Fair To Midland: Arrows & Anchors

Fair To Midland is not your typical alternative metal band. The Texas natives include keyboards, a mandolin and even a banjo. Before last year’s worldwide deal with E1 Music, the gang was signed to Serjical Strike, Serj Tankian’s record label. Arrows & Anchors is their fourth studio offering.

The short, church-themed intro “Heavens To Murgatroyed” starts out the disc. The following track, “Whiskey & Ritalin,” is easily the best song on the album. It is a solid all-around effort from the band, as Darroh Sudderth’s voice compliments Cliff Campbell’s striking guitar riffs, while the keys of Matt Langley push the song over the top. The first official single off the CD, “Musical Chairs,” is a punishing, uplifting track.

Darroh shows he can hit the high notes on “Uh-Oh.” It’s a bit toned down compared to others, though the chorus is certainly noteworthy. The mix of instruments featured on “A Loophole In Limbo” make up yet another impressive song. Unfortunately, two of the next three tunes, “Typhoid Mary Sends Her Best” and “The Upset At Bailey Bridge,” are less than one minute each. “Short Haired Tornado” once again features dynamic guitars and that truly makes this a respectable track. The sound effects on the 13th listing, “Coppertank Island,” remind me of a few songs by the Swedish metal band Sonic Syndicate.

This album really impressed me. It’s not the heaviest metal album out there, but Arrows & Anchors contains many songs that are really remarkable. I will definitely start paying more attention to these guys following this inspiring release.

In A Word: Great