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Fair To Midland
The Drawn And Quartered EP
Serjical Strike/Universal Republic Records
www.fairtomidland.com


Dallas, Texas' modern rock quintet Fair To Midland is whetting audiences' appetites with their four song EP The Drawn And Quartered, released by System Of A Down's lead singer Serj Tankian's label Serjical Strike. There is a seriousness in Fair To Midland's songs that crosses paths with heavy metal bands like Opeth and Machine Head, but there is also a prog-rock gravity in the piano overtones doddering alongside modern rock theatrics that corresponds to artists like Evanescence, 30 Seconds To Mars, and Flyleaf. The EP walks the line between modern hard rock and heavy metal and accomplishes its task of whetting peoples' appetites for wanting more from Fair To Midland.

The first two tracks, "Orphan Anthem '86" and "Kyla Cries Cologne" are produced by Mitch Lerner and show the band's wings for prog-rock altitudes with tunneling jet streams of guitar shreds and seething foliages of repeating rhythms. The vocals resonate and scream alternately as the gravity in the music notes reach demonic proportions. There is so much going on in these melodic phrases that each chord series has its own dimensions and character, and yet, when everything comes together it forms one cohesive paradigm. Each song has a lot going on in its page, yet, the album sticks to telling one concentric story. "Kyla Cries Cologne" maintains ballistic guitar shreds reciprocating the high toned piano jitters as the heat from the clinching vocals set the melodic lines ablaze. There is so much seriousness in the vocal registers and music paragraphs that it draws the listener into its recessed coves.

The final two tracks are done live, "A Seafarer's Knot" and "Abigail." These numbers corroborate gingerly latticed piano undertones with funnels of dramatic spires in the rhythm sections. "A Seafarer's Knot" is fringed by segments of careening pick slides and echoing bell chimes which add to the song's intensity. The classic piano quavers and low-keyed guitar vibrations continue on "Abigail" while smoky vocal rings hover over the modern hard rock phrases. The lyrical content is as intense as the music using symbolism to portray the scenes in the songs like in "Kyla Cries Cologne", with images like "Bound by the salt not your earth" and "The hat mocks the rabbit while the bee stings the shark." The lyrics have a personal meaning and are open to individual interpretation based on the listener's own translation of these images.

The Drawn And The Quartered's executive producer Serj Tankian is banking on a band whose passion shows in the gravity of their musical notes. Band members Darroh Sudderth (vocals), Cliff Campbell (guitar), Jon Dicken (bass), Matt Langley (keyboards, piano), and Brett Stowers (drums) have put together a sample of what they have to offer in their music with The Drawn And Quartered, and it's enough to pique audiences' interest in wanting to hear more from them.

-Susan Frances

Track listing:
1. Orphan Anthem '86
2. Kyla Cries Cologne
3. A Seafarer's Knot
4. Abigail


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