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FM - Surveillance CD (album) cover




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3.34 | 66 ratings

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4 stars FM's _Surveillance_ is very much on par with their first album _Black Noise_. Only one exception, though. The opening track ROCKET ROLL is very twee with hokey lyrics such as (sci-fi rock...rocket roll!). Admittedly, it is a fun track but more along the lines of something The Buggles would write. I like it, but most would shun its new wavishness a-la Ultravox! The rest of the album is nothing like the opener. What the rest of the album does sound like is a good 35 minutes of _Losing It_-like Rush tracks(from Rush's Signals). People who enjoy the band U.K. would also enjoy the band FM. _Surveillance_ to FM is to U.K.'s _Danger Money_. What separates the two bands is that you get to hear the unique sounds of a distorted electric mandolin instead Alan Holdsworth's guitar. Both bands came out around the same time, but FM precedes U.K. by a good 2 years. Stellar drumming from Martin Deller sounding somewhere in between Gary McCracken of Max Webster and Neil Peart of Rush. Cameron Hawkins has voice very similar to Greg Lake, but it's not a clone by any means. Cameron sounds like Cameron. Distorted electric violin is played on every track. This album contains the best cover version of the Yardbirds' _Shapes Of Things_ I've ever heard(even better than the original, IMHO). Great chemistry between the band here as they are very tight throughout. Another highlight is the instrumental _Sofa Back_ with some bizarre lyrics muttering something like _Moe & Larry cheese_. Yep, you heard that right. The track _Father Time_ has a bit of a Canterbury bent to it in the vocal department with female vocals not unlike The Northettes from Hatfield & The North or the wordless vocals on Camel's THE SNOW GOOSE. FM - Surveillance is finally available on CD from the Tachika label out of Japan in a mini-LP/CD format; and the sound is excellent! The production and sound is very reminiscent of the German band S.F.F.(Schicke, Fuhrs & Frohling), especially akin to the S.F.F. album _Sunburst_ from 1976. As far as the english-Canadian prog.rock scene goes, this is a minor classic in this genre and stands tall alongside anything by Saga, Max Webster, Terraced Garden & Rush.
Gooner | 4/5 |


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