FM: Direct To Disc: CD

On this album, Nash The Slash has been replaced by Ben Mink (electric violin, mandolin) and the band recorded this as a one track per side, direct to disc. This meant that it was recorded directly to a master disc that records were pressed from it, not on a master tape like most other albums were.
Opening track “Headroom” has five connected movements of spacey soloing, while second track “Border Crossing” has four connected movements and is a bit closer to the classic FM sound. Electric violinist/mandolinist makes major contributions throughout, Cameron Hawkins adds incredible synthesizers, fantastic bass-playing, and even some scattered background vocals, and Martin Deller does a great job with the drumming. Both tracks are mostly, but not entirely instrumental, and it really doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the songs not to be able to sing along, instead you just let the sounds flow over you.
Direct to Disc is admittedly short on length and different from the band’s other albums, but this has to be one of the most interesting albums of their career. They became far more accessible and commercial not long after this was released, so take a listen to how the band sounded doing a very unique and risky move.

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