Prodigy’s ‘Invaders’ a welcome return



A dissonant loop roars while thick bass confronts the ears; this is “Invaders Must Die,” the title track of The Prodigy’s latest album of the same name. Often when a band is described as returning to its base, what results is a watered down memory of the band’s former glory. Thankfully, this is not true of The Prodigy’s latest. This time around they have managed to strike the same chords, as well as cut a few new nerves.

One minor problem with the album is its reliance on tired techno beats, as some sound as if they were created in a tweaked out high school student’s basement. This minor complaint is excusable, since they have written a few chapters in the proverbial book of contemporary techno music, having been around since 1990 and introduced many in the mainstream to techno through singles such as “Fire Starter” and the controversial “Smack My Bitch Up.” For many in the States, the triumphant return of this intimidating band of Brits may be a bit of a shock, but it’s apparent those in The Prodigy’s native land still love and listen to the band since their recent album debuted at No. 1 on the charts.

All commercial success aside, the fundamentals are present for this album to become a club standard, at least in Europe. It is hard to know how American audiences will take to the album. If upon first listen, things sound stale or overused, just wait for the next loop and the track to build. Most tracks are dance ready, although some are best for sedentary activities. For many, the most commonly associated icon of The Prodigy is the terrifyingly intriguing Keith Flint, whose vocals can be found on the more punk influenced tracks such as “Run with the Wolves” and “Take Me to the Hospital.” Although these are the most iconic tracks, Flint is not represented on all tracks, as one might expect. Flint may represent the attitude of The Prodigy, but he is not the sole mouth piece of their bedlam, as evidenced on “Warriors Dance,” which is actually a sampled track of “Take Me Away” by Final Cut and True Faith. It ought to be pointed out that Flint has never been the lone vocalist and indeed has sat out whole albums vocally.

The most notable collaborations (and hardest to spot) are the drum additions offered by musical giant Dave Grohl, as well as a noteworthy producer’s credit from James Rushent (Does it Offend You Yeah?). Somewhere behind this album is no doubt a marketing genius, able to reintroduce “The Prodigy sound” without it becoming over-branded. Indeed they have made yet another monumental album that if given a chance will not disappoint.