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THE LADDER ‘Future Miracles’
Escape Music ESM109 (2004)

When the news that FM were reforming surfaced last year I for one was very happy! However, it transpires that it was not to be as various members were unavailable for differing reasons and so the Ladder was born (no relation to a late 80’s US band of the same name though).

FM’s vocalist Steve Overland and drummer Pete Jupp make-up the Ladder along with bass player Bob Skeat (ex-FM) and guitarist Vinny Burns (ex-Ten/Asia/Ultravox). Producer Steve Morris (Heartland/Gillan) also lends a musical hand throughout the album. Keeping the FM theme the title itself is a cunning pun and much of the material on here are songs written during the life of FM, including live favourate ‘Dangerous’.

Song wise it’s all high quality, well produced melodic rock and of course you’ve got the magnificent vocals of Steve Overland, a vocalist who really deserves to be better known outside of melodic rock circles. Check out ‘Closer To You Heart’, where Vinny Burns gets a free reign solo wise and the ballad ‘Do You Love Me Enough’.

‘Baby Blue’ first saw light of day on the So! album and this Beatles influenced song would easily suit radio airplay. The version here is more atmospheric with greater use of keys and guitars. Best tune on here happens to be the heaviest, ‘Say It Like It Is’ that drives along nicely on a cutting guitar riff.

So no full FM reunion then, which is a big disappointment but the Ladder deserve their own limelight and hopefully a second album will see all new material and we can really see where the band are going. Essential for lovers of quality melodic rock and of course FM fans.

****

Review by Jason Ritchie

Buy this CD
£12.99

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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