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

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Agitation Free - Malesch – Agitation Free was a most unique German band in the early seventies, in that their sound was heavily influenced by Turkish and Arabic themes, although never more so than on this, their first, from...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues