Prong – 100% Live

Shortly after releasing Rude Awakening in 1996, Prong decided to officially call it quits. Six years later in 2002, Tommy Victor decided to reform the band with an entirely new lineup, winning some fans back and pissing off the rest in the process. The band recently spent six weeks on the road opening for Danzig, during which time they recorded their latest album and first live disc, 100% Live.

If this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you how much I hated this CD due to Prong’s new lineup, you’re going to be pretty disappointed. I’ve seen Prong live twice, and I can honestly say that they’ve never sounded tighter than they do on this disc. So, hate on that.

The tracklisting of 100% Live reads like a greatest hits package, so once you make that mental leap that this is in fact Prong despite the new members, there’s a lot of good material here. “Rude Awakening”, “Broken Peace”, “Snap Your Fingers (Snap Your Neck)”, “Prove You Wrong”, “Whose Fist Is This Anyway?”, “Unconditional”, and all the rest of their hits make appearances here. Each cut sounds as crisp and tight as the original. Die hard fans may be able to tell the difference between this new incantation of Prong and the classic lineup, but I certainly couldn’t.

The new double guitar lineup gives Prong a thickness previously unachieved by the band in live situations. The rhythm section is dead on, and Tommy Victor, despite his new looks, sounds like he did ten years ago. The recording is dead on and the crowd levels are perfect. I have no complaints about the quality of this disc at all. My only complaint is that some of the songs are lacking … well, energy. True, they sound just like the originals, but the spark isn’t always there. The band makes up for it during “Initiation”, the only new track on the album. Available both here and on their website, “Initiation” has that fire and crunch that Prong fans have come to expect from the band.

100% Live serves three purposes. First and foremost, it’s a great collection of Prong songs, performed live. Second of all, it introduces the new lineup to the public. Third of all, it gets Prong’s name back out in the news after a long hiatus, and will hopefully stir enough interest to help push their next studio album (due in April of 2003). 100% Live succeeds at all three of those things. Like it or not, Prong is back.

01. Rude Awakening
02. Initiation
03. Broken Peace
04. Controller
05. Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck
06. Beg To Differ
07. Dark Signs
08. Another Wordly Device
09. Prove You Wrong
10. Close The Door
11. Disbelief
12. Whose Fist Is This Anyway
13. Cut Rate
14. Unconditional

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