fmofficial.com/fmofficial/index.html
http:www.//frontiers.it/album/5250/


THE BAND:
Steve Overland - lead vocals, guitar
Merv Goldsworthy - bass, backing vocals
Pete Jupp - drums, backing vocals
Jem Davis – keyboards, backing vocals
Jim Kirkpatrick - lead guitar, backing vocals




TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.) "Digging Up The Dirt" - This intro kicks off with a cowbell.  Pete continues the cowbell throughout the intro section of the song.  Over the top of the drum line there are two different lead guitar riffs.  As the intro progresses one of the lead guitar riffs becomes the main rhythm guitar arrangement.  This rhythm guitar arrangement has a huge Bad Company feel to it.  For the musical verse the band continues one of the lead guitar riffs.  However, the band changes the rhythm guitar arrangement.  There was a musical change for the musical verse.  The lyric lines of the chorus had a huge Bad Company sound to them.  The choruses sound so much like Bad Company I would swear Paul Rogers or Brain Howe had written them.  There was a small snare drum fill connecting the musical chorus with the second verse.  After the first chorus there was a small breakdown section that lead to the second chorus.  After the second chorus there was a breakdown section.  The coda consisted of several repeats of the chorus.

2.) "You're The Best Thing About Me" - This track opens with a very simple rhythm guitar rhythm over the top of the drum and bass line.  There was a small lead vocal accent over the top of the intro section.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  For the musical chorus the band added a second rhythm guitar arrangement.  The musical and lyrical chorus had a huge hook attached to it.  The backing harmonies of the chorus had a Def Leppard feel to them.  After the first chorus there was a small breakdown section that lead to the second chorus.  Connecting the second chorus with the lead guitar solo you can hear keyboard arrangement bleeding through.  The coda consisted of several repeats of the chorus.
3.) "Life Is A Highway" - This track opens with a rhythm guitar riff that was done with a special effect. There was a small vocal accent over the top of the main intro section.  There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the intro with the first verse.  The verse had a very simple hook attached to it.  The second lyric line had an echo attached to it.  The choruses where very simple with huge hooks.  After the third chorus there was an arrangement change.  This lead to the lead guitar solo section of the song.  This was a very simple well-put together song.
4.) "Fire & Rain" - This track opens with a special effects.  The effects leads to the main musical intro.  Over the top of the musical arrangement there was several backing vocals along with a lead vocal accent.  The musical arrangement change for the musical verse was heavily influenced by older Bad Company.  Some of the lyric lines of the verse were double-tracked.  There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus.  Over the top of the musical arrangement connecting the first chorus with the second verse there was a backing harmony.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  As the solo progresses, it turns into a twin lead guitar solo.
5.) "Incredible" - This track was a very simple ballad.
6.) "Call On Me" - This track had a huge pop feel to it.
7.) "Cold Hearted" - This track opened with a lead and backing vocal harmony underneath several tom-tom fills.  The musical verse consisted of two separate rhythm guitar arrangements.  The musical verse consisted of an eighties rock feel.  The last half of every other lyric line was double-tracked.  The band kept the choruses very simple.  There was a small musical rest connecting the musical chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus there was a breakdown section.  This breakdown section lead to the lead guitar solo.  After the solo the song slows down just a little before going into the third chorus.
8.) "Shape I'm In" - This track opens with a fairly standard intro section.  Over the top of the musical intro there was a lead vocal accent along with a backing vocal.  The way the band arranged the verse had a simple feel to it.  The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical chorus as the one for the verse.  After the second chorus the band slowed the music down leading into the lead guitar solo.  After the lead guitar solo there was a breakdown section.  There were several lead vocal accents over the top of the breakdown section.
9.) "Big Brother" - This track opened with a keyboard arrangement over the top of a drum line.  There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the main intro section.  The musical verse consisted of a Bad Company feel.  There was an arrangement change for the musical chorus.  There was minor lead guitar solo connecting the musical chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus there was a breakdown section.  This breakdown section led to a twin lead guitar solo section.  After the solo there was a short breakdown section.  After the third chorus there was several lead guitar licks that ran underneath the choruses of the coda.
10.) "Somedays I Only Want To Rock & Roll" - If one did not know better they would swear Bad Company wrote this track.
11.) "I Want You" - This track was heavily influenced by Brian Howe formerly of Bad Company.   
12.) "Walking With Angels" - This track opens with an acoustic guitar underneath a lead vocal arrangement.  Underneath the lead vocal lines of the the pre-chorus there was a backing harmony.  In many ways the way this song was arranged reminded me of Sixx A.M.

     The British rock band FM will release their ninth studio CD titled 'Heroes And Villains' on April 17th in Europe and April 25th in the United States.
    Released through Frontiers Records the CD contains twelve tracks in vein of the AOR/melodic rock genre.  The facts are in this day and time an artist does not release nine full length CD' with five EP's and celebrate thirty years within the music business unless they are doing something right.  Though this was the first FM release I have had the chance to review.  It also was the first time I had the chance to listen to the band.  FM not only sounds however, they write songs in vein of the heyday of American Rock And Roll.  You can hear influences of Bad Company, early Foreigner, along with feels of Joe Elliot and the stuff he sang on 'Pyromania'. 
     This is a great release, it is one of those CD's that a friend of mine calls cruising albums.  A CD you want to put on when you are taking a trip.  If you are into good solid rock and miss the days when music actually meant something then you should definitely check this CD out!