More AM than FM: Off The Ground


An Album Review

By Jeff Orrence

More AM than FM is a hard hitting, honest, and heavy rock band from all over Maryland. I had the pleasure of playing with them at the IOTA club in Arlington. They were a great live band, but their album really stands out as something unique and worth listening to.

The album starts off strong with some fantastic lead guitar. Andre is a song that bites hard, with heavy guitar distortion leading into a great lead. This is a song about facing reality, a theme that comes up often in this album. The lyrical melodies and hooks in this song are fantastic, and will stay in your head long after the song has ended. The best part to me has to be the ending. In the breakdown leading up to the final chorus. “I am a stranger to myself, I am a hazard to my health”. There’s something about these lines that sticks with me.

Cause for Alarm beings with a clean sound, with some very pleasant chords. The outlaw country and blues rock influences really shine here. The song picks right up after the revealing introspection of Andre.I love the drumming in this song, it flows seamlessly in and out of verse and chorus. The talent of the rhythm section really stands out here. To me, this song is about releasing held in frustrations. There may be no escape from mistakes, but there is still room to overcome them. Nothing will ever make mistakes go away, but our wrong choices are a huge part of what makes us who we are, and more easily remembered than our accomplishments at times. Definitely my favorite song off of the album, and a great track all around.

Juliette has the spirit of a classic late 70s punk rock song. The clean electric strumming and vocal harmonies are excellent. Listening to it, it kind of makes me want to tattoo my knuckles and get drunk in a city by the sea. The end of the song is full of great vocal overlays, and the bass guitar stands out a lot here. Not as heavy as the rest of the album, but a nice change of pace. The dynamics and songwriting really showcase how diverse More AM than FM is, and how much talent is in this trio.

Kitchen starts off with a palm muted guitar and quickly builds into some amazing leads carried along by the strong rhythm section. The bass is impressive in all the tracks, but I have to say I was very impressed by this one. It pulls you in fast and doesn’t stop hitting. Listening to this album, I would recommend really taking the time to appreciate the nuance and subtlety presented. Listen to all the pieces that make up the whole.

Forty Five. I got so invested in this song I had to listen to it a few times before I could focus enough to take notes. Its deep, quick, bass driven and as always the drums are excellent. This song, in my opinion, has the best drumming on the entire album. There are some new ideas expressed in the songwriting that I really appreciated. Some things you can only get in a trio. The bass responding to the guitar riffs, the drums directing the course, More AM than FM has serious talent. I would say more about the lyrics, but honestly, do yourself a favor and listen to them yourself. Go in with fresh ears and find the meaning that stands out to you.

More AM than FM really has made something special here. The only complaint I have with the album is that is has me so eager for more. With relatable stories and concepts, a truly impressive bassist with a unique style, a drummer that not only keeps the beat but directs it in new an interesting ways, a guitar that can write a great hook and incredible leads, there is so much being offered here. I highly recommend listening to and purchasing this album, and if possible seeing them preform live.

You can listen to the album here:

More AM than FM: Off The Ground

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