Oh, how I miss the wit and, apparently, prophetic wisdom of Zac Crain, the Dallas Observer´s former and delightfully caustic music scribe, who in 2002 described Fair to Midland as being so derivative that even the degree to which it sucked depended on what other shitty band it was aping at the time. Four years later, the Dallas-based quintet is touring in support of its first major-label release, Fables of a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True, having been signed to System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian´s vanity imprint (wait for it), Serjical Strike Records. Give the man a gold star. But while Fables isn´t the triumph of mimicry that Crain might have envisioned, it´s still a highly schizophrenic album. Indeed, there are maybe four or five bands residing in Fair to Midland´s collective subconscious, each propelled by lead singer Darroh Sudderth´s decidedly formidable pipes. Were it only that the transition among those genre-specific personalities weren´t so jarring, people wouldn´t give the band such shit. It´s not enough to have mastered the intricacies of prog rock and metal if you´re not able to deftly shift from one to the other. But if you like your genres thrown at you at warp speed, this is the band for you.
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