Personnel: Tommy Victor (vocals, guitar); Art Cruz (drums).
Audio Mixer: Chris Collier.
Liner Note Author: Tommy Victor.
Recording information: Lynchbox Studios, Santa Clarita, CA; Mission: Black Studios, Santa Clarita, CA; Trixx Studios, Berlin, Germany.
With their major-label days behind them -- and being compiled on faceless sets like Playlist: The Very Best of -- industrial-metal veterans Prong have come to the "all-covers album" phase of their career, but Songs from the Black Hole sure ain't a clampdown. This power trio is just too agitated and interesting for anything such, with their selections ranging from Bad Brains (a wicked "Banned in DC") to Killing Joke (a fairly faithful tribute with "Seeing Red"), and most represent some kind of musical influence. Neil Young is the oddball surprise but "Cortez the Killer" here is a brilliant drift into space, floating somewhere between the planets of Monster Magnet and Hawkwind. Add the goth grit of the Sisters of Mercy's "Vision Thing" and a pitch-blending blast in Hüsker Dü's "Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely" and Prong kick the "all-covers" cliche up the backside, with Fugazi ("Give Me the Cure"), Black Flag ("The Bars"), and the Butthole Surfers ("Goofy's Concern") still to go. ~ David Jeffries