FM - Surveillance
FM - Surveillance

FM - Surveillance

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Surveillance is the third album by FM, a progressive rock group from TorontoCanada, released on Passport Records in summer 1979, the first to be "widely issued." It has been re-released for the first time in CD format on Esoteric Records in March 2013.

AllMusic Review by  

Already by 1979 it had become clear FM would be unable to top its debut LP Black Noise. Despite excellent production for the time -- and technical help from synth wizard Larry Fast -- Surveillance sounds half-cooked, a couple of tracks lifting off, the others crawling miserably."Rocket Roll" embodies everything prog rock had become by the end of the 1970s: cold, pop, straightforward. It pushes the sci-fi theme found in the previous album's "Phasors on Stun" and later reprised in "Destruction." "Horizons" is an interesting ballad, and "Sofa Back," a childish romp, provides the best instrumental moments. The more ambitious songs tend to sound either pompous ("Seventh Heaven," "Random Harvest") or too single-minded ("Father Time"). There are two exceptions: the aforementioned "Destruction," a strong prog rock despite predictable lyrics, and a flavorless cover of the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things." Ben Mink replaced the coming-and-going Nash the Slash on violin and mandolin, but the role played by these instruments have been severely reduced. While on Black Noise they conferred a distinctive sound to the group's music, here they remain in the background, often drowned by the synthesizers. With their best features toned down, FM recorded a pretty bland album.