I wonder if in the anticipation for The Prodigy’s new album there were people who were genuinely curious as to what route they were going to take stylistically. History suggests that The Prodigy are a band that are extremely comfortable in the sound they make and the fans they have that appreciate that. They’re not even looking to expand or even stay relevant any more. ‘Take Me To Hospital’ may have been their attempt to try to put their own spin on the dubstep sounds that were starting to filter through music at the time, but at the end of the day every Prodigy album simply adds a host of tracks that they can throw into their impressive live shows.
You would be forgiven for thinking that you’ve heard the lead single for The Prodigy’s new album ‘Nasty’ before. The breakbeat drums alone sound like they could have come straight off of ‘The Fat Of The Land’, the guitar lines sound like they’re coming from ‘Take Me To The Hospital’ and the ‘Nasty! Nasty!’ buzzwords sound like they could have been taken from… pretty much any Prodigy track. On ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ the buzzwords that people will be chanting at their gigs don’t seem quite so memorable. They feel more formulaic, more calculated and less organic. With phrases like ‘Triple X-rated!’, ‘Get down!’ and ‘Ibiza!’ being thrown around it’s hard not to kind of wish for a bit more menace in what they’re saying.
That’s not to say that the delivery of these words aren’t entertaining. The words are still screamed with the passion that they’ve always had in their music. On the moments where The Prodigy get others to sing sound particularly sinister as well like on the title track to the album which features a brilliant vocal melody from a female singer that’s been compressed and distorted to hell. None of the actual lyrics have any menace like they used to and frequently sound extremely corny and nonsensical like ‘Invisible sun, burning out question marks’ but they’re delivered in a way where it sounds like they truly believe in what they’re saying. Either that or they’re done in a way that could been done simply to hype people up – they could be yelling about potatoes and it would still be exhilarating.
‘The Day Is My Enemy’ is undoubtedly a fun album. It would be a complete shock if there ever comes a day where The Prodigy don’t release an album that’ll make you want to jump around in your bedroom. It’s good that they’re still able to make music that can rival the overly simplistic ‘EDM’ of today’s dance music. There is still plenty of life left in breakbeat drums and sinister sounding instrumentation that’s not really heard in today’s musical landscape. The Prodigy are unfortunately responsible for a whole lot of copycats who butchered blending guitars into electronic music yet The Prodigy are still, in 2015 able to use their time-old formula to make sonically exciting music that’s not offensive – or feels like a cheap thrill- to listen to. If the drums behind that fantastic synth line on ‘Rok-Weiler’ or the guitars on ‘Get Your Fight On’ don’t get you make you want to grow a mohawk, pierce your lip and get filthy in a mosh pit then nothing will.
If nothing else the way that The Prodigy are able to make a record that only feels kind of stale in parts through using huge drum beats and guitars is a testament to how there should be more of this music coming from new artists. ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ should be taken as a call for younger generations of Electronic producers to find a new way to use this old formula to make sure Big Beat doesn’t die out. And for that, we should be greatful to Liam Howlett and co.
Best Tracks: The Day Is My Enemy, Get Your Fight On, Rok Weiler