Review Summary: If you enjoy modern rock music of any kind, Fables from a Mayfly is sure to earn your hard earned money.
While playing drums in a local metal band I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Fair to Midland on two occasions. At the time of the first show I was only freshly made aware of their existence so I had little familiarity with their music. However, by the time the second gig came around a few months later I had become captivated by this band’s brand of progressive/alternative rock. As clearly displayed on Fables from a Mayfly, Fair to Midland’s music is so rich and rewarding even your grandparents would have a hard time finding things to dislike.
Instead of taking on the technical versus accessible balancing act or squeezing their talent into a cookie-cutter radio rock mold; Fair to Midland focus their efforts on reconciling the creativity of each member so as to shape a diverse yet unified style. Fair to Midland don’t beat around the bush with their music. Their strength lies in crafting dense, hook-driven walls of sound that will stick in the listener’s brain like a bad idea and the way they accomplish this will push all the right buttons for any fan of rock music.
That isn’t to say that these guys are a one trick pony, though. As previously mentioned, each member has varied musical tastes and the listener is treated to the fruits of that lush diversity here. Gargantuan guitar riffs are married with soaring keyboard melodies, dazzling vocals mesh seamlessly with horn raising, head banging choruses and mellow drum grooves will often pave the way for it all. The astute listener will also find that Fables from a Mayfly is more nuanced then it may initially suggest as nearly every passage features layers of textural sounds to appreciate thanks to Matt Langley's work on the keys. While the level of exploration here may not be enough to appease those with a chronic itch for odd-time signatures, the expert blending of the band’s different elements keeps Fables from a Mayfly interesting without needing to wander instrumentally or explore directions that would otherwise mar the consistency of the experience.
Though formulaic on the surface, each song on Fables from a Mayfly is memorable and stands strong on its own merits. Thanks to superb instrumentation, clever songwriting and Darroh’s awe-inspiring vocal skill, rockers the world over will find little to complain about as this record spins for months at a time in their format of choice. Buy it and go to a live show for the best possible experience; Fair to Midland are not to be missed.