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Beg to Differ

Prong

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Album Review

Prong's once diffuse, post-hardcore rumble solidifies into a tightly disciplined thrash metal attack on their first major label release, Beg to Differ. Also a more democratic affair than later efforts, the album finds guitarist Tommy Victor and bassist Mike Kirkland alternating lead vocals as well as writing credits. And drummer Ted Parsons is equally impressive, providing a thunderous rhythmic foundation of Neal Peart-like diversity and precision. Standout tracks, such as "For Dear Life," "Steady Decline," and "Take it in Hand," feature dense harmonies (often verging on the atonal) injected with understated stabs of melody and startlingly complex time changes. The title track is perhaps the perfect example of this blend, and would earn the band much needed MTV exposure (along with less challenging second single "Lost and Found") on its way to becoming their signature tune. While it never even approaches thrash metal speed, "Your Fear" is another highlight of almost progressive rock proportions; its somber, interweaving melodies and minor chords painting a severe gray canvas of urban oppression. "Intermenstrual, S.D.B." is surprisingly good (for an instrumental), and though "Right to Nothing" recycles the group's formula one too many times, a wonderfully raw live version of Chrome's "Third from the Sun" closes the album in style.

Biography

Formed: 1985 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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, 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...
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Beg to Differ, Prong
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