Having stripped back to a duo, Kirk Witt and Matt Vallarino, AKA Four Stroke Baron, have just dropped their brilliant new album, Classics, through Prosthetic Records.

Produced by the legendary Devin Townsend, the album sees the pair casting an eye over the human condition as they take the listener into the darkest corners of their twisted minds with tales from the filthiest folds in the dark underbelly of Reno, Nevada. To find out more about the inspiration behind these stories, we got the duo to give us a track-by-track rundown.

1. “Radium”

“This is the only song that doesn’t have a specific story, it is us starting the album with confrontation directed toward the listener (do you even waltz?). We write our lyrics to be addressed directly to the person listening. It’s asking if you can keep up. Then, after we beat you, we serenade you with a guitar solo.”

2. “Rolling Gloom 1999”

“This song is about people who ride your coattails and leech off of your success. “Epicurean online knowledge” is for people who don’t have any real-world ability or insight, but rather get all of their taste and social credit via online trends that they did not create themselves. Their life is like glitter—looks shiny and awesome but the only thing it actually does is stick everywhere, and it’s hard to get rid of.”

3. “Khera”

“‘Khera’ is a story about a guy and a girl who are on a date, going for a pleasure cruise. The weather starts to turn to absolute shit, and the guy crashes the car, killing them both. After his death, he is trapped in purgatory where he has to live the car crash over and over, watching his girlfriend die repeatedly. Although, he starts to suspect he may be alive and in a mental institution, prescribed lithium and reliving the moment all on his own.”

4. “Prostitute Pt. II: Pretty Woman (Makes Money)”

“This song is a celebration of women, told through the lens of a guy who is a sex-addicted coke fiend. This guy thinks he is the greatest thing that has ever happened to women and eventually falls deeply in love with a stripper. He tries to convince her to steal a car and run away with him, but she can see right through him. She steals the car for herself and takes all of his money and drugs.”

Artwork for ‘Classics’ by Four Stroke Baron

5. “13 Steps to Stockton”

“We were in Stockton, sleeping in a Wal-Mart parking lot while on tour once. There was this homeless person screaming literally all night. As in from midnight-5 AM. This song is what we imagined was going through their head.”

6. “G.O!”

“This song is about a world-class race car driver, and before the most important race of his life he ends up partying too much. He drives the race drunk and crashes his car. He wakes up from a coma and is all of a sudden a super boring person with a normal life in the suburbs, and he’s not sure if he was ever actually a race car driver or if he imagined the whole thing. He’s convinced the only way to escape this new boring life is by killing himself.”

7. “Friday Knight”

“This song is about a high school kid who is invited to a party, but he’s told it’s a costume party. He shows up in a knight costume with a sword, and it turns out it was just a regular party and everyone laughs at him because he looks like an idiot. He ends up killing everyone at the party with his sword, and escapes the scene to go drink alone by himself.”

8. “Coast of Barbary”

“‘Coast of Barbary’ takes place in the 1920s, at an underground bare-knuckle boxing match in a bar in San Francisco. The song is about an older fighter who is out of his prime, and feeling his age. He ends up winning the boxing match, and reflects on how it’s funny when he beats the living shit out of somebody when he doesn’t even know who they are.”

9. “Sundowner”

“‘Sundowner’ is about taking a bunch of acid and walking through a casino, when a robbery happens. The protagonist can’t figure out if it’s actually happening or not and tries to keep himself composed… he ends up escaping the casino and tells himself that next time something like that happens he’ll be just fine.”

10. “Russian Thought Experiment”

“The band NXOV collaborated with us for this song, wrote the intro piano line and did the Russian vocals at the very end. It is about a sleeper agent that was kidnapped by Russians. He wakes up in a tub of ice in a Russian compound and is unable to understand what any of them are saying. The monologue in Russian at the end is the action key that activates the sleeper agent and makes him perform any deed they want.”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.