Effin Marvelous

If you're an FM fan, then the last 3 years has been a pretty good time to be one (an FM fan). The band has probably been as prolific in this period as they ever have been - headlining Firefest (twice) after coming out of the wilderness of 15 years, a live DVD (Back In The Saddle), the 'Vintage and Rare' CD, 'Wildside' EP, 'Metropolis' album in 2010, a late addition to the main stage at Download, and now, hot on the heels of a 4 day UK tour (in which they produced the best gigs I've ever seen them do), comes yet another EP, entitled 'City Limits'.

I remember in the good, no, great days of vinyl, when an EP meant three, or four tracks. Even five if you were really, really lucky. Not ones to scrimp on quality, this EP contains no less than nine tracks. Jesus, this thing has better value than other bands albums that have been peddled around lately.

It includes two versions of 'Bring Back Yesterday' - a radio edit version, and a lengthened DJ Juppy treated version for you metal rave enthusiasts out there. Why do a 4 min song when it can be 7 minutes. Excellent!

We also get a brand new track, 'Start It Up' which will not be on the next album, which is a west coast/AOR nugget in a style and quality that only FM can produce. Also on the EP is a wildly different slowed down version of 'That Girl'. Think of a cross between 'Soul Provider' era Michael Bolton (full of oooh hooooo's) singing for Hellsongs and that's pretty much it. A very different approach to the original: very laid back, very cool.

The rest of the EP is made up with five live tracks taken from gigs at Glasgow and Cardiff, with all the tracks taken from 'Metropolis'. All are definite highlights as they prove the band is in its best shape in years. It has a certain Mr Overland singing his arse off, coupled with the more modernistic guitar style of Jim Kirkpatrick, and the dual rhythm/keyboard finesse of Messrs Jupp, Goldsworthy and Davis, and it makes for one hell of a VFM (that's 'value for money', not 'Valuable FM') E.P. All of the songs sound even better as live tracks, with excellent harmonies, great guitar solos and the FM choir in tow. I just love the commercial 'Over You', which must be a cast iron contender for their next single.

All in all, it's yet another welcome addition to your FM collection. Enjoy them whilst we have them back in the saddle. If you missed out on the recent tour I implore you to catch them at either their now legendary and renewed Xmas gig at O2 Academy and/or at Hard Rock Hell at Prestatyn early December . A class act!