Prong – Scorpio Rising
Prong is; Tommy Victor on vocals and guitar, Dan Laudo playing drums, and second guitarist Monte Pittman. Prong has long been established (1986), but I only came to realize their existence a few years ago when I heard a friend playing one of their songs. The song was “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” from the 1994 album “Cleansing.” This song’s video was a favorite on Headbanger’s Ball along with their other video “Broken Peace.” Even after hearing a song of theirs and liking it, I was too stubborn to pursue any of their other music. My mistake. Their newest album release is Scorpio Rising and it is a good one. Without further stall…
Stall, wait a little fucking minute. I have to explain what I am doing in this piece. We always have to be trying something new at MusicIncider. Mainstream press likes to rip us off all the fucking time. Did anyone see The Devil in Dave Matthews. It was really fucking cute that that idea came out after my Vai piece. -So we are trying something new. Prong has been around for a while now, and I am just -uhh- a few years older than Chris Grube. My perpective is for the old school fucker who knows that a mosh pit used to be called slam dancing and you USED to wrap barbed wire around your boots before you got into the pit. That’s the kid of guy Tommy Victor is. His vocals are raw and melodic on Scorpio Rising. He is Jesus fucking Christ. I saw The Passion. Tommy makes fucking torture beautiful.
He makes me want to slap a priest.
1. Detached: This song has a solid guitar riff and heavy sound to it. I like that. Instrumentally the song is a great success, but the vocals are trash. Don’t think I’m bashing all of the vocals on this album, just the vocals on this particular song sound out of tune to me. Not a bad start for the album though. Ahh, Grube my little bastard. I have to disagree on this one. The vocals are SUPPOSED to be trash. The title of the song is DETACHED. The hero in this song is Detached from everything. You ever feel out of sync with the rest of the world? I do. Still, I undertand that is signifies some kind of spiritual journey and a sort of Soul Sickness (good title for a song huh?).
2. All Knowing Force: More badass heavy guitar riffs. You can never go wrong with a heavy distorted riff. Great drum work in this song also. I’m a firm believer that the difference between a good drummer and a great drummer can absolutely make or destroy a song. The vocals are still a little odd to me as the chorus sounds out of tune. This is Punk. Try to tell me this is not a weird ass thing like God Save the Queen-which I have been known to do musical arrangements of when I AM DRINKING. My bet is Victor wrote this one when he still had orange hair like Johnny Rotten.
3. Embrace The Depth: Beginning with a quicker tempo than the previous two. It rolls it’s way into, yet another, solid set of distorted guitar riffs. I never get tired of a good clean riff. The vocals are on par this time, they sound great and work well with the tune and pace of the song. This song holds more melody, a nice change up from the previous two songs. This one reminds me of good acid, and how a good trip plumbs the depth of your soul. All those whiny bitches out there try to sing about suicide and the death of God like Morrison. Prong delivers a song worthy and poetic like Moonlight Drive with this one.
4. Reactive Mind: Two words: Hard core. Stomp beats, hard riffs, and melodic vocals… What more can you ask for? A great mix that makes for a ‘pleasant to my ears’ song. The guitar work in this particular song screams of great skill. This is a song that tells you about the core of the soul. Every being on the face of the fucking planet has instinct. Where does instinct come from? Don’t you want Jesus to tell you?
5. Regal: Terrible track for the first half. It sounds like an attempt at thrash/death metal. The drum sets sound as if a toddler played them and the guitars are simply repetitive. There is a killer guitar solo half way into the song followed by a bad ass heavy and quick tempo guitar ensemble. From there on out the song redeems itself. A 5 on a scale of 1-10. Pomp and circumstance is repetitive. When you graduate, they play the same fucking melody line over and over again don’t they? Regal. It is ENTRANCE music. Everybody has to march on this one/
6. Inner Truth: The vocals on this track are different. I’m not sure if I like them or hate them. It sounds as if he’s in some sort of bowel pain in some parts of the song. The instrumentals are fair, nothing special. A pretty good guitar solo ensues nearing the end of the song and it’s worth keeping an ear open for. Bowel pain? I love you. It is supposed to be painful. The truth hurts. Monte plays guitar for Madonna and Prong-so he better not suck. This song is for old school Prong lovers.
7. Avoid Promises: Perhaps my favorite track off of the album. It’s a more melodic song and the vocals work perfectly with the beat of this song. The general tune of the song is catchy and keeps me moving in my chair. If you can get me moving in my chair you’ve made a great song. This song would make a great radio play tune. Sure, it would be great if Jesus made some money here. But fuck, Prong isn’t rich. Tommy has to go play bass for Danzig every couple of years.
