The combination of grunge and progressively oriented metal may theoretically sound like a bad idea on paper, but in practice it works. Well, it works for Fair To Midland (I can think of other artists who failed miserably, but this is not about them). What Fair To Midland have successfully done on Arrows & Anchors is they have taken the best from progressively oriented metal and the best from grunge rock and alternative metal and combined them into a crunchy crisp modern sounding heavy and groovy type of rock-metal with kick-ass written all over it.
The best thing about this album is the riffage which is always solid. Sime riffs are heavy, some are groovy, some are melodic, some are simple and some are complex – but they are always executed with great perfection. The choruses are a close contender to the the-best-thing-about-this-album title, because they are melodic and catchy the way choruses should be.
There is a lot of variation on this release, with tracks combining modern metal elements with 90s alternative rock, melancholic art pop/rock, nu metal, hard rock and 70s prog rock elements, and there is even a tune that features banjo and fiddle, while another tune sounds inspired by Jethro Tull. So, yes, there are a lot of influences here, but Fair To Midland stitch all the elements together into a mostly accessible type of progressive alternative metal, which strikes me as being quite original and innovative.
If you like modern alternative metal with an injection of groovy heaviness, progressiveness and humorous madness, then Arrows & Anchors should be right up your alley.
1. Heavens to Murgatroyd
2. Whiskey and Ritalin
3. Musical Chairs (listen on Facebook)
5. Amarillo Sleeps on my Pillow
6. A Loophole in Limbo
7. Typhoid Mary Sends her Best
8. Short Haired Tornado
9. The Upset at Bailey Bridge
10. Rikki Tikki Tavi
11. Golden Parachutes
12. Bright Bulbs and Sharp Tools
13. Coppertank Island
14. Three Foolproof Ways to Buy the Farm
15. The Greener Grass