Arrows & Anchors

Album Review of Arrows & Anchors by Fair to Midland.

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Arrows & Anchors

Fair to Midland

Arrows & Anchors by Fair to Midland

Release Date: Jul 12, 2011
Record label: Entertainment One Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal

78 Music Critic Score
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Arrows & Anchors - Very Good, Based on 5 Critics

Sputnikmusic - 90
Based on rating 4.5/5
90

Review Summary: This is what listening to a bands "magnum opus" sounds like. MaybeIt’s hard to not qualify the greatness that is Arrows and Anchors; nearly every thing done here can be so, so, so easily traced back to El Cielo and Catch Without Arms. Yeah, it’s heavier as a general rule, and while Darroh Sudderth may have more range than Gavin Hayes has ever had, his vocals still serve the same incredibly melodic and soothing function.

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Rock Sound - 80
Based on rating 8/10
80

Four years in the making, this one's a bit of a beast... It’s been a four-year wait for Fair To Midland’s fourth album – and the Texans have used the time to build a beast. The beauty of their sound is its unpredictability: fragments of rock, metal, folk, punk and pop collide and smash, creating Frankenstein monsters that spark into life and chase you down.

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Revolver - 70
Based on rating 3.5/5
70

This restless Texas prog-metal outfit, best known as the former protégés of Serj Tankian (and the best Tool-aping act since Chevelle), have yet to make an epic game-changer of an album, but Arrows & Anchors, their fourth, comes close. Sprawling and ornery and darker than anything else they’ve done, it’s a fulminating mass of Brooklyn hipster rumination (“Short-Haired Tornado”), mouth-breathing thrash (“Rikki Tikki Tavi”), and random instrumentals. The most interesting track here is the very weird “Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow,” a mash-up of prog, country, and hard rock as awkward as it is awesome.

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AllMusic - 70
Based on rating 7/10
70

On Fair to Midland's fourth full-length effort, and their debut for Entertainment One, the Texas prog metal quintet up their musical ante considerably. Given the four years that elapsed between Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True, Fair to Midland have taken their root-hooky, heavy, and immediate sound and shifted its focus considerably. Arrows & Anchors' 15 tracks clock in at nearly 55 minutes, with only one cut -- ten-minute closer "The Greener Grass" -- being over five minutes in length.

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Alternative Press
Their review was unenthusiastic

The fourth album by Texas prog-rockers Fair to Midland is undoubtedly their heaviest, often times to a fault. Over the course of these 15 songs, the quintet’s main focus seems to be radio-rock fare a la Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace (“Heavens To Murgatroyd,” “A Loophole In Limbo”) instead of the progressive, inventive instrumentation that puts them miles beyond anything jocked by local modern-rock DJs. There’s always been a heavier influence in the band’s music, but on Arrows & Anchors, their ambitious desires to step outside the genre box often get bogged down in a sea of down-tuned guitar and maudlin lyrics.

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