Review : Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
MusicomhWith Keith Flint and Maxim gone, a lukewarm reception for 2004's Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, their record deal with XL over and a greatest hits compilation and tour that often forms the final nail in the coffin of many artists' careers, it seemed that the Prodigy's star may have been fading.
Perhaps this is an overly bleak take on matters as both Always... and the singles compilation hit Number 1 and the tour saw a band that were clearly still at the peak of their powers as a live act. But you couldn't help feeling that while Liam Howlett is the creative force, or indeed the prodigy, behind the music, the Prodigy had lost something when it became a one-man band.
But it was on that reuniting live tour that the three core members, who'd started out raving together as mates in Essex nearly 20 years ago, found their spark was rekindled to collaborate again. Invaders Must Die is the result and if there are those out there that think the Prodigy are a spent force then this energetic, acerbic assault on the senses will serve as a timely denial of such notions....full text
SpinWhen the Prodigy appeared on SPIN's September 1997 cover, the U.K. group's third album, The Fat of the Land, had been tagged as electronica's de facto reinvention of rock'n'roll. But it also marked the Prodigy's reinvention from rebellious rave icons to a theatrical rap-rock troupe performing punky hit "Firestarter" with no-hawked punchinello Keith Flint front and center. Madonna anointed it her favorite "workout music." talk about death knells.
But after a decade-plus of diminishing returns—2004's flailing Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned ditched Flint and MC Maxim reality in an ill-fated gambit -- Invaders Must Die is a stirringly workmanlike, if retro, blast of founder/producer Liam Howlett's anthemic breakbeat spazz. The deft drum programming and piercing synths of "Omen" (with Flint and Maxim back on mic) create the sort of gut-punching delirium that Justice could pull off if they weren't too busy smoking Gauloises by the infinity pool, while "Warrior's Dance" -- which irreverently bites True Faith's house classic "Take Me Away" -- is a restless, junglist pileup that could've changed the world for several strobing minutes in 1991. "World's on Fire" recasts "Firestarter" with tingly breakdowns instead of bratty prattle....full text
SlantmagazineTwelve years down the road—and nearly a generation after Britain's Criminal Justice Bill tried to put the clamp down on rave culture—and the Prodigy finally release a follow-up to The Fat of the Land featuring their full lineup: mastermind Liam Howlett, horn-haired Keith Flint, and voodoo contact-lensed Maxim Reality. (The undercooked Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned was basically a Howlett solo shot.) Appropriately, Invaders Must Die eschews its predecessor's sullen stabs at hip-hop and embraces the now quaintly dated breakbeat-heavy techno that made their reputation in the first place. You'd think a group that leaned so heavily on their capacity to shock you off wouldn't wear this unabashed regression as well as they do, since falling back on their tried-n-true formula also forces them to cash in their credibility as purveyors of the decadence of antisocial behavior. The skittering tambourines and "James Brown Is Dead" synth stabs of "Piranha," the sour chord progressions of "World's on Fire," and the rusted bells of "Omen" are all pretty solid reprisals of "Smack My Bitch Up." Wipe away the miasma of vomit and the veneer of bile, and you'll find most of Invaders Must Die functions as the band's own anal-expulsive "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," with emphasis on guttural noisemaking. The slow-grinding aneurysm funk of "Take Me to the Hospital" (also the title of the Prodigy's new vanity label) sounds like two parts "Charly," one part "Breathe," and the musical recidivism successfully makes the listener doubt the musicians' sincerity in wanting to be fixed. (Nice trick, boys.) And "Warriors Dance" harnesses the stadium-reverberating rave thrust and diva interjections of "No Good (Start the Dance)" to genuinely nostalgic effect. Invaders Must Die is no funky shit, but at least this time around they don't solicit guest appearances from fucking Liam and Noel Gallagher....full text
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