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

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bouchard, Dunaway and Smith - Live in Paris – Take the rhythm section of the 70s Alice Cooper band and the front end lead guitar from Blue Oyster Cult, and what do you have? You get a pretty tight hard rock act that relies on honest riffing and a...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues