Fables From A Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True review by Fair to Midland

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  • Released: Apr 24, 2007
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (63 votes)
Fair to Midland: Fables From A Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True

Sound — 9
Fair To Midland has been around since 1998, but didn't get much attention from the mightiest of the world, releasing their records independently. With their third full-length it seems the band's underrated period is finally over. Fables From A Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True is recorded on Serjical Strike label headed by System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian. It fact they are the first band to be singed to the record label. Fair To Midland are fusing so many influences and styles in their music, it's hard to compare them to anything in particular. The band has difficulties defining their music genre themselves, describing it as something that's cohesive, intensely focused, and in a bold new category all it's own. While bombing drums by Brett Stowers and distorted guitars by Cliff Campbell are here for the dynamic effect, piano by Matt Langley varies the music a lot and adds a melodic component to it. Fair To Midland creates the intense by blending aggressive with sensitive, violent with delicate and diluting it with hardcore breakdowns. They flavor the music with almost imperceptible electronics, which accomplishes the band's unique sound. Produced by David Bottrill (Tool, Peter Gabriel), the record carries a certain influence of Bottrill with a few Tool-like elements in it. The guys have recorded about 17 tracks for the CD, only 11 of which made it through, thus there are no filler material on the album. Two of the tracks -- Kyla Cries Cologne and Seafarer's Knot are borrowed from the band's The Drawn and Quartered EP, released earlier on Serjical Strike label.

Lyrics — 9
Fables From A Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True will give you something to think about. The band tells philosophical stories, using rare words and interesting metaphors. They are questioning things like Are the birds of a feather that clever? Of course there are songs on the same trite subject everybody gets inspiration from -- love. But they are very well-written -- something you can quote in a love-letter to your girlfriend without feeling stupid. Darroh Sudderth has a very strong voice. He sounds great both in a loud soaring roar and in a quiet soft singing. Sudderth claims he tries a bit of everything in his vocals and he pays a lot attention to how he's doing it. The result turns out to sound very professional. He was a bassist originally, but the band couldn't find a singer, so Sudderth had no choice but to try himself in singing. Ironically what seemed like a desperate situation, turned out really good. Sudderth's carrying the duties of the vocalist better than anybody and can as well compete with the greatest rock singers.

Overall Impression — 9
Even though it's only their third LP in almost ten years, it's obvious the guys didn't waste time. They say the band wasn't any good for the first five years. Well, the rest of the time has surely been very fruitful. Their musical force is very strong and unique in a way of being solid. The name of the third album sounds a bit awkward, but that is probably the only disappointing moment about the whole CD. Though the album sounds very organic, all the songs are different and there's something to remember about each track. There are no catchy melodies, but Fair To Midland still find a way to make you remember the song. You have to give the album a few careful listens and it'll grow on you. The music is pretty complicated and quite unusual; I'd advise you to listen to the album is headphones as it demands your full attention.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Just did a quick run through. The last 5 songs were completely revolutionary. The Guitarist and bassist work together like they can read each others thoughts. The musics not my style but I cant help but love it. Good stuff.
    I just bought it but havent listened to it. I have heard tall tale once. I guess I bought it on instinct.
    P-Bass Pirate
    ^ how did it get on the radio if it's such a bad song? i personally like it, and i have the whole cd.
    I think its funny how everyone says "dance of the manatee is awesome" when its the only song on the radio, and possibly the worst song on the cd.
    Incredible band, First new band ive heard in a long time thats worth listening to, and for a side note, Co/Ca Rules.
    great cd, darrohs voice is insane. very original sounding. Walls of Jericho is probably my favorite song, but the whole cd is good
    These guys are amazing. Everyone is amazing at what they do. And for all the blind idiots, concept bands (Fair to Midland, Coheed and Cambria) tend to have long names of their albums. You'd have to know more about the band to actually understand.
    steve vai82
    This is one of the best albums i've heard in awhile. They are so incredibly unique, that they are a very welcomed breath of fresh air in an overly commercialistic music industry. I could see them being popular too, I actually think their melodies are very catchy, but their lyrics are not easily grasped. They work in the confines of the music industry and do the steps, but never sacrafice their artistic integrity.
    I went to the cd release party in dallas and got it for free AND Cliff signed it for me.
    very cool cd. I love "Walls of Jericho." I need to listen to it more, seeing it's been out for only a day, but it's shaping up to be a great record.
    saw this band live at coachella this year, and they were great. walls of jericho is by far my favorite song, and not just because serj from soad sang it with them. no doubt im buyin the cd whenever i see it
    From what I've heard so far I really like the album. Darroh Sudderth has a great voice and the guitar is really good. Dance of the manatee is a really cool song.
    See: Coheed and Cambria.
    XD +1 I really want to check this album out, but i'm currently addicted to ERA VULGARIS by QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
    Idiot Pineapple
    Schizopathic wrote: i've heard a couple of the songs of this album, and they are quite good...but geez! I can't get past the name of the album, it's long, but really it's just "childish", i guess would be a properly fitting word...i dunno
    See: Coheed and Cambria. I really like these guys. I actually first heard of them from an earlier article on this site. Their album is worth the money.
    i've heard a couple of the songs of this album, and they are quite good...but geez! I can't get past the name of the album, it's long, but really it's just "childish", i guess would be a properly fitting word...i dunno
    i will buy it if i see it somewhere but i doubt i will see it
    This band is very talented, i love thier music, his voice is utterly amazing.