Electronic punk music. If that isn’t a thing yet, it should be, and it would appropriately sum up the latest offering from legendary veterans the Prodigy. Back on the scene with their sixth studio album, Keith Flint, Liam Howlett and Maxim reunite with their strongest album since 1997’s revered The Fat of the Land. Strap in to the 14 cuts that will rile your senses and raise your heart rate—in a good way.
1. “The Day Is My Enemy”
The album launches with an edgy, dark and aggressive assault. A solid heaviness of distortion is layered with hints of a sweet female vocal from Martina Topley-Bird cooing “The day is my enemy,” complemented by a grinding groove. With a tone reminiscent of the electronic musicianship of Nine Inch Nails, it’s evident that the Prodigy are back and ready to reclaim a spot as a leader in electronic music.
It is just that: a filthy, driving, vocal-heavy dose of Prodigy goodness. The first single from the album is aggressive; a mosh pit on the dancefloor would be highly likely with this electronic force peppered by breakbeats. The Prodigy effectively keep their sound without being dated, to inject life back into the scene.
3. “Rebel Radio”
The previous track may be “Nasty,” but this one could have been titled “Filthy.” “Rebel Radio” unleashes a glitchy, grimey audio assault of delicious distortion and energetic, driving beats.
4. “Ibiza” (ft. Sleaford Mods)
Less a supportive rally cry for the party island, and more criticism for what it’s become, featured UK artists Sleaford Mods join in with their punk-hop rants toward the island’s “rotten, encrusted rocks.” The audio attack aims its sights at premixes, bleached hair and private jets. There’s repeated questioning of “What’s they fucking doing?” and a tongue-in-cheek warning: “Don’t fall off the rock.”
Here are more of those fantastic breakbeats—which we’re happy to see making a comeback—to kick off this track and keep you on your toes. Surprise change-ups with wonky nuances work you into a frenzy; then the script flips to a half-tempo interpretation to ease you down.
6. “Wild Frontier”
The third single from the album keeps the power going. “In the wild frontier, off the beaten track, in the wild frontier, better watch your back, where your dreams get filled or your blood gets spilled, gotta face your fear in the wild frontier.” The band is at full force with a dose of breakbeat perfection and a high probability for fist-pumping sing-alongs. And there may or may not be an angry monkey screech layered in there.
Beginning on a little reminiscent 8-bit tip, the punk in the Prodigy shines through to have you raising your fist high and stomping around in circles. As the track warns, “watch yourself,” because it will bite at your heels with that Prodigy energy.
8. “Beyond the Deathray”
Quite the departure from the rest of the album, the instrumental “Beyond the Deathray” is a spacey journey that strips down to a focus on piano lines and a slow progression for a look at the other side of the Prodigy. Layers are peeled back, and a rawer emotion shines through.
9. “Rhythm Bomb” (ft. Flux Pavilion)
Though the Prodigy are strong enough on their own, adding a bit of Flux Pavilion will hopefully entice new listeners to check out the group. A bit choppier than the other tracks on the album, “Rhythm Bomb” thankfully avoids becoming an all-out dated dubstep collaboration and continues the electronic punk vein.
A dark, driving force of breaks and drum & bass amps up the BPMs. Then the gears shift to the breakdown to give you a moment to catch your breath before launching back into the powerful progression. Though the lyrics are nothing special (“Drive on straight through the roadblocks, let me see what you’ve got”), the production balances the vocals perfectly with the beats so they aren’t too in-your-face.
11. “Get Your Fight On”
Attention starts to wane on “Get Your Fight On” and feels a bit rote and repetitive with chants of “Get your fight on, get your fight on, get something to bite on.” Still solid production-wise, “Get Your Fight On” is the forgettable, throwaway track on the album.
With an Arabian Nights vibe in the intro and punctuated throughout, the warbly horn is paired with that driving beat the album will be known for. “A spoonful of sugar just to sweeten the taste, just to keep you in your place,” warns the track, followed by a touch of Maxim’s flow.
13. “Invisible Sun”
A break from the banging beats, the sexy coolness lures you into a groove that has a dark side to it. The guitar line then captures your attention as the lyrics sneak in without being too overt. The melody slinks by and wraps itself around you with intrigue.
14. “Wall of Death”
“Fuck this, and fuck the cash” may have been the Prodigy’s M.O. on this album, because they’re doing whatever they want, and we’re just fine with that. With the vibe not only on this track, but across the entire LP, it wouldn’t be surprising if they gained some hard-rock crossover fans in the process.
Originally published on Insomniac.com