Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is Trueby Fair to Midland
With multi-genre crossovers currently all the rage in the rock and alternative scenes, critics are left to fumble desperately about for labels. Fair to Midland make it tougher than most: neo-prog or prog-core anyone? In any event, after two self-released albums, the Texan cult heroes renowned for their explosive live shows signed to the Serjical Strike label, run by System of a Down's Serj Tankian, a band that Fair occasionally tries to emulate, and cemented the deal with 2006's The Drawn and Quartered EP. Demo versions of "Kyla Cries Cologne" and "A Seafarer's Knot" were featured on that disc but appear on the group's stunning full-length Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True in all their glory. Producer David Bottrill gives the band a well-deserved epic sound, reminiscent of the '70s with a big, clean style that highlights the group's virtuosity and their amazing dynamics. Those dynamics come instantly into play on the set's opening number and first single, "Dance of the Manatee," as the group shift from U2-ish swelling, chiming, guitar passages into thundering hard rock. Singer Darroh Suddereth follows suit, careening between alt rock to classic rock vocals, then down into the menacing growl of metalcore. And it's the bandmembers' amazing ability to adroitly shift styles on a dime that impresses, but not as much as their talent to sound phenomenal in them all. Check out the lovely Spanish guitars on "Vice/Versa," the piano arpeggios on "April Fools and Eggmen," the funky rhythm and swooping keyboards on "Walls of Jericho," the haunting atmosphere of "Say When," and the assaultive guitar attacks across the set for proof. That latter number pulls the band at times into C&W, "April Fools" juxtaposes a tinge of U.K. folk with modern metal, while "A Seafarer's Knot" arguably catches them at their proggy best. "The Wife, The Kids, And the White Picket Fence" displays the band at their most epic, as the group slide straight into rousing emo. Once upon a time the quintet may have been no more than fair to middling, but now they're successfully reaching for greatness.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsFair to Midland Primary Artist
Matt Langley Keyboards,Group Member
Claudio Vena Violin,Viola
Darroh Sudderth Vocals,Group Member
Cliff Campbell Guitar,Group Member
Jon Dicken Bass,Bass Guitar,Group Member
Brett Stowers Drums,Group Member
Matt Langley Keyboards
Technical CreditsDavid Bottrill Producer,Audio Production
Ian Bodzasi Engineer
Serj Tankian Executive Producer
Fair to Midland Composer
Darroh Sudderth Composer
James Riches Artwork
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This album is so good that almost all of the other cd's I own are now abandoned to the corner of my closet to collect dust, lol. One of very few cds I have ever owned that I am able to listen to beginning to end without feeling the need to skip over any songs. There really are no words I can find to adequately describe how amazing this band is.
One might heave a sigh of relief: here is a band that knows what they're doing. Fair to Midland has a sound quite unlike any other, which comes from being the middle-ground for the different tastes in music that the band members have, and some might say they've created a genre all their own. How does one compare? Unlike other drummers, Brett Stowers has broken free of those same old fillers, and indeed those same old beats, with something new. The bass and guitar, thanks to Jon Dicken and Cliff Campbell respectively, are nothing short of excellent and certainly never boring. And finally, there is someone who is capable of more than just pounding out chords on the keyboard. Matt Langley's skills take the keys to a whole new level, producing beautiful, flowing music. The lyrics are something new altogether. You're not going to hear the basic "she loves/hates/left me" type of song from Fair to Midland. No, their lyrics are much more interesting. They are poetic, they tell stories. And Darroh Sudderth brings them forth with an amazing set of vocals. "Fables From a Mayfly: What I tell you Three Times is True" has a variety of songs. From the heavier "Dance of the Manatee," through the story of suburban life in "The Wife, The Kids, and the White Picket Fence," to the beautiful slower-paced "Say When," every song's got something, whether it is the music itself, the lyrics, or just vocals you're into. Not to mention the hidden tracks, most of which are taken from their previous album "Inter.Funda.Stifle." that add that nice extra little something. So if you want something unique, something new that's not going to get old fast, something that's worth every penny you spend, then you would do well to buy "Fables from a Mayfly."
when i first got this CD, i admit, i was scepticle. I wasn't tuned into their sound, but after a few choice listens, i grew fond of their style. All in all their entire album is a masterpiece.