“Planet Silver Screen” is the sophomore release by Nevada trio Four Stroke Baron. It’s an interesting mash up of metal, prog, and new wave, with a healthy sprinkling of 2000s alt-pop. From the opening track “Cut”, it was coming off with a completely different sound than is suddenly thrust upon you with the title track right after.
The album altogether is a bit disjointed sounding. Like a doll stuffed full, but the sewing job isn’t the best and it’s a bit patchwork. While the instruments on the album are quite good, the vocals get lost in the reverb at times. Particularly on the track “Neon Person”, where it’s rather hard to even understand what is being said. The vocals really only work for me on “Duplex”, which is slowed down and more ambient in the instrumentation. It takes on a more ethereal quality then with the amount of reverb. While Jorgen Munkeby from Shining is a nice jazz saxophonist, it doesn’t mesh as nicely as I wished it would have on the last track “Video Maniacs”. One does not simply put a saxophone solo in the middle of a pop metal song. At least the second solo has a chance to shine with no pounding instruments behind it.
It’s a big sound for a second album from Four Stroke Baron. To me, it comes off that they are still trying to find their particular sound. While swinging between prog and metal seems rather easy, adding those elements of new wave and pop makes it a bit harder. The production also comes off as “all in or nothing”. It’s a sound that teenager me in 2005-2006, during that ever-infamous emo phase every millennial went through, would have adored. The sound is something along the lines of if Gojira, Ghost, and Arcade Fire decided to collaborate. Which is either a compliment or an insult, depending on your view on Arcade Fire.
2. Planet Silver Screen
3. Neon Person
4. Machine and Joy
5. A Matter of Seconds
6. 7th of July
7. Cyborg Pt II The City
9. Video Maniacs ft Jorgen Munkeby
Label: Prothetic Records
Release Date: November 9, 2018
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