The pioneers of the first EDM wave to hit America back in the mid-90s, anarchic trio The Prodigy certainly don’t appear too impressed by the second wave, judging by their sixth studio effort, The Day Is My Enemy.
Self-described as an antidote to the “force-fed, commercial generic records” that have defined dance culture in their six-year absence, the much-delayed follow-up to Invaders Must Die also sees the Essex boys team up with Sleaford Mods for a venomous attack on the superstar DJs who simply press play (“Ibiza”).
Despite their revolutionary intentions, there’s little on The Day Is My Enemy likely to inspire a new jilted generation. Indeed, derivative lead single “Nasty,” a bombastic blend of colossal big beats, ravey synths and Keith Flint’s Johnny Rotten-esque snarls, is just one of many tracks which sound like The Prodigy are parodying themselves.
“Destroy,” “Wall of Death” and “Get Your Fight On” may all back up Liam Howlett’s claims that this is their most violent record, but each sonic assault runs out of ideas long before landing the final punch. Meanwhile, “Rhythm Bomb,” a collaboration with dubstep maestro Flux Pavilion, wastes the opportunity to inject some 21st Century sounds into proceedings with its similarly retro and repetitive production.
There are a handful of more inspiring moments, such as the opening title track, which combines 8-bit bleeps and stinging guitars with the seductive tones of Tricky regular Martina Topley-Bird, and “Medicine,” a Middle Eastern-tinged affair which even features an unlikely nod to Mary Poppins, while cinematic instrumental “Beyond The Deathray” offers a welcome respite from the constant barrage of noise.
But those inspiring moments few and far between. The Prodigy may still believe that they’re a cut above the new breed of dance overlords, but The Day Is My Enemy suggests that the group are now simply trading on former glories.