Fair To Midland - Arrows & Anchors review



Reviewer:
N/A

109 users:
8.33
Band: Fair To Midland
Album: Arrows & Anchors
Release date: July 2011


01. Heavens To Murgatroyd
02. Whiskey & Ritalin
03. Musical Chairs
04. Uh-Oh
05. Amarillo Sleeps On My Pillow
06. A Loophole In Limbo
07. Typhoid Mary Sends Her Best
08. Short-Haired Tornado
09. 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
16. Pour The Coal To 'Er [bonus]


If you like prog, no sorry, if you like any melodic metal then Arrows & Anchors has been waiting for you. Fair To Midland is a band who brings a perfectly large variety of styles, moods, and textures but that's not important. What's important is just how damn good it all is.

Apparently Fair To Midland has been around since 1998 and Arrows & Anchors is their fourth full-length album. Questions such as, "Why have I not heard of Fair To Midland before?" and, "Where have you been all my life?" are swirling around my head.

They released their previous album and EP on Serjical Strike records (ran by System Of A Down mainman Serj Tankian) and did some pretty impressive touring and festival gigs with him. After what looks like several years on the road, the band released their pent up emotions in the form of this beautiful new album.

These are some damn beautiful songs with aching harmonies and a permeating darkness throughout… but I hesitate to focus on that. What I remember when I think of this album is how fun it was, even darkly whimsical at times. Without sacrificing an ounce of sincerity, this album makes me smile.

Musically, the instrumentation is quite heavy while still making accommodations for everything from dreamier, rock-like styles all the way to some pretty hard hitting extreme moments. Of course the vocals are wonderful; singer Darroh Sudderth is responsible for many of the texture changes himself as he is able to subtly bring the extremes of both power and tenderness to his instrument.

If you've already been following Fair To Midland then you're one step ahead of me. If not, then congratulations, you've just been introduced to something great.


 



Written on 01.10.2011 by Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.

Twitter: @HeavyMetalSusan


Comments

Comments: 24   Visited by: 254 users
01.10.2011 - 02:07
Claus
Wow, this review is SO positive. I'm going to have to check them out!
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01.10.2011 - 03:17
jhook
I got their last album and it sounded good but for some reason i couldnt get into it
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01.10.2011 - 04:11
Introspekrieg
Totemic Lust
Really good album, I love how almost all the lyrics are figures-of-speech

Good addition, very nice and positive review for a deserving album!
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01.10.2011 - 04:13
Edmund Fogg
One of those right place at the right time kind of moments. Been in a prog mood for the past month or so. Will sure give them a try. thanks for the discovery
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You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
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01.10.2011 - 04:40
Ag Fox
Angel No More
*thumbs up* on both the review and the album
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loves 小巫
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01.10.2011 - 04:56
Jason W.
Razorbliss
Nice review. After checking out their songs on FB, it's not something for me, but certainly recommended for those who'd like the idea of progressive and System Of A Down mixed together ("Rikki Tikki Tavi" for sure). It's quite accessible too, fun, and has a great production. Cool stuff, I'll keep it in mind for those who I know who'd be into it
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"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
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01.10.2011 - 05:15
Susan
Smeghead
Written by Jason W. on 01.10.2011 at 04:56

Nice review. After checking out their songs on FB, it's not something for me, but certainly recommended for those who'd like the idea of progressive and System Of A Down mixed together ("Rikki Tikki Tavi" for sure). It's quite accessible too, fun, and has a great production. Cool stuff, I'll keep it in mind for those who I know who'd be into it


Thanks! I'd like to clarify though, not knowing which clips are on FB and which aren't, that Rikki Tikki Tavi is not like any other song on this album, not by a long shot. It illustrates their range but definitely stands out a bit on the album (though not in a bad way at all). Other than that track I don't hear anything System-y, and they are no longer on Serj's label.
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"A life all mine
Is what I choose
At the end of my days"
--The Gathering "A Life All Mine" from Souvenirs
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01.10.2011 - 06:25
BenWasHere
Where has this been all my life
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01.10.2011 - 06:29
Edmund Fogg
Listening to The Greener Grass right now. A really beautifull and well constructed song. Some transitions are a bit sketchy, but they integrate so many different elements it would be inhuman to have silky smooth progression. Music worth listening to in the dark with headphones on.
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You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
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01.10.2011 - 07:49
Introspekrieg
Totemic Lust
Written by Susan on 01.10.2011 at 05:15

Written by Jason W. on 01.10.2011 at 04:56

Nice review. After checking out their songs on FB, it's not something for me, but certainly recommended for those who'd like the idea of progressive and System Of A Down mixed together ("Rikki Tikki Tavi" for sure). It's quite accessible too, fun, and has a great production. Cool stuff, I'll keep it in mind for those who I know who'd be into it


Thanks! I'd like to clarify though, not knowing which clips are on FB and which aren't, that Rikki Tikki Tavi is not like any other song on this album, not by a long shot. It illustrates their range but definitely stands out a bit on the album (though not in a bad way at all). Other than that track I don't hear anything System-y, and they are no longer on Serj's label.


