FM Old Habits Die Hard Cd review

May the 3rd on Frontiers Records Srl sees the mighty FM release their new album Old Habits Die Hard and as a fan from day one was it really 40 years ago that the band formed. Wow.

I first saw the band the following year supporting REO Speedwagon before the release in 1986 of Indiscreet which in my opinion sits at the top of any AOR poll period.

Old Habits Die Hard is released as part of the band's 40th anniversary with a tour of course that has already seen the band perform in South America for the first time.

Old Habits Die Hard contains 11 new tracks that encompass every melodic element that FM have stood for over the last 40 years with huge choruses and twin lead guitars and led from the front by Steve Overland who's vocals have stood the test of time.

In fact I would go as far to say that The Voice's vocals as he is affectionately known are at an all time high that many of his contemporaries must look in awe at his performance here and in the live arena. Some of his held notes stun on the album and on the old school ballad Whatever It Takes has he ever sang better with his melodic tone and phrasing just heaven.

First single Out Of The Blue has a pounding rhythm from Pete Jupp on drums and so good to hear Merv Goldsworthy exemplary bass work bubbling along with the bands productions skills allowing everything to be heard and having their place. Jem Davis keys fill in the gaps left by Jim Kirkpatrick's stop start guitar riff and plenty of electric guitar add libs from the man who kick started the band when he joined for the reunion album back in 2010.

Don't Need Another Heartache is a big bluesy number showing their Bad Company/Free influences with another Jim stop start guitar riff that leads to a huge chorus with wonderful backing vocals. Steve really pushes his vocal in the verse and leading up to the chorus too.
More kudos to the production leading up to Jim's guitar solo with every instrument heard clearly and precisely.

No Easy Way Out is a great AOR number featuring more Steve vocals that are right at the top of his range and shows how he has put everything he has into showcasing the band and his powers 40 years into a career.

Lost has an AOR groove to the guitar riff with Jem's keys sparkling alongside and Steve's vocal has you grinning from ear to ear at it's joy of music played in it's finest form with more held notes to raise the standard ever higher.

Black Water is an epic number with a slower blues groove and again the production is exemplary. Drums and bass hold it all together and it all builds to a huge chorus and then back down for the second verse with Jim adding guitar add libs like only he can. His main guitar solo is all the better for the less is more approach with picked and held notes telling a story.

Cut Me Loose is a summer song with a breathless vocal and a feeling of better times ahead and another of Jim's guitar solo's that only adds to the feelgood factor.

Leap Of Faith starts on picked electric notes from Jim before a big bluesy guitar riff kicks in that stops and starts through the verse and leads to a huge chorus with Steve's vocal melody again holding notes for fun. One to look out for live I would think.

California is more feel good blues that the band do so well with Steve's vocal melody in the chorus alone and then joined with backing vocals and Jim' insistent guitar riff drives the song along with a short fiery guitar solo mid song.

Another Day In My World has Jim's guitar riff again leading the band with some lovely light and shade in the verse only making the chorus as it all builds hit ever harder with a wonderful melody line.

Blue Sky Mind ends the album on a high with a big melodic chorus and Jim's wonderful guitar solo building to a twin guitar moment that the band are known for.

Old Habits Die Hard will feature in many fans top 10's at the end of 2024 and FM show no sign of slowing down with an album that sits wonderfully well in a career that few can match.


FM (L-R) - Merv Goldsworthy, Pete Jupp, Steve Overland, Jim Kirkpatrick, Jem Davis.
Photo Credit: © Paul Stuart Hollingsworth

Old Habits Die Hard 40th Anniversary tour continues this weekend acroos the UK and the rest of Europe for the rest of 2024. 

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