[sic] Magazine

Prodigy – Invaders must die

Sometimes, you find yourselves in a position where you don’t really know what to do, and don’t know what else you can go. You’re an artist, you create art, and creating art is what you do – and yet you don’t understand why you do it anymore, and it’s become a habit.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the Prodigy either produce a devastingly brilliant return to form, or rehash old glories with their fifth album – Invaders Must Die: after 2004’s chronically disappointing Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. But whether their new album is any good depends upon whether you think bands should always evolve or never evolve. So, how does the album work? Largely, it thunders along on pounding and frenetic rhythms. If nothing else, Liam Howlett and his two vocal gimps (the cartoon punk Keef Flint and the other one) create a sound-storm of production that it is aurally thrilling. But is the music any good? Are the songs any good?

It opens with the roaring ‘Invaders Must Die’, and follows this up with a sucker punch 1-2 of ‘Omen’. Production wise though, and songwriting, is scant on this: it sounds exactly the same as some kind of crossbreed between Music For The Jilted Generation and Fat of The Land, minus either’s long reaching thematic overview. It sounds more like the work of a band that exists out of habit. Whilst the album is immaculately sequenced, and the music barely stops for breath, the short, leaping stabs, the stuttering, epileptic fit chords are a time warp back to 1992’s cheesy nosebleed debut. Sonically the album starts to bleed into each surrounding track, becoming less a record and more an amorphous mass of sound with similar tempos and keys. It’s music made by a man on a laptop trying to recreate the music that excited him when he wasn’t a millionaire twenty years ago.

Apart from the two openers which are arresting, hands-around-your-throat power, it all starts to unravel with ‘Thunder’, which sounds like a dumb techno Ramones where grown men leap around shouting about breaking window panes with scant melodies that resemble interview sound bites. Grow the fuck up, you aren’t eleven anymore.

Best thing on the whole album is ‘Stand Up’, primarily because it sounds like the best James Brown backing track ever made, with dirty horns and fabulous drumming from Dave Grohl. Aside from that, though most of Invaders Must Die is tired, dated, and the sound of someone with nothing to say saying something rather than nothing at all.



For more from Mark please visit The Mark Reed website