The Prodigy ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ Review: veteran dance act brings the noise in grand fashion…but some variety would have been nice.
The Prodigy have always been the punks of electronica. Aggressive, brattish and abrasive, they created a carefully tailored sonic assault that has won them millions of fans and made them one of the few techno acts with a killer live presence.
So it’s unsurprising that they would be unimpressed with bland 21st century EDM. And on their new album The Day is My Enemy they make this a manifesto, calling for a return to dance beats with metal intensity.
The title track is a call to arms, with vocalist Martina Topley Bird offering cooing siren calls atop marching band percussion and snarling synths. Founding member and electronic architect Liam Howlett exercises his ability for muscular bombast with assassin-like precision.
Follow-up track Nasty is standard-fare Prodigy, with frontman Keith Flint demanding blood on the dance floor with class warfare lyrics:
His sneering line I ain’t no tourist, bashes dance hall hipsters and gentrifying yuppies in equal measure.
But they aren’t done: Ibiza trashes DJ culture in hilarious fashion. UK hip hop act Sleaford Mods sling insults over garage rock keyboards:
Unfortunately the tune isn’t as catchy as its sentiment.
Rebel Radio’s Atari bleeps and chain gang chorus dips back into Jilted in The Generation Territiory, alongside the slinky grove of Destroy, while Wall of Death acts like Smack My Bitch Up on steroids where guitars and keyboards collide with atom-bomb hyperbole.
Maxim Reality gets a chance to show off his gravelly pipes on the twisting car chase track Roadblox, playing a game of chicken with an unknown adversary (but I’m guessing it’s a DJ): Drive on straight through the roadblocks, let me see what you got…take it back!.
But it’s the two understated tracks that impress the most: Beyond The Deathray offers a slice of ambient trance, and Invisible Sun is a simmering cinematic track with Flint howling over Howlett’s post-apocalyptic soundscape.
It’s a potent reminder that Day would’ve benefited from more dynamic shifts: when every dial is up to 11, some nuance and groove gets lost in the shuffle. Which is why bludgeoning tracks like Get Your Fight On and Medicine feel cut from the same lopsided cloth as their 2009 album Invaders Must Die. Day never quite scales the heights of 90’s classics Music From The Jilted Generation and The Fat of the Land.
But in the end, it’s a minor triumph, a reminder to wet-behind-the-ears DJ’s to show some respect to their elders and aim for something more than club music mediocrity. And I’m sure it’ll sounds badass live.
Want to own ‘The Day is My Enemy’ on iTunes or Amazon? You can pre-order via the links below. And you can preview the album in full on iTunes before its release on March 27th, 2015.
[amazon_image id=”B00S8DVQM2″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Day Is My Enemy (Explicit)[/amazon_image]