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Fair To Midland - Fables From A Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True

Fair To Midland, Fables From A Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

NEVER mind the lengthy title, Fair To Midland’s Fables From A Mayfly is a fairly generic rocker in spite of the image-heavy lyrics.

Recorded with art-rock super-producer David Bottrill (Tool, Muse, Peter Gabriel), the album is billed as stretching Fair To Midland’s sound even further into the aggression and atmospherics at their core, while taking their inherent gift for melody to new levels. It’s difficult to see how.

The Dallas quintet’s sound is firmly rooted in that of bands like Funeral For A Friend, Tool and System of A Down – drifting between the bone-crunchingly heavy and the radio-friendly melodic.

Former hit single Dance Of The Manatee provides an early highlight, mixing tempos with apparent glee, and layering some subtle piano work amid the powerhouse riffs. While Kyla Cries Cologne gets underway amid a flurry of swirling electronica before introducing the thunderous guitars.

Vice/Versa is another that benefits from a greater sense of melody, allowing the intricate storytelling to really be heard.

But in the main Fair To Midland tend to employ the same approach to a lot of their songs and the album eventually becomes a little tepid. A more interesting experiment might be to strip down the songs completely and give them an acoustic backdrop, where the depth of the storytelling might best be appreciated.

As things stand, they flatter to deceive somewhat by aspiring to be something much more original than they really are.

Download picks: Dance of The Manatee, Wife, The Kids And The White Picket Fence

Track listing:

  1. Dance of the Manatee
  2. Kyla Cries Cologne
  3. Vice/Versa
  4. Wife, The Kids, And the White Picket Fence
  5. April Fools and Eggmen
  6. Seafarer’s Knot
  7. Wolf Descends Upon the Spanish Sahara
  8. Walls of Jericho
  9. Tall Tales Taste Liek Sour Grapes
  10. Upgrade/Brigade
  11. (When the Bough Breaks) Say When