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Fair To Midland

Crossover Prog

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Fair To Midland The Drawn and Quartered EP album cover
2.26 | 4 ratings | 1 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Orphan Anthem '86 (Demo, 5:04)
2. Kyla Cries Cologne (Demo, 3:01)
3. A Seafarer's Knot (Live, 4:55)
4. Abigail (Live, 3:11)

Total Time 16:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Darroh Sudderth / Vocals
- Clifford Campbell / Guitars
- Jon Dicken / Bass
- Matthew Langley / Keyboards
- Brett Stowers / Drums & Percussion

Thanks to p0mt3 for the addition
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Buy FAIR TO MIDLAND The Drawn and Quartered EP Music

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Fables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times is TrueFables From a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times is True
Republic 2007
$3.99 (used)
Arrows And AnchorsArrows And Anchors
Metal/Entertainment One 2011
$6.80 (used)
Drawn & QuarteredDrawn & Quartered
INDIE 2015
$1.99 (used)
Fair To Midland - Arrows & Anchors [Japan CD] VICP-64993Fair To Midland - Arrows & Anchors [Japan CD] VICP-64993
Victor Japan
$21.08 (used)

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FAIR TO MIDLAND The Drawn and Quartered EP ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FAIR TO MIDLAND The Drawn and Quartered EP reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars Fair to Midland are an interesting story; five guys coming out of some jerkwater semi-rural northeast Texas town, discovered by System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian and signed to his Serjical Strike label then breaking into the Billboard Top-200 with their major label debut ‘Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True’ including the striking "Dance of the Manatee" and the very musically mature "Walls of Jericho". The band has two previous studio albums to their credit; 2004’s ‘inter.funda.stifle’ which features early versions of several songs later released on ‘Fables’, and the 2001 independent release ‘The Carbon Copy Silver Lining’ which I haven’t heard and is difficult to find but whose artwork and song titles look an awful lot like something a math rock band might put out (“Pen-_-“, “..(i)..”, “-The Beltway-“, “See, Saw”).

This EP was technically their first major label release, also issued on Serjical Strike in 2006 and featuring five songs (four actually, plus a video that includes pieces of live performances, brief interviews and snippets of fan interactions). Two of the audio tracks are demo versions and two are live; all of them are also found in other forms on the ‘inter.funda.stifle’ CD. From a production standpoint I’ve heard better: the studio versions here are somewhat flat, and the band clearly improved their delivery and sound separation skills between when these demos were recorded and the ‘Fables’ release. Lead singer Darroh Sudderth shows promise here, but nothing approaching his tight and soaring shrieks on the 2007 album.

The live versions are even rougher, with plenty of sound dropouts and a muddled, sometimes almost echoing rhythm section. I’m sure these were much better received by the folks actually at the concert in which they were recorded.

The packaging here is a bit strange too; all the audio tracks are in Windows movie format, which will make ripping the thing to your mp3 player a bit challenging depending on what type of software you have to do that. And the liner notes are just as cryptic and nonsensical as those on ‘Fables’ (in other words, random snippets from the various lyric tracks).

As much as I loved ‘Fables’ I’m starting to wonder a bit about the staying power of these guys. In the past five years they’ve released two studio albums and this EP, but two of the songs on this EP ("Kyla Cries Cologne" and “A Seafarer’s Knot”) also appear on both their full-length CDs (albeit different recordings), and the other two songs here (“Orphan Anthem ‘86” and “Abigail”) are also on ‘inter.funda.stifle’. In the case of "Kyla Cries Cologne" not only the arrangement but also the lyrics are slightly different, but its still the same song.

The band is supposed to have a new studio album out in early 2010, and assuming that one doesn’t include outtakes or leftovers from any of these other records then there may be some hope; otherwise I’d say the band may be relegated to the post-grunge and fair circuit before long.

This is a curio for collectors and fans of the band, but certainly not a very good representation of what they are capable of, and definitely not very highly recommended as an introduction to the group. Check out ‘Fables’ first and leave this one to whet your whistle in the inevitable delay between their 2010 release and whatever follows that. Two stars.


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