The opening words ‘We Are The Prodigy’ of the first track are as much a blatantly obvious statement of self-awareness as they are a proud declaration announcing the menacing onslaught of electronica that is about to unfold. Invaders Must Die is the fifth studio album by The Prodigy and sees them as fierce as ever, cranking out some thunderous tunes which serve as ideal ear fuel for getting yer rave on, Big Fish, Little Fish stylee.
The Prodigy were always in a box of their own among their fellow pioneers of the big beat explosion in the ’90s – actually not so much of a box, more like a padded cell. Keith Flint is reunited with Maxim Reality on vocal duties, with both as menacing as ever and a crucial part of the sonic bedlam, while the ever-present Liam Howlett completes the line-up. The Prodigy are still very much the snarling beast of the electronica kingdom and twenty years of existence haven’t mellowed the band at all. The Prodigy create electronica with teeth, effortlessly ripping up wicked beat after beat, while maturity has led to this three-headed beast growing in its wisdom teeth, allowing it to unleash a higher level of creativity with an air of prowess that only comes with experience.
Invaders includes enough top-notch tracks to make one helluva Prodigy ‘best of’ playlist to put alongside the classics that the band made their name from – you know, “Voodoo People”, “Firestarter” and the like. From this newest record “Warrior’s Dance” and “Invaders Must Die” are superb spaz-outs ideally suited for bouncing around in that aforementioned padded cell. Meanwhile “Run With The Wolves” features guest drumming from rock n’ roll’s greatest tub-thumping journeyman Dave Grohl.
Further guest appearances and remixes can be found on the second CD included in the deluxe version of the album and there’s plenty of quality here, including four versions of “Take Me To The Hospital” ranging from a sleek Sub Focus drum n’ bass trip-out, to a mix featuring Grohl’s Crooked Vultures cohort Josh Homme. All the various remixes are further testament to The Prodigy’s knack for transcending and merging genres, and how the band have continually attracted fans from rave, dance and rock scenes. Meanwhile, the DVD predictably serves up a few videos and some live footage.
All in all this version of the album with its bumper pack of extras is the one to go for if you didn’t get around to buying a copy of the standard release earlier in the year.
© Brian Banks