Coming off their debut album for Prosthetic Records with Planet Silver Screen; Four Stroke Baron began unleashing a series of covers singles that ultimately collected into Monoqueen’. Monoqueen collects the covers series as well as ads in several re-recordings from the bands earlier King Radio album.
The covers were all very different odd deep cut picks, in fact I didn’t realize most were covers until their rendition of the Beatles “Mean Mr Mustard” dropped. Putting their own stamp on reinterpreting these songs, you’d imagine there’s very little resemblance to a lot of the original songs, although the only song I felt was somewhat faithful to the original was Tom Cochrane’s old band Red Rider with “Lunatic Fringe.”
My lack of familiarity with the original tunes here actually helped me enjoy more what I was hearing, outside of 2 songs I can’t say I’ve heard any of these songs by CHVRCHES, Tones on Tails, Post Malone or Death Grips in a bid that will hopefully help me retain my Metal and Hardcore credibility. Anyways, considering the varying genres they’re pulling from here, it’s refreshing that each one of these covers brings a different variation on their style and “Lungs,” “Why A Bitch Gotta Lie” and “Broken Whiskey Glass” have really cool vibes to them.
If you wanted to hear the band in their natural glory, the inclusion of select cuts from their King Radio album really fleshed this EP out. I’ll have to point out how refreshing it is how the band manages to have an identity without giving into trends, and that’s something the metal genre needs, MORE INDIVIDUALITY. “Gone” intros you to the ‘King Nothing’ portion right into ‘Vacant Planet.”
While the band is hard to pigeonhole “Lowly Argonaut” seems to have a lot of Devin Townsend-like fingerprints, while the sweeping a-tonal guitar lead in “Sleepy Flood” is like a sweet melody to the ears. “A Sound of Thunder” closes out the album in more of a heavier direct sound, fleshing out what could’ve been just a small collection of covers into a more thought out collective album.
Overall while this could easily come off as a compilation, it certainly shouldn’t be ignored as it shows the band carving out a unique style for themselves with an ability to put their stamp on anything and make it their own.
Notable Tracks: Sleepy Flood, Lunatic Fringe, Lungs, Why a Bitch Gotta Lie