Release Date: Mar 31, 2015
Record label: Steamhammer
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Industrial Metal
With their major-label days behind them -- and being compiled on faceless sets like Playlist: The Very Best of -- industrial-metal veterans Prong have come to the "all-covers album" phase of their career, but Songs from the Black Hole sure ain't a clampdown. This power trio is just too agitated and interesting for anything such, with their selections ranging from Bad Brains (a wicked "Banned in DC") to Killing Joke (a fairly faithful tribute with "Seeing Red"), and most represent some kind of musical influence. Neil Young is the oddball surprise but "Cortez the Killer" here is a brilliant drift into space, floating somewhere between the planets of Monster Magnet and Hawkwind.
This collection of mostly punk covers serves in part as a musical autobiography of the three-piece outfit Prong: a manifesto of their sonic and attitudinal influences over the years. Kicking off with a full-throttle rampage through Discharge’s Doomsday, the scene is set: lots of über-fast drumming from Art Cruz, and muscly guitars and vocals that veer between the reasonably tuneful and instant-shouty distress calls. Goofy’s Concern, originally by Butthole Surfers, is given a much more aggressive edge than the original, while Hüsker Dü’s Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely gets a hefty, more metallic reworking.
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..