Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
Remastered 1993 reissue on One Way of the second album by this hard-edged prog rock trio, often compared to Rush. The most noteworthy of their three popular albums, 'Black Noise' was originally released on Passport in 19... more »
Remastered 1993 reissue on One Way of the second album by this hard-edged prog rock trio, often compared to Rush. The most noteworthy of their three popular albums, 'Black Noise' was originally released on Passport in 1979. Available on CD for the first time, it also features Nash The Slash on violin, plus the original cover art & all eight original tracks, including 'Phasors On Stun' & 'Dialing For Dharma'.
Great melodic prog from Canada
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 05/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FM is yet another band that has been unfairly relegated to the far corners of the prog rock niche, which is too bad - this 1977 release is a great example of highly melodic and synth heavy progressive rock. In a manner similar to another much more famous prog band from Canada, FM is a trio. The three musicians on this album include Cameron Hawkins (synthesizers, Rickenbacker bass guitar, piano, and lead voice); Martin Deller (Drums, percussion, and synthesizers) and "Nash the Slash" (electric violins and mandolin, glockenspiel, vocals, and effects). All of the musicians are very good and really crank out some tight performances. There are eight tracks on the album that range in length from 2'36" to 9'55". Overall, this is well written and performed progressive rock that sounds a great deal like the prog band England, not to mention UK (especially their Danger Money album from 1979). Melodies and harmonies abound, and synthesizer use is very heavy. In fact, there are points where a low frequency left hand synth bass line is used in place of the real bass guitar. As a bassist, I like to hear the bass guitar, but then again the synth bass lines are not too bad. The vocals are excellent and work well with the predominantly upbeat nature of the music. Although many of the songs have vocals, there are some excellent instrumentals as well and include the fantastic jazz-rockish piece Hours that features excellent soloing on the violin, mini-moog, and drums. The other instrumentals include Dialing for Dharma and the excellent Slaughter in Robot Village. The instrumental Dialing for Dharma is pretty interesting and starts off with a pulsating synth line that would not be out of place on an album by electronic composer Larry Fast. Slaughter in Robot Village is very different and features some great sounding Rickenbacker bass lines - my only wish is that this instrument had been used throughout. The 9'55" closing title track Black Noise is a very interesting piece that ranges from thunderous "tribal" drumming to spacey electric violin leads, and is a personal favorite. I guess that my only complaint is that the piece Black Noise ends so abruptly- the ending literally comes out of nowhere. Ah well. All in all, this is a great album that is recommended to all fans of melodic progressive rock."
Slash & Burn
Chromefreak | 04/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the late 70s, Canada's FM had a sound that was all their own--a sound that owed its dynamism to the essential tension between the fiery, new wave-influenced electric mandolin/violin of Nash the Slash and the prog-influenced keys/vocals of Cameron Hawkins. Sadly, the original line-up (along with the Slash and Hawkins, there was also drummer Martin Deller)would only survive just long enough for Black Noise to be released. Nash the Slash went on to an interesting--if often erratic--solo career, while Hawkins and Deller reformulated FM as a kind of prog/pop group with the addition of Ben Mink. But Black Noise is the ONLY disc by FM you'll ever need to own. Many reviewers here seem to not acknowledge the quite obvious influence of the then burgeoning punk/new wave movement on the architecture of FM's sound. But several of the songs on Black Noise almost sound like some unholy hybrid between Yes and Ultravox (particularly "Slaughter in Robot Village" and the killer opening track "Phasors on Stun"). There's hardly a wasted note on Black Noise, though the lyrics to many of the songs (courtesy of Hawkins) are often embarrasingly juvenile, without the least trace of irony or self-deprecation. As a consequence, Hawkins' lyrics are easily the weakest link in the group's otherwise astounding synergy. Still, the interplay between the Slash's riveting mandolin/violin and Hawkins' excellent Rick Wakeman-inspired keyboard work is at times electric. And Deller's percussion work borders on the Bruford-esque. Virtually unclassifiable at the time, Black Noise can now be seen as an attempt to bridge two disparate worlds: art and punk."