In the ever-changing world of electronic music, there is a growing population questioning the authenticity of some of the genres and acts that are hitting it big. Perhaps one of the most authentic acts is The Prodigy, having helped plant the seeds that are now blossoming into an important and popular music genre. Their last album was Invaders Must Die, released back in 2009 before the EDM scene exploded, and many onlookers have been watching and waiting for the reaction from one of the groups that started the entire scene, arguably even the genre. Well, we now have that reaction in the form of their sixth album: “The Day Is My Enemy”.
The album is nothing like what we’re used to nowadays – over-produced music made to a specific layout, with a specific sound at a specific pace. Instead, they’ve stayed true to their roots, sound and direction and made a statement against the EDM scene. They could very well have written it without the scene ever blowing up – they’ve succeeded in sticking to their style and simultaneously making new ground more so than many other artists have. In the lead up to the album’s release, producer and frontman Liam Howlett said that it would be more violent and aggressive than their previous material, and it definitely is. It takes just a few seconds into the first track (the album’s namesake) to realise this, with rough and grating synths backed up by army-style drum strikes in a full-frontal assault on your ears. “Rebel Radio” is similar – it’s classic The Prodigy, but amped up to eleven. It also pushes the authenticity message – the lyrics can be seen as a calling to arms for the electronic acts that haven’t sold out yet. The song’s title says a lot. “Ibiza”, with Sleaford Mods, continues this theme. They ask “What’s he fucking doing?”, referencing DJs recycling songs and sets night after night. Ironically though, the song itself doesn’t go anywhere and is a short, balls-to-the-wall banger that doesn’t exactly back its message up that well.
A welcome break from the energy is interlude of sorts “Beyond The Deathray”. It’s one of the only Prodigy songs that manages to be beautiful. It still has a rumbling bass underneath, but no beat to dance to. It’s very creative and shows that they’ve still got it – it’s one of the highlights of a very energetic album. The beat comes back afterwards with “Rhythm Bomb”, featuring Dubstep maestro Flux Pavilion. The song’s bassline could have been made by either of the artists, however the rest of the song is all The Prodigy. The rest of the album doesn’t let up the immense energy, with it all channelled into unique takes on genres. Big Beat, Breakbeat, Techno, Drum and Bass and even Dubstep all get nods, mixed with The Prodigy’s signature rock influences.
The album is very cohesive and well produced, but doesn’t leave your ears ringing or make you feel like you haven’t breathed for an hour. You don’t feel like you’ve just witnessed greatness either. A lot of the songs seem to have been made to be played live, with the energy and anger they bring making a memorable performance and leading to them headlining rock and electronic festivals worldwide. It’s a long wait between The Prodigy albums, with the last three released in 1997, 2004 and 2009, but if anything this just shows that they’re one of those bands that stand the test of time. All in all, it’s a welcome addition to a catalogue that has had an enormous influence on many music genres and artists worldwide, but would be better experienced live than at home.
“The Day Is My Enemy” can be streamed on iTunes now, and will be released in full on the 30th of March.