Over the course of twenty years, eight studio albums and one live offering, Prong has shared musicians with Swans, Danzig, Ministry, Killing Joke and, uh, Madonna. While copping to backing that last artist is probably a confession best left to the dance floor, consider that bassist Monte Pittman also provided guitar for former Spice Girl Mel C. Singer/whammy-bar enthusiast Tommy Victor is the only constant member. Like a defiant middle finger supported by lesser digits, Victor perfected the fusion of hardcore and thrash attempted by Dirty Rotten Imbeciles in the '80s. He brought enough sludge but didn't get bogged down like Helmet, then added gruff vocals and a manly attitude that lent credibility the Cro-Mags never had. Fans disappointed by 2003's slower Scorpio Rising will be thrilled that this year's Power of the Damager returns to the energy and crunch that made Prong the template for dozens of followers, none of whom is the Material Girl.


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