The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die

2009-03-24 09:06
 
Invaders Must Die
 

The last three years or so have been ripe for a contribution from Liam Howlett and his ragtag bunch of Essex nutters; with the success of dance-punk acts like Justice and Does It Offend You, Yeah? amidst a nu-rave revival of the sound that made The Prodigy huge, it's mystifying that the pioneers of the gritty banging-electronica genre have been notably silent since 2004’s underwhelming Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. And being silent is not something The Prodigy do well – they're much happier assaulting your eardrums with the kind of bass-heavy fist-pumpers that whip a dance floor into a froth faster than you can chug another Red Bull.

There's a beautiful symmetry between this album and the band's first from back in 1992, Experience. As dance music in its current incarnation has gone full circle to embrace the early Rave era, The Prodigy’s formative sound has suddenly become relevant again. Tracks like "Omen", "Thunder" and "Take Me To The Hospital" shamelessly lift riffs directly from Experience, and it works – they manage to somehow sound both fresh and pleasingly familiar. I had the urge to go scrabbling amongst my old tapes to re-live Experience again, until I realised that it's been a while since I've seen a tape deck around.

However, I've got the same problem with this album that I've had with the last two efforts, which is that there are a few standout tracks to embrace with giddy enthusiasm ("Smack My Bitch Up", anyone?) while there's a fair chunk of filler to pad out the rest. The disc's title track, "Invaders Must Die", falls into that first category, where you look forward to driving fast on the highway so that you can turn it up to the volume that it deserves. It’s comically aggressive stuff, but irresistible if you're prepared to embrace your inner adolescent. Unfortunately, tracks like "Warrior's Dance" and "Piranha" fill the gaps with uninspired bleeps and bloops - like a skilled amateur was asked to create a parody of a Prodigy track, and does a passable job of it.

It's unfortunate that Howlett waited until now to add his voice to the current crop of dance-punk acts, because it feels like he’s missed the boat. While it’s a welcome respite from the slew of minimal techno flying about, nostalgia for the Big Beat era doesn’t have the legs to take this disk beyond the flavour of the month.

But The Prodigy have never asked you to think very carefully about their music – it's all about a visceral response to stonking beats. Take that imperative to heart, put your inhibitions in your Out tray, and obey.
Probably the most surprising thing about The Prodigy's Invaders Must Die is that it didn't come sooner.

What to read next: Kalahari

Chris 2009/03/23 10:01 AM
Heard a few tracks from the new album and as a massive Prodigy fan (since a wee little lad), its great to see the old-skool revival. Huge baselines from the legendary Liam Howlett... Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.
Keef_Fan 2009/03/23 10:33 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
'Music for the Jilted Generation' was the first album I've ever bought when I was still in primary school, and 'Invaders' is the best album since then - lots of influence from early 90's, specifically from their first album 'Experience'. Have had the album playing on repeat for a week now. Absolutely brilliant!
dave 2009/03/23 10:48 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
excellent! about time these cats came back and showed the wannabees how to rock it.
Joe 2009/03/23 11:15 AM
Who remembers the Prodigy / Faithless tour '98? What an awesome party that was!!! Fat of the land still has a respected position in my CD collection... Rock on Prodigy, rock on!
Smee 2009/03/24 9:33 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
This is da bomb!
NEXT ON CHANNELX
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.