Lots of acts staged their first gigs at Manhattan's CBGB, but Prong is one of the few that the club actually birthed, when the soundman approached the doorman about starting a band. That sound guy, remaining original Prong member Tommy Victor, is an icon of the first early '90s wave of alt-metal, much like Helmet's Page Hamilton. But while Prong shared Helmet's industrial overtones and openness to late-hard-core innovations, guitarist-vocalist Victor's tough-ass singing style and palpable groove behind his technique made Prong more viscerally metal than Helmet, which often came off as too theoretical to rock. Having disbanded Prong in '96, Victor reconstituted the band in '04, and his sound remains a lean alternative to the flabby pomp that mainstream heavy rock continues to offer. As CBGB approaches its Halloween '06 demise, it's only right that the club should be outlived by its baby.

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