Four Stroke Baron score a direct hit with their latest prog power punch, "Khera" - Knotfest
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Four Stroke Baron score a direct hit with their latest prog power punch, “Khera”

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in Culture on September 15, 2021

Earning the cosign and mixing assist of Devin Townsend, the dynamic duo are challenging the norms of their category and doing what few can – make prog fun again.

While much has been made about the kind of cosign that comes with being mixed by prog purveyor Devin Townsend, the Reno duo of Kirk Witt and Matt Vallarino as Four Stroke Baron continue to show their prowess among the genre’s most exciting, emerging names with a sound all their own.

Staring down the October 1st arrival date of their Prosthetic Records release Classics, the band is intent on doing just that – crafting a product that not only soothes their creative itch, but comprises of songs that far outlast any trend in the spectrum of heavy music. It’s that approach that has resulted in a succession of singles from the album that have arguably broadened the boundaries of an already forward-thinking subcategory and could certainly be attributed to what compelled Townsend to get involved in mixing the album.

The album’s introductory single in “Friday Knight” is a dynamic show of skill that plays out with the kind of fluidity of a heavyweight prize fighter. Functioning surgically with it’s implementation of punchy song structure and swift, seamless transitions, the cut manages to keep the listener guessing at what’s coming next with each segment of the track complementing the preceding.

The album’s follow-up single in “Sundowner” established an almost celebratory tone in a track that not only commands the respect in its technical execution, but translates as especially impressive in it’s nuanced groove. Simply put, the band manage to make prog fun – no easy feat. When was the last time anyone could say that?

For the latest offering from Classics, Four Stroke Baron continue their elevation of the genre with “Khera”. A masterfully measured meld of big melody interspersed with fits of frenetic energy that again, hit like well-timed uppercuts. Kirk Witt’s vocal performance is massive, arena-sized and serves well in accenting the kind of gargantuan sound that plays out in the nearly five-minute barrage.

For the band’s latest visual, we find Krik and Matt sequestered in Purgatory watching music videos of themselves in a stylish, single shot video that despite it’s lack of action, still resonates as incredibly and somehow fitting of such an epic track. Kirk Witt explains, “I murdered Matt after he beat me at Monopoly, and that same night I was strangled to death in a casino parking lot. We’re now forced to produce and watch our own music videos continuously in a very comfortable purgatory.

Though the hallmark of prog has always been anchored in technicality, Four Stroke Baron piece together the kind of compositions that satiate the snobs of the genre while still entertaining the casuals. Checking off the boxes in terms of proficiency, power, and precision – the Reno, Nevada duo are implementing an element of entertainment and fun that is rarely associated with the sound, making them truly progressive.

Check the Knotfest premiere of Four Stroke Baron’s latest, “Khera” below. Classics arrives October 1st via Prosthetic Records and can be pre-ordered – HERE

Catch Four Stroke Baron live supporting Sarah Longfield throughout the month of November. For dates and tickets, visit the band online – HERE


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