Four Stroke Baron records are like the gifts that keep giving. Their last outing (Which you can read all about by clicking here) was Prog perfection and their upcoming record which collects a slew of diverse and new covers as well as re-recorded versions of songs which originally appeared on King Radio is similarly a godsend.
But I digress.
“Lunatic Fringe” originally by Red Rider is frelling awesome, okay? Put through a Four Stroke Baron filter, though, and it’s downright magical, transcendent even. Like Peter Gabriel or Yes taking on the track, Four Stroke Baron transport us to a place where RNRF was born in that Streets Of Fire kind of fantasy land where Rawk and Prog marry and have all the most glorious of babies.
Remember Tones On Tail? Of course you do! That one hit they did, “Go!”, was everywhere! Well, Four Stroke Baron decided NOT to do that one. Instead we get “Burning Skies” (From Weird Pop, also featuring Go!”) which fits the FSB mold perfectly. And what covers collection would be complete without some sort of ode to The Beatles? Here, listeners get a hyper stomp through “Mean Mr Mustard” from Abbey Road, propelled by drummer Matt Vallarino’s monolithic pounding.
But wait! Four Stroke Baron do contemporary just as well with CHVRCHES’ “Lungs” getting a heavy throttling from the trio while Post Malone’s “Broken Whiskey Glass” gets electrified and Godzilla-sized as this massive jam session towards its’ conclusion crushes all. Speaking of crushing it, vocalist Kirk Witt triumphs when tackling some tricky cadences with this ditty as well as during their take on Death Grips’ “Why a Bitch Gotta Lie”.
If you didn’t know the first half were covers then Monoqueen comes off as one cohesive, and really fuckin’ solid Four Stroke Baron album as it melts into the next half focusing on King Radio. Hell, it IS a solid album regardless of that fact.
But I digress. For a second time.
“Vacant Planet” is like Back To The Future-style Planet Silver Screen meaning that it’s like Marty McFly going back and introducing the RAWK before the world was ready. In this case, though, Marty went back and jammed “Tom Sawyer” instead of “Johnny B. Goode” at “The Enchantment Under the Sea” dance.
Keegan Ferrari’s bass battering meshing with Vallarino’s drums provide a unique counterpoint to Witt’s glistening croon on “Lowly Argonaut” while “Sleep Flood” easily lays the groundwork for what would materialize in Planet Silver Screen. Wrapping it all up, the aptly-titled “A Sound of Thunder” is loud and luxurious, chugging along as it accentuates the Prog peaks the band has developed since King Radio was originally released in 2015.
Monoqueen arrives via Prosthetic Records on September 25th. Pre-orders are available now and can be purchased by clicking here or here. For more on Four Stroke Baron, follow them across ye olde information superhighway by clicking here, here, or here.