Prong- Ruining Lives
Prong has done it again with its newest release, Ruining Lives. The band is tighter here than on its previous release, 2012’s Carved Into Stone. The songs on Prong’s Ruining Lives once again encapsulate Prong’s sound over the past 25 years while still expanding into new territory.
The opening track,“Turnover,” is a straight-ahead rocker, which is tame compared to the remaining 10 songs on the record. “The Barriers” is a full-on thrash assault that attacks on all sides. The frantic opening riff instantly grabs the listener by the throat while Alexei Rodriguez manic drumming hits the gut. The inviting lyrics “come close/draw near/the barriers disappear” will incite a pit anywhere.
The urgent, dissonant groove of “Windows Shut” harkens Rude Awakening-era Prong, with its subdued-meets-crushing structure. It is a standout track that showcases the band’s unique blend of post-punk and metal.
The title track opens with an eerie descending riff before exploding into a machine gun syncopation of guitar and drums. The song’s lyrics warn of those who seek to abuse and exploit you in everyday life. The hardcore beatdown this song dishes out is sure to alert you if the words do not.
Things speed up on “The Book of Change,” which may be the fastest track Prong has recorded. Although Prong is heralded as a “band before its time” one must not forget frontman Tommy Victor’s roots are in the NY Hardcore scene. This song serves as a reminder that Prong is not afraid to return to those roots. Album closer “Limitations and Validations” maintains the record’s theme of uncertainty and disillusion to the end. The track’s lyrics call for finding the truth in a corrupt world, which is definitely an appropriate theme considering the state of the world today.
Prong has made its best record since Cleansing. Prong’s Ruining Lives shows the band at its best musically and lyrically. Prong is one of the most influential yet underrated bands in heavy music, and with this release Prong may finally receive the attention it more than deserves.