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Fair To Midland – Arrows And Anchors Award winner

Fair To Midland
Arrows And Anchors
by Shir Sharon at 08 December 2011, 5:10 PM

I remember word travelling about this band a few years back mainly because they were signed in Serj Tankian's independent label, and being the huge SYSTEM OF A DOWN fan that I was back then I remember checking them out with great enthusiasm and I remember liking them a lot but for some reason their music never stuck with me.

When I was given the opportunity to review their new album titled "Arrows and Anchors" I thought it would be a great opportunity to give this band another go. To my great satisfaction this turned out be a very smart decision because this album is no doubt one of the best I've heard this year. It's so good that I failed to realize how is it possible that I didn't fall in love with them when I first heard them back in the day.

There is no better way for me to describe the songs on this album than cosmic balls of energy. Each song explodes in your face with enchanting guitar riffs, an ever so energetic rhythm section, keys that provide amazing atmospheric layers to the mix and on top of it all conducts Darroh, which is one of the most versatile vocalists I have ever heard as he has a wide range of clean vocal styles but also a unique harsh style (which unfortunately is only properly demonstrated in one song). With all the commotion that's going on you just can't stay immune to FAIR TO MIDLAND's magic.

FAIR TO MIDLAND's style is most easily branded as Alternative Rock though they are far more experimental and daring then most bands in that musical environment. One thing that will definitely please Metal fans is that unlike the music in their previous releases this album has a fair share of Metallic moments. The only song in this album that is Metal in it's entirely is the bombastic song "Rikki Tikki Tavi", which is also the only song in which Darroh uses his harsh vocals throughout most of it. Nevertheless, almost every other song on the album has its shares of Metallic touch.

At first I was worried about the amount of songs on this album because I found that many albums that have over ten songs tend to have at least a single filler or two in them but this wasn't the case in this one. Each song has its own twist and direction and even the three musical intervals that can be found here are embedded perfectly into the album and contribute to the overall sense of adventure.

The lyrics on this album are at very high standards and they were all written with a healthy portion of wits and humor. However, some of the songs' themes were a bit too ambiguous for me to understand, I gathered that they were meant to be opened for interpretation but I am certain that Darroh has a very specific intention in each song. My suggestion to those who are into lyrics like me to try and delve into them and see what they can find.

This is definitely an amazing album and I strongly recommend buying it to those who bare an open mind, I know I am going to enjoy it a lot in the near future and I will be eagerly anticipating for their next releases.

4 Star Rating

1. Heavens to Murgatroyd
2. Whiskey & Ritalin
3. Musical Chairs
4. Uh-Oh
5. Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow
6. A Loophole in Limbo
7. Typhoid Mary Sends Her Best
8. Short-Haired Tornado
9. The Upset at Bailey Bridge
10. Rikki Tikki Tavi
11. Golden Parachutes”
12. “Bright Bulbs & Sharp Tools
13. Coppertank Island
14. Three Foolproof Ways to Buy the Farm
15. The Greener Grass
Matt Langley– Keys / Electronics
Cliff Campbell– Guitars
Darroh Sudderth –Vocals
Jon Dicken – Bass
Brett Stowers- Drums
Record Label: Season Of Mist Records


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