Fair To Midland – Arrows And Anchors Review

Fair To Midland - Arrows And Anchors

Fair To Midland – Arrows And Anchors

2011’s Arrows And Anchors is the fourth full-length studio album (and second major label one) by the American Progressive band Fair To Midland. It was produced by Joe Baressi (Coheed & Cambria, Isis, Clutch, QOTSA). The band are notable for their previous association with Serj Tankian.

The band’s sound is a quirky mixture of occasional bouncy metal sections, progressive rock spirit and a general Alternative Rock sound. The vocals are primarily either soft and high pitched, or Maynard James Keenan influenced, with a few shouty sections here and there and keys are effortlessly blended throughout.

Musically, there are a mixture of heavy and quiet, fast and slow tracks, some synths and keys blended into a dynamic set of rock songs, with a lot of stop-start structures and some very interesting lyrics. The songs appear compact and easily digestible enough at first glance, but hide a surprisingly high standard of musicianship and creativity that unveils itself further on each listen. They really know how to pack a lot of colour and detail into a small space of time.

If you are a fan of bands like Coheed And Cambria, The Butterfly Effect, The Dear Hunter, A Perfect Circle, Dredge, Cog, The Mayan Factor, Karnivool, Soen, 3, Rishloo, My Morning Jacket, Protest The Hero or Dead Letter Circus then this is a band that may really excite you.

Album highlights include the absolutely fabulous ‘Short Haired Tornado,’ the bouncy ‘Whiskey & Ritalin,’ as well as the interesting ‘Amarillo Sleeps On My Pillow’ and the album’s heaviest track ‘Rikki Tikki Tavi.’ If you are wondering whether or not the band or the album are for you, check out those songs.

Overall; Arrows And Anchors is a fabulously enjoyable record, with a great sense of variety and a smooth logical flow, full of melodic and memorable tracks with a lot of character. The band have a great formula and mix different elements together well into a cohesive and interesting whole. If you generally like the sort of post-millennial Progressive-meets-Alternative Rock (New Prog, Art Rock etc) sound, then this is definitely an album for you. I highly, highly recommend this album.

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