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FAIR TO MIDLAND
'The Drawn and Quartered EP'
RATING: 7/10

By GREG MAKI

It’s easy to see why Fair to Midland appeals to System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian, who signed the Sulphur Springs, Texas, quintet to his Serjical Strike imprint in April 2006. Thankfully, FTM will never be accused of sounding like SOAD, but they have a similar eclectic, genre-hopping approach to their music. The Drawn and Quartered EP, the band’s first national release, showcases a sound that is equal parts prog and garage rock, with hints of metal in the guitars and Coldplay in the keyboards. Only four songs are included (two demos and two live recordings—the original versions appear on FTM’s 2004 independent release inter.funda.stifle), the highlight being “Kyla Cries Cologne” with its effective blend of crunchy guitars and hypnotic keys. The disc also includes a 12-minute video featuring interviews and live footage. If this EP is truly representative of the band, I want to hear more. FTM’s initial full-length release for Serjical Strike is due later this year.