FM are without doubt the gem of melodic rock. So many good albums, so many fabulous songs and a reputation as one of the best live bands on the circuit.
The success of last year’s studio album ‘Atomic Generation’, their 10th release saw the band hit the road again throughout 2018 and their stunning performance at Frontiers Festival in Milan has been captured on this live release.
Featuring songs from across the years, the track list is not surprisingly full of fan favourites and tracks from the last album. Their performance cannot be questioned, consummate professionals with a spark which never ebbs, who always deliver musically and of course vocally.
The album opens with their now familiar intro; you can almost see the band and feel the energy which then flows through the entirety of the album. Steve Overland has the most stunning vocal live, ‘The Voice’ title so apt and this comes across in this recording with some spinetingling moments especially on ‘Someday (You’ll Come Running)’, ‘Closer to Heaven’ and ‘Story of My Life’, where the range and tone of his voice shine through.
The heartbeat of the performance, delivered ably by Pete Jupp on drums and Merv Goldsworthy on bass, supports the waves of melodic keys from Jem Davies, whilst Jim Kirkpatrick shows why he is one of the best guitarists around as he floods the air with riffs full of dexterity and sheer class. ‘Metropolis’ especially sounds phenomenal.
Not to be overlooked is the fact that their distinctive sound is also achieved by combining the fine guitar skills of Overland himself with those of Kirkpatrick’s as they entwine into the dual guitar harmonies which epitomise the FM sound. ‘Over You’ demonstrates this particularly well on this recording sounding clean and melodic.
You couldn’t have a live FM album without, ‘Tough It Out’ being nestled amongst the tracks. It has an incredible energy about it live, buzzy snarling riffs, gang chants, hand claps and a chorus that makes it impossible to not sing along.
A live album often lacks in capturing the sound and energy of the band and the crowd effectively but that is certainly not the case here. A flawless performance well recorded and mixed. It is a true reflection of how good the songs sound performed live today, no matter when they were written or which album they come from, they sound timeless and it all fits together, a well-crafted set of simply splendid songs.
‘The Italian Job’ is an awesome album for all melodic rock fans, and an absolute must for FM fans.