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Prong: Songs From The Black Hole

Lower East Side alt.metal vets pay tribute to their heroes – with some treats.

Employed as CBGB’s soundman in the mid-80s, Tommy Victor had a thorough grounding in punk rock, metal and hardcore long before he put together hard-driving NYC crossover trio Prong.

An undeniably sincere salute to bands who helped shape his own group’s sound – Killing Joke, Sisters Of Mercy, Hüsker Dü, Butthole Surfers and Black Flag among them – Songs From The Black Hole is unlikely to mean much to anyone not already dialled in to Prong’s gnarled, existentialist world view, but it’s difficult to begrudge them this indulgence.

Not everything works – Prong’s brutish power isn’t best-suited to the more nimble post-hardcore stylings of Fugazi’s Give Me The Cure or the soaring melodicism of Grant Hart’s Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely – but Victor’s brooding, sparse take on Neil Young’s Cortez The Killer is a surprise treat, displaying a hitherto unseen sensitivity./o:p

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Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.