on 27 October 2003
The second track from Tool's first 'proper' album, 'Undertow', Prison Sex crystlises much of the brilliance and belligernece that has become the Tool trademark. From Adam's scraping up the guitar to the closing, harrowing sound of Maynard's mantra 'This will be over soon', the single is like a car wreck: compressed metal crashing into compressed metal, screeching and snarling. J.G.Ballard would love it.
The content of Prison Sex is, as with most Tool tracks, open to serious debate and discussion. S Club, it is not.
But as with all Tool songs, there is not a hint of self-indulge; Maynard does not invite the listener to feel sorry for him. Instead, the familiar theme is that of triumph through adversity, a kick in the pants of God, to paraphrase Henry Miller.
Closer to the sonic bliss of 'Aenima' then anything on 'Undertow', along with Sober this is the sound of a band growing and becoming the magnificent entity they now are and, hopefully, will long be. Sheer brilliance.