“Invaders Must Die” by The Prodigy

Album: Invaders Must Die
Artist: The Prodigy

The Prodigy were one of the first techno/rave groups I ever listened to, and have been a part of my musical upbringing ever since. Their simple yet layered approach to synth, beat and spoken word broke me in during my younger years, and as I grew up the band released the monumental albums Music for the Jilted Generation and The Fat of the Land. Both of these albums showed an increased influence in the sound of guitar, as well as Keith Flint’s old punk aesthetics. Some Prodigy fans were turned off by this maturing of their sound but I stuck with it. In this era much controversy followed the band: The video and lyrical content of “Smack my Bitch up” and the video for “Firestarter” enraged parents of the MTV crowd.

In 2004 when Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned was released without the inclusion of the previous vocalists Keith Flint and Maxim. This came as a surprise to much of the fanbase, and the press was not impressed with the emphasis on big beats and heavy rock inspirations. This album served to further split the fanbase and began to dilute the image of The Prodigy. I had to come to a realization that my childhood techno heroes may never again possess the power they once had through the 90s.

Their latest release, Invaders Must Die, sees the return of vocalists Keith Flint and Maxim. Not only does it revive the old school vocals, but with them comes some of the Experience era synth sounds. There are also distorted guitar sounds and the big beat fuzz from Jilted Generation and Always Outnumbered. Through the album’s 11 tracks, they cover old ground like bloodhounds tracking down that ever elusive fox. Revisiting their old turf serves them well, as it invokes the glory days when The Prodigy were at the top of their game. Sometimes though, songs can feel a little worn and the words “reunion album” can begin to creep into the picture.

There are certainly some standout tracks on the album. Thunder, Take Me To The Hospital and Run With The Wolves became instant favorites of mine, with just the right blend of techno drive and punk power. The album ends on an unusually upbeat and optimistic sounding track, which leads me to imagine The Prodigy emerging from the club victorious. Together again, they head off to the street and walk around talking until the break of dawn, where they go and get some ice cream from a street vendor. Then they break apart and head their separate ways, with the camera pulling back to get a view of downtown london before fading to black.

Yes, the final track is just that bad.

Invaders brings a heavy sound, a chip on its shoulder, and the noise. While not quite as monumental or as perfected as their previous albums, Invaders stands on its own two feet as a reminder of the good old days. No new ground is broken here, just old sounds and old friends.

Invaders Must Die will be available on February 23rd.
Invaders Must Die official site

Published in: on February 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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