EP REVIEW: The Prize Fighter Inferno – Stray Bullets

Release Date: July 10th 2020
Label: Evil Ink Records
Website: None available
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Rarely do a conceptually driven band take their vision so far that it even pops up in solo work and side-projects. Coheed & Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez, the mastermind behind the world in which their work inhabits, keeps their intricate storyline going for his outlet, The Prize Fighter Inferno.

If you’re unaware of The Amory Wars at this point, good luck catching up now. We’re eight albums, several comics, and a novelisation in, but for those of you looking for an admittedly inadequate summary; it’s a bit like Star Wars, but bloodier and proggier.

Thankfully, if that particular lore mountain is a smidgen too high to climb for you, it’s still possible to enjoy The Prize Fighter Inferno‘s new EP, ‘Stray Bullets’. Sure, the project name is taken from a character in Sanchez‘s sci-fi epic, but it doesn’t stop good music being good.

A mish-mash of folk and electronica always seems like it should be the unholiest of unions (and it really can be a hot mess), but in the hands of Sanchez, it thankfully works out. ‘Stray Bullets’ in its entirety comes across as the folk love ballads of the futuristic realm in which they’re set.

The titular track features another familiar face: Coheed & Cambria‘s drummer Josh Eppard under the guise of his alter-ego, Weerd Science. He’s put the sticks down to lend his rapping ability to the song, which shows a relationship on the rocks, pre kiss-and-make-up, where instead one is out to straight up kill the other. “Tumultuous” doesn’t really cover it.

‘Crazy For You’ has an animalistic rhythm interwoven with synthetic screeches and Sanchez‘s over auto-tuned, breathy whispers. ‘More Than Love’ continues the apocalyptical romance trend, except now, it’s disco time. The different sonic vibes suits the different message too. If you weren’t aware of the overarching concept, this would come across as very… clingy, but at least the couple may have worked things out.

As an addition to the Coheed & Cambria tale, ‘Stray Bullets’ is a nice offshoot, one that only came to be due to the coronavirus pandemic putting the band’s next full-length effort on halt. But more importantly, this EP can stand on its own two feet as a record about the most dysfunctional of relationships set to the most unconventional of soundtracks.