Prong, that name certainly rings a bell and seems to have for several decades. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen ‘em live, and I’m not even 100% sure I’ve actually heard any of their songs before. But that’s ok, because no one has heard anything from them in the last 6 years anyway, so it’s probably a good thing to start fresh.
And holy fuck does it start fresh and a thrashing before kicking into a heavy ass-thumping groove! A minute in and this shit’s banging with a quick shredding solo to spin us back around into the second verse. So much to take in here, riff after riff, thumping rhythm after thumping rhythm. The Decent is a fucking descent into thrash madness. What a way to kick things off!
State of Emergency kicks off with a more pulled-back bouncing groove. It’s still heavy as fuck though and I think actually closer to what I do remember them sounding like sometime over the last 30 years or so when I may or may not have listened to them. I could be wrong though, and probably fucking am. Big track, and I’m enjoying this a little too much to take time to write this review.
I love myself a good artificial harmonic and Breaking Point instantly batters me with them, over and over again. This one’s got a bit more of a hardcore feel to it, both traditional and modern if those are even a thing. It’s also got a bit of a Machine Head sound, but maybe my brain is just taking me there due to all those harmonics. Anyway, my brain just got taken another way with a crushing guitar solo.
This next one has an interesting start and sounds like it’s about to become some kind of heavy pop song. And it kind of does, if that’s even possible. I mean, it’s not Nickelback, but it’s rocking and catchy. Still heavy as fuck though, which seems to be a bit of a theme on this album. It’s called Non-Existence, and I’m going to pretend this review doesn’t exist while I kick back and enjoy it.
Just for transparency, I should probably let you all know that I stopped this album review just short of half-way to pop into a rehearsal for one of the grand total of two gigs I’m playing this year between my two bands. And while that sounds like somewhat of an effort, it’s only about a 30ft walk into my rehearsal room, yet somehow it took me 3 days to walk that 30ft back into my office and complete this review.
So here we are, and I am up to track 5 which is titled Light Turns Black and opens like some kind of traditional hardcore anthem with some hefty shouts followed by a simple heavy groove. If only it had gang vocals in the choruses, it’d be textbook Brooklyn Hardcore. That groove though, it just keeps dragging me back in.
Who Told Me kicks in with a very similar groove as the band seems to have found its footings for the album. It does pick up pace a little though and becomes more of a trash number throughout the verses. The track shifts around a little with tempo and groove between hardcore bounce and thrash stylings. It’s actually quite an interesting mix that works for the most part.
Next up is Obeisance with its very gentle intro which is swiftly followed by some massive slow chugging guitars, a quick little thrash riff and then some more slow heavy chugs. Prong do not seem scared to experiment as the chorus kicks into a more melodic passage complete with some mildly clean vocal harmonies. And in case you were wondering obeisance means deferential respect, whatever the fuck that means. And yes, I had to google it while that song bored me a little bit.
Wow, this one’s a little different and Disconnected from the rest of the album. It’s like some kind of weird pop-punk song or something. I patiently wait for it to get heavy, but it just doesn’t get there. To be honest, I’ve heard heavier Foo Fighters songs.
Thankfully the next track is more Compliant with the earlier heavy grooves of the album. Well kinda, for a minute or so before it gets harmoniously anthemic. Not in a catchy chorus kinda way, it just sounds big. Maybe it’s the weird rain sound effect in the background that made me turn it down to check if it was actually raining. Turns out it’s not. Not a bad track, but not my favourite so far.
Back (NYC) takes the album back to the earlier hardcore vibes while still maintaining the elements of thrash crossover. This track is the resting bitch face of the album with a simplistic formula of groove mixed with a bit of trash. It even has a bit of a ripper guitar solo in the guts to make it a little more interesting. Quite an enjoyable dirty little number.
And here we are, I finally made it after 3 days. It’s the last track, and it’s titled Working Man. Calm down all you fucking “play some Barnsey” nuts, I said working man, not working class man. While not that song, and not even close to as good as that song, it’s quite literally a song about a working man. Obviously Blue Collar, because it’s nothing really special until it picks up the pace a little and busts into a number of thrash riffs which eventually turns into some dicky little jazz solo, followed by some kind of attempt to recreate the proclaimed brilliance of Rush. It didn’t quite get there, but let’s be honest, contrary to the progressive gatekeepers, neither did Rush.
Well, that was somewhat of an adventure. It started off strong and dipped back in and out of its heavy grooves and thrash crossovers, but it did lose me at a few points. Maybe because I took a 3-day break between listens and lost the continuity of the album.
I will be giving it a second listen in full though, because I did enjoy it. And I’d suggest you do the fucking same.
Well, at least give it one go!
*All reviews in HEAVY are just one person’s opinion of the album. We encourage honesty in reviews but just because our reviewer may or may not like/appreciate an album, that doesn’t mean their opinion is right! We encourage you to have a listen for yourself and make up your own minds!*