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

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Avi Bellili - The Power of Balance – Composer Avi Belleli is perhaps best known as the mastermind behind Israeli band Tractor's Revenge and also for his collaborations with drummer Dave Kerman (Present, 5uu’s etc.). Co-produced and...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues