Fair to Midland - Fables from a mayfly: what I tell you three times is true
Dallas quintet and masters of the mood, Fair to Midland, have outdone themselves with this album, 'Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times is True'.
This album can only be described as breathtakingly aggressive, electric while all the while being atmospheric and one of the most impressive albums to come form the states. These guys are masters of fusing together sounds, vocals and lyrics with overwhelming levels of energy to create an album jam packed with hits.
This is one of those albums where if you think that by reading a title you are going to know what the song is probably written about you would be wrong. You can probably count on one hand the number of times the title of a track is actually used within the lyrics. The words that form the lyrics are artistically put together by lead man Darroh Sudderth, and are some the most unusual you'll hear. 'Vice/Versa' comprises of lyrics like "You oughta be ashamed to trade in your heirlooms/For an all day black market parade/For a grand prize a slap in the face for you" which along with "Tell me, tell me a story/ Tell me not to worry, or pick up the phone/So turning, turning a deaf ear/So that I don't hear them throwing stone" from 'Tall Tales Taste Like Sour grapes', which roll of the tongue like a ballad, are just some of the impressive lyrical terms these guys can create.
The smooth, reliable, steady vocals are constant throughout much of the album; with the addition of devilish sounds in 'Dance of the Manatee'. Vocals get a little poppy rock and country on 'The Wife, The Kids and The White Picket Fence', but on all accounts the most impressive vocals are the mystical and floating voices of 'Say When'.
The contrasting dark and light elements in the first single 'Dance of the Manatee' are just one example of the creative aspects present. The patter of rolling keys is a great introduction to 'Kyla Cries Cologne' especially when met by dark guitar and drums, the spiral of sounds, including church bells meet 'A Seafarer's Knot' perfectly and the wobbly background is an interesting touch to ' Walls of Jericho'. The presence of strings on this number as well as 'Tall Tales Taste Like Sour Grapes' in which when combined with keys will easily fool listeners into thinking this is going to be some type of gentle ballad – you must be kidding. The most outstanding number on the album is the concluding track 'Say When'. With its tingling opening, rolling drums, instrumental quiver, vibrations of guitars and basically chock-full of sounds, it's by all means the most creative track this album has to offer, especially with the shuddering at the end.