8. Siriusly Emerging: Cool song. The lyrics are put forth with speed and the song keeps an up-paced tempo. Slightly more melody would do some greatness for this song and less repetitiveness would help ease the urge to change the song after the first two minutes, but it’s not a bad jam at all otherwise. See, I wonder if they have an English translator at Locomotive and if the title isn’t supposed to be Seriously Emerging. The track on our advance cd has seriously spelled just like this, and everytime we see it we wonder if it has some cool ass artsy thing and then later we find the shit spelled correctly. By the way Grube, they make the shit repetitive because they want it to stick in your head. It is a music mind control fucking thing. I know-you hate shit like that.
9. Assurances: A boring song basically. Nothing about it stands out to me, and everything about it is too bland. I know, but think about it. Assurances are boring. They are slow, and they mean nothing. Do you every believe anybody when they tell you it is going to be okay? This song fits in with the overall album concept. Musical variation. If they made sixteen songs that sounded alike, one would never stick out. No, this isn’t the radio friendly single-but it rounds this shit out nicely.
10. Out Of This Realm: Two in a row. Another boring track. The song clashes together into one big mess inside my head. I hear one part, then another, yet another, and they all sound the same to me. I like to be taken on a journey in each song and this song wants to take me in fucking circles. I hope this trend doesn’t continue through out the rest of the CD. I think this song does what it is supposed to do. You get a peek at the inside of Victor’s head on this track. Think about it. You can feel the circles. You can feel the clash. This song is almost like giving birth-The Scorpion Rises from another place.
11. Letter To A “Friend”: A fairly tame track. It‘s slow and mellow except through the chorus when the guitars distort and become slightly heavier. The vocals are well done and fairly melodic in some parts. Nearing the end of the song a nice instrumental ensues and a clean steady guitar beat repeats several times. Finally it comes to a slow end. A good track. Remember, Grube is a musician. He pays attention to instumentals, and that is a good thing. -What I love about this track is that it sound like he is actually writing a letter to somebody that has REALLY pissed him off. Probably an ex girlfriend.
12. Entrance Of The Eclipse: This song reminds me of ‘Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck’. It has that same style and similar beat. The guitars and even the way in which the lyrics are delivered remind me of it. I’d like to say that this song is a remake, or part II of ‘Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck’, but surely I’m wrong… Maybe not though. Either way, ‘Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck’ is a great song and so is this track. This one was the very best to me and the album could have easily stopped here.
13. Red Martial Workings: Not a bad song, but not a great song either. Average, for lack of better words. It didn’t initially appeal to my ear but towards the end it almost got catchy. See, I disagree with this one. This is sunrise. You can feel the reds, oranges, and pinks on the horizon crawling out of the complete void and blackness. It gets catchy when the sun has risen and beats down on the red hot desert.
14. Hidden Agendas: The instrumentals in this song kick ass, but the vocals fail. The vocals are a sad attempt at whatever the vocalist was going for. Unless he was going for shitty… If he was going for shitty, he hit the nail on the head. Minus the vocals, the song is strong and carries a solid beat that catches my eardrum on the way in one ear and catches my other eardrum on the way out. Towards the end of the song, the tempo settles down to a slower pace and finally ends the song on a long drawn out note that lasts for over a minute and a half. Nothing special after that. This one winds shit down and completes the ride. Trust no one, they are all out to crucify you. Not all vocals are meant to be pretty pretty. I liked the raw edge that Victor’s vocals put on this song.
Prong is promising indeed. They show good range in their music and excellent skill through out the entire CD. They range from heavy metal all the way to melodic songs from the heart. They certainly have paid their dues in the music business being they are still around from their initial formation in 1986. They aren’t quite mainstream yet, but I’m not sure I would say they ever would be. Perhaps they’re just taking their damn time getting there. They seem comfortable where they are now and I don’t blame them, they are doing well and make good music. They’re almost an acquired taste, but still seem to appeal to a large base. I see much greatness still to come for Prong and wish them the best, I certainly do enjoy most of the music I’ve heard from them so far.
I agree. I really fucking liked Scorpio Rising, and Prong deserves a fair shake in this business. My point in being in this article with Grube is we all have different opinions about what kicks ass. We all have different opinions about everything and that is what makes music live. I would love to hear a Prong album done by Rick Rubin out on the West coast. Yes, I think Scorpio Rising is important and belongs is your cd player.
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