Yeah Rikki Tikki Tavi is probably the reason I would give this a 9 and not a 10. It is an older song of theirs that they decided to plop in the middle of this album, kind of ruins the flow...
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01.10.2011 - 10:26
silenius
Okey, just got my hands on it and its pewpew mega amazing! Spot on review aswell. Fuck im gonna be listening to this for a loong time^^
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01.10.2011 - 11:50
BloodTears
ANA-thema
This album is a beast Really huge surprise that I found out about this one a while ago.

"Rikki Tikki Tavi" is my favourite song on the album, hands down.

The review is great btw. Passionate! People need to listen to this craziness.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
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01.10.2011 - 13:21
Risto
Wandering Midget
Fables from a Mayfly wasn't really my thing... no wonder "Dance of the Manatee" got that radio airplay though.

EDIT: Right... this band has seriously grown up. Some very good songs in there!
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01.10.2011 - 13:43
Merchant of Doom
Great surprise... the album has some fillers (not many), but overall it's pretty consistent. Great tunes. Best track "Short-haired Tornado"... reminds me of Dredg, "Catch Without Arms" era...
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03.10.2011 - 18:49
MeloDeathViking
I only have Fable From a Mayfly, which I used to really like, but haven't listened to in a while. I'll have to go back and give that a listen and then check this one out. I knew it was released, but have been very hesitant to get it. There seems to be a lot of positive feedback from members that I usually trust for recommendations, so it looks like I'll probably end up checking this one out!
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"I am not superstitious, but I'm a little 'stitious." - Michael Scott
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05.10.2011 - 23:25
neonxaos
This is an ASTOUNDING piece of work. I don't even know where to begin. I need to give it many more spins.
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06.10.2011 - 00:17
Daniell
_爱情_
Your great review made me check out this band. There is some seriously crazy stuff going on in some songs. Highly recommended to anyone who is into bands that stand a bit apart.
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Now loving:
Naglfar - I Am Vengeance
Hour of Penance - Cast the First Stone
Hate - Indestructible Pillar
Depeche Mode - Going Backwards
Flotsam & Jetsam - Forbidden Territories
Immolation - When the Jackals Come
Suffocation - Your Last Breaths
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06.10.2011 - 11:39
R'Vannith
ghedengi
Written by Daniell on 06.10.2011 at 00:17

Your great review made me check out this band. There is some seriously crazy stuff going on in some songs. Highly recommended to anyone who is into bands that stand a bit apart.


That's exactly how I'd describe them, a unique band flying in the face of convention, some really interesting twists and turns on this album.
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07.10.2011 - 02:44
neonxaos
I have listened to this album ten times in a row today. That has never happened before. This is one of the best things I have ever heard in my entire life.
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14.01.2012 - 18:03
Darkside Momo
Retired
Some great tunes in there. Really catchy, maybe dark but so uplifting!
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"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
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29.01.2012 - 21:50
LordFezzington
Lost To Apathy
Having just listened to this again (and re-realising how much fun it is!), the only proper thing to do was to come back here and thank Lyrinan for the recommendation! Ta muchly.
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"Pay no heed to anyone and do what seems right to yourself." - Franz Kafka, The Trial
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12.03.2012 - 19:59
ChampionOfPower
This band performs live as well as anyone I've seen. Great to see them getting some notice.
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12.03.2012 - 22:38
Druss
I absolutely love this album, beat all the other progressive releases of last year by a country mile for me (though I admit I normally don't like progressive metal). Like the reviewer said, its overall just fun and whimsical, and for me has some of the best lyrics I've ever heard, both full of meaning and amibigious enough for a listener to inject personal meaning.
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28.11.2012 - 19:28
R Lewis
That Useless Guy
I discovered them only because of your review. Thank You a lot for writing this
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We could be so much more than we are. Stop.
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