The Prodigy are back and they are not happy. They seem fed up with the lifeless stale state of current dance music and are trying again to save it.
This time Liam Howlett and the gang have produced 14 tracks entitled The Day Is My Enemy which offers up fierce, angry, punk-fuelled dance. Despite being unchanged for over 20 years, The Prodigy has always had the ability to remain relevant yet dangerous. This particular album is an underground social commentary of life in 21st century Britain, something which is picked up from where their last album Invaders Must Die left off and continued here.
The opening track ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ is a full-on assault on your ears. Pounding, screaming vocals lavished with fat beats can only signal one thing: they are back and you better get ready for a ride. The punk influence has always been a major factor with The Prodigy and they continue this theme with a powerful and thumping opening track.
With the ability to always remain fiercely independent of the dance scene (whatever that means these days), the band refuse to be pigeonholed into any particular area. They prefer to live outside, acting like lone gunslinger slinging down new bullets every few years to remind us all that dance music should never be safe or comfortable. With this in mind, it is easy to see that this whole album acts like a wake-up call. However, is anyone still listening?
New single 'Nasty' is unmistakable in its origin. The welcome return of Keith Flint's punk-laced lyrics spewing out “Nasty, nasty” over intense baselines has been a formula which has served them well over 20 years.
Howlett has tried to explain about the process he went through in making the album, and why it turned out like it did. “I can’t tell you why this record came out so angry, I think it’s just inbuilt in me,” says Liam, “It’s more about what I like music to do. I’ve always seen music I like as a form of attack.”
Unlike previous albums, this venture has seen a series of contributions also feature on this album. For example ‘Ibiza’ features Jason Williamson of Sleaford Mods, and continues the howling gritty screams and almost mocks the island with calls of “Woz ‘e fuckin’ doin’?”
There is a danger that this rage from a group of forty-somethings can come across as pure rage with limited craft as they move into an elder statesman role. However, it’s unlikely that The Prodigy care. By rights, Howlett, Flint and Maxim shouldn’t be angry at all, they have had a very productive career after all. However, it may well hint that this album could come across as one album too many.
‘Rhythm Bomb’ which features Flux Pavilion does little to advance new ground and could be easily labelled as something we have all heard before. The Prodigy have never tried to offer up anything new, they prefer to just be themselves.
‘Wild Frontier’ is a trance-based, high octane assault which takes us back to hardcore days of old. It sounds very similar to their superb track ‘Omen’ from last album though. So if you like more of the same, then this is for you. Don’t expect The Prodigy to keep saving you because, at times, this album feels like it could be the last.