Fast Train Union

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Monday, October 29, 2012
Review Type: 

This Toronto (Ottawa) based Canadian Hard Rock quartet was formed in 2006, by a collection of seasoned musicians (lead singer Sean Potvin, guitarist/ backing singer John Wetherilt, bassist/ backing singer Al Perrier, and drummer Paul DeMarinis) from a variety of backgrounds (collectively, in past band incarnations, the members of FTU have played support slots to the likes of Exciter, Alias, Trooper, Blue Rodeo, and Rik Emmett – of Triumph fame), which came together with the intent to make Rock music for people who love Rock music.

(what follows is a literal copy of what you can find in the bio at (www.), adapted in small places to agree with ConcreteWeb standards) “With years of music making under their belts, every member of FTU brings their own perspective on the Classic Rock experience while updating it for today's audience. From the solid rhythm section to the searing guitar tracks and harmonies, FTU is a band that demands to be played loud. Their debut self-titled release (issued in April 2010 – note by reviewer) is a collection of hard hitting, raw, original material from start to finish and is a great introduction to the FTU sound. Wanting to continue where they left off with FTU I, the boys went back into the studio in 2010 to work on their next vision, pushing themselves in the process to create an even harder hitting album of guitar and riff driven music, further honing their “FTU” sound in the process. After two hard years of work in the bowels of their Ottawa based studio, FTU completed their sophomore effort simply entitled FTU II, and released it for public consumption in late 2012. Truly a step forward in production and musical creativity, FTU II pays homage to the bands they all grew up with. Fans will undoubtedly hear influences from NWoBHM to the usual Canadian Rock suspects.”

When listening to the album for the first time, one cannot suppress the feeling of being blown away by the sheer catchy power that's caught within the 10 tracks on this album. I mean, this is definitely Classic Rock with a modern twist, but one can also see things from a different side, namely a comparison to bands which, at the time, were ahead of things. In that perspective, I cannot help myself from first thinking of Canadian act Moxy, and late '70s-era Riot comes next! Don't ask me where I got that feeling, it's something I cannot explain, as both bands had a slightly different take on Heavy Rock music after all. Let's just say it's the innovative impact that does it, okay? Now, although the bio above talks about riff-driven Hard Rock music, it has to be said that what puts the icing on the cake, is actually the solo passages in between those riffs, or in intros. And in the “Music” section at the band's website, you'll find a threesome of songs (“Sweetwater”, “The Truth” and the album opening “Aletheia”) which are perfect examples of this axiom! No icing without a cherry, and in the case FTU, that comes with the harmonic backing vocals atop of the powerful and warm lead vocals! Damn me...I should've checked further for the band members' antecedents when I had the chance to (I'm now sitting at home, where I have no Internet – a conscious choice, because with all my personal interests, I wouldn't be able to drag myself away from the pc to go to sleep after a day's worth of researches)! I mean, Sean Potvin is a name not at all unfamiliar to me.

Ah well, next time perhaps! I mean, the band is already considering returning to the studio in 2014 (God, I hope that was a mistake, and that the band in fact intends to deliver its next album in that year?). The guys did promise to play a few select shows in promotion of the album (in fact, for a band wanting to bring Rock to Rock fans, this band plays an abominable amount of gigs), and have already found some of the songs on the new album given airplay on some very successful online radio stations. As far as I am concerned, this band deserves airplay on the national radio stations! It's like what Annie M. Dunrobin from Ontario wrote the band (see also the band's bio) : “listening to Fast Train Union on my way to work is like having a shot of Tequila first thing in the morning!”. En conclusion: here's a band worth waking up with and dragging you through the day! I wouldn't recommend playing their music before going to bed, because the high-energy tunes will for sure keep you out of your sleep! Year-list material folks, so crank open those “Best Albums Of 2012”-lists, and incorporate this cracking good album in there!