Prong: Reissues

NYC chugcore kings revisited

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One of the bands that made the early 90s such an exciting and unpredictable time in the evolution of heavy music, Prong did more than most to propagate the notion that muscular grooves were the antidote to post-thrash anxiety.

Snarling and spitting somewhere between the industrial thump of Ministry and Helmet’s lissom syncopation, the New Yorkers’ sound was already precise and refined on their 1990 breakthrough, Beg To Differ [7], which, despite an impoverished drum sound, still kicks like a rabid mule.

1991’s, Prove You Wrong [7] upped the band’s energy levels and raised their hook quotient, but it was the pulverising major label ambush of Cleansing [8] that cemented Prong’s reputation. Thanks to Tommy Victor’s arsenal of riffs and the dancefloor-friendly potential of anthems like Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck, it encapsulated so much of what was great about the era’s spirit of cross-pollination.

Remarkably, 1996’s Rude Awakening [8] was even better, the trio’s hard-as-nails riff attack bolstered by a fatter sound and a thrumming core of righteous rage. All four albums are worth revisiting, not least as a thrillingly noisy reminder of a decade that wasn’t entirely ruined by posturing berks in baseball caps.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.