REVIEW: PRONG – “Age Of Defiance” [EP]
Filling the gap between album releases, Prong has bestowed upon us a new EP entitled ‘Age of Defiance’ to feed the need for continuity. Featuring two new studio tracks and three live recordings, the band covers the bases from classic Prong to new and somewhat experimental territory for the band.
The EP’s studio-recorded opener and the title track, “Age of Defiance” is a bit of a double-take inducer for those familiar with the band’s former material. Band mastermind, guitarist, and vocalist Tommy Victor says, “Pretty unusual for Prong. It’s extremely powerful, with a great groove, haunting chorus, everything’s fresh and contemporary.” The song is obviously well-crafted and executed in a manner that definitely does not disappoint. There are some great guitar hooks and chugs in all the right places that won’t leave you feeling lacking. If by “contemporary,” Victor means “potential radio hit,” then “Age of Defiance” fulfills its purpose in spades.
“The End Of Sanity” is the second and only other studio-produced track featured. This one is far more typical Prong. A thrashy fist-pumper that was written specifically for the band’s American tour with Agnostic Front, it feels completely at home in the band’s discography.
The third track (and first of three live cuts) is “Rude Awakening” from Prong’s 1996 album of the same name. As with all of the live recordings on the EP, this was recorded during their headlining tour at Berlin club Huxleys Neue Welt in April 2015. The performance is tight as ever and sonically, it’s pretty fantastic from a live gig sound recording perspective.
“Another Worldly Device” and “Cut Rate” from the 1994 major label album release ‘Cleansing’ round out the finish to the EP. Again, these two live tracks are amazing in their production quality and just as appealing as they were when they first came to us 25 years ago.
All in all, ‘Age of Defiance’ is a pleasing listen even though we’ve previously heard more than half of the songs in other contexts. The two new studio tracks are an intriguing bridge between where Prong has been and where they may be headed in the future, and as a longtime fan, I find that exciting. The band projects that their next full-length won’t be coming until late 2020 at the very earliest, so this will have to satiate you until then.