Exposé Online banner

FM — City of Fear
(Esoteric Recordings ECLEC2383, 1980/2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01

City of Fear Cover artCanadian trio FM's fourth album finds the lineup of Cameron Hawkins (synth, bass, vocals), Ben Mink (violin, mandolin, vocals) and Martin Deller (drums) unchanged from the previous album, but this time out Larry Fast, who had previously worked with the band in a synth programming capacity, is now the
album's producer. No doubt due to Fast's presence, this is the band's best sounding album to date; it contains some of their finest work, and some of their worst (not counting the two studio albums that came after this one). City of Fear contains ten songs, five of which stick to their tried and tested progressive approach, while the other five find the band attempting to move in a more commercial radio-friendly direction, with only partial success. Of the latter five, "Up to You" and closer "Nobody at All" hit the bullseye for being accessible and tasty, and either or both could have been breakout hits for the band. Two others "Truth or Consequences" and "Power" come off as fairly cringeworthy. Now on to the more progressive cuts, of which "Surface to Air" and the title track are immediate standouts for their strong melodic punch and temperate accessibility. Even more interesting are the three tracks that were later used in the soundtrack to the slasher film The Incubus: opener "Krakow" is hands down the album's most powerful track, while the dark and bizarre "Lost and Found" is perfectly suited for its place in the movie, as is the eccentric "Riding the Thunder," perhaps FM’s hardest rocking song ever. City of Fear has its high and low points, but is nonetheless worthy of a place next to the previous three.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 40, 2013 releases, 1980 recordings

Related artist(s): FM

More info
http://www.cherryred.co.uk/esoteric.asp

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Coco Roussel - Reaching Beyond – Roussel may be best known as the drummer for Happy the Man in their final phase, and the work he did with Kit Watkins on some of his first solo projects. This is his first album since Kit & Coco's...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues