Music News

Fair to Midland

Texas-based Fair to Midland isn't beginning its climb up the ladder of success on the bottom rung, and Serj Tankian is the reason. The System of a Down frontman has signed the combo to his Serjikal Strike imprint and is listed as the executive producer on The Drawn and Quartered EP, a disc intended to whet tastemakers' appetites for a full-length due in April. Unfortunately, the four songs here don't leap off the plastic. Two demos, "Orphan Anthem '86" and "Kyla Cries Cologne," merely hint at the dynamic turns and shifting textures that distinguish System, while "A Seafarer's Knot" and "Abigail," which were captured live, sound like fairly typical modern-rock fare. Granted, lead singer Darroh Sudderth's voice has an interesting timbre, and Tool producer David Bottrill, who's overseeing the quartet's major-label debut, will no doubt get the best from the other bandmembers. Right now, though, it's too soon to say if FTM (appearing with Dir En Grey and Bleed the Dream) will be able to climb higher than the spot they're starting from.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts