Prong In-depth Biography
Rising out of the expansive early '90s thrash metal landscape, New York's Prong} carved a niche all their own with their minimalist urban take on the genre. After years working as a soundman at New York's CBGB}'s Tommy Victor} (vocals/guitars) drafted doorman Mike Kirkland} (bass) and ex-Swans} drummer Ted Parsons} to form Prong} in the mid 80s. The trio's early independent releases -- Primitive Origins} and Force Fed} -- were extremely raw and betrayed their hardcore roots. By the time the group signed with Epic} for 1990's Beg to Differ} though, Victor} and company had transformed into a highly-technical thrash metal outfit, shelling out clinical staccato riffs and start-stop rhythms peppered with subtle melodies and occasional bursts of speed. The album's title track was a minor hit, helping to put the band on the map once it received regular exposure on MTV}'s Headbanger's Ball.
Ex-Flotsam and Jetsam} bassist Troy Gregory} replaced Kirkland} for 1991's Prove You Wrong} -- which featured another strong single in "Unconditional"} -- but was essentially a creative holding pattern and lost some of the band's momentum. Gregory} was soon ousted and supplanted by two ex-Killing Joke} and Murder Inc.} members in bassist Paul Raven} and keyboard player John Bechdel} for 1994's Cleansing}. Containing arguably their best work, the album saw a slight change of direction towards a more industrial sound, with Victor's} precise riffing making way for a greater sense of groove and melody. It did little to increase the group's commercial appeal, however. Prong} would disband following 1996's less inspired Rude Awakening}. Parsons} then went on to join British industrialists Godflesh} while Victor} toured with goth-punks Danzig}, but rumors persist of an eventual Prong} reunion. ~ Ed Rivadavia, All Music Guide