Sunday Old School: Prong
Band Photo: Prong (?)
CBGB's may well be known as one of the most famous clubs in the world, having been home to many bands from The Ramones to Agnostic Front, but it's staff has plenty of connections to music too, not least of which was the club's sound man Tommy Victor and doorman Mike Kirkland, who would soon form their own band, Prong. Prong was completed a few months after Victor and Kirkland (Vocals/guitar and bass respectively) began jamming together when the band recruited former Swans drummer Ted Parsons. Having essentially being born from the best place for hardcore in New York, it's no surprise that the early Prong material was very much rooted in the genre. Following their debut released, the EP "Primitive Origins" and the full length, "Force Fed," the band were able to secure a major label deal when they signed with CBS Records for their next release, "Beg To Differ." The album was a critical smash, earning rave reviews from big name publications like Rolling Stone and the praise continued even after Kirkland left the band was replaced by Flotsam And Jetsam bassist Troy Gregory, when Prong released their third full length album, "Prove You Wrong," which featured an almost bizarre cover of the punk classic "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)" by The Stranglers.
"Prove You Wrong" also featured the band's first experimentation with electronic sounds such as sampling and programming, a feature which was to be expanded upon on the next album, "Cleansing," which was released in 1994. With a sound more grounded in industrial metal and Pantera producer Terry Date behind the mixing board, the record proved to be hit, containing such fan favourites as "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" (which was used by Extreme Championship Wrestling as the theme for the wrestler, Justin Credible) and "Broken Peace." The album also garnered Prong support slots on some major tours, including supporting Sepultura on their "Chaos A.D." tour, and performing with Pantera who were celebrating the release of their number one album, "Far Beyond Driven."
The group was to see mixed fortunes come their way two years later, when they released "Rude Awakening," which proved to be their highest charting album, reaching number 74 after selling over 10,000 units. Despite this figure, Epic Records decided that this sum was far too low and decided to drop the band a mere three weeks after the record's release. The decision decimated Prong and played a major role in their decision to disband weeks before a tour supporting Type O Negative was due to kick off. The split found Victor becoming the new guitarist for Danzig and saw the other two members, Ted Parsons and drummer Paul Raven joining British industrial metal outfit Godflesh. Prong was not to rest for too long however, as Victor decided to resurrect the band with a new lineup in 2000, which resulted in the group's first live album, "100% Live," as well as a brand new studio album, "Scorpio Rising," which was released in 2003. The comeback appeared to receive mixed responses as, while fans were happy to see the band back, they felt their new music was not to the standard of their old material.
Prong then seemed to once again disappear after releasing a two disc DVD, "The Vault" in 2005, when both Victor and Raven became members of industrial metal legends, Ministry, performing on the "Rio Grande Blood" and "The Last Sucker" albums, as well as touring as part of the group (though Raven was to be replaced by Tony Campos, who is now a member of Prong.) Despite their commitments to Ministry, Victor found the time to record another Prong album, "Power Of The Damager," which was released in 2007 and was followed by a remix of the album, "Power Of The Damn Mixxer" two years later. After Ministry called it a day in 2008, Prong seemed to be back on a permanent basis, achieving supporting slots for such big name acts as Soulfly and Fear Factory, as well as announcing that they were at work on a new studio album. Although it was recently revealed that Victor and Campos will be taking part in the reformed version of Ministry, a new album from Prong looks to still be on it's way, which will feature Al Jourgensen serving in the role of producer, though the release date for the record is still unknown.
Prong - "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck"
Prong - "Close The Door"
Prong - "Beg To Differ"
Prong - "Power Of The Damager"
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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