The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy

So I’m breaking protocol in more than one way today.  While reviewing non-metal is nothing new, this is definitely the most mainstream release I have featured here.  I do this for a few simple reasons.  First and foremost, I love The Prodigy.  In a mess of electronic “musicians,” they are one of the very few groups who managed to create something truly memorable and with a dark aesthetic I could get behind.  Second, none of my usual outlets feature them as a reviewable entity.  Third, this is a notable release in that it is their first in 6 years.  So put on your Jnco jeans (they’re coming back I hear) and grab your glowsticks, cuz we’re taking a walk down 90’s memory lane.
After hearing the first single to this album, I was stoked.  “Nasty” is super aggressive, hard-hitting, and is determined to stick in your head with the various hooks.  The title track likewise caught my attention being equally catchy, albeit not so violent.  And those drum-core snares!  As for the rest of the album, it’s a mixed bag.  Some of the songs ooze a catchy 90’s throwback sound that would have been right at home on The Fat of the Land (“Nasty,” “Rok-Weiler”).  Others come off a bit too poppy and pristine such as “The Wild Frontier” and “Destroy.”  These cuts lack a certain level of grit and grime I expect from a Prodigy track.
As for the sound itself, there is a bit of variety.  A lot of the “darker” tracks feature warbly dubstep-ish bass, fast drum loops, and buzz-heavy hooks not unlike classics “Breathe” and “Poison.”  Other parts of the album are more focused on melody and rich atmosphere akin to some of Feed Me’s slower cuts (e.g. “Cloudburn”).  “Beyond the Deathray” actually reminded me of a dreamy Nine Inch Nails interlude from The Fragile.  In a similar vein, “Invisible Sun” could have been an Ohgr track while “Rhythm Bomb” is straight from a dance-pop aesthetic more worthy of groups like Dee-Lite.
While the variety is a nice showcase of range and the many styles The Prodigy has been a part of through the years, it also detracts from the overall presentation.  Production is a roller-coaster ride one might expect from a greatest hits album or mix tape.  Just when I am sinking my teeth into my favorite aggressive Keith Flint moments, we jump to something decidedly less bangin’.  Speaking of which, there is not enough full-aggro Keith on this album.  The Fat of the Land gave us “Firestarter,” “Breathe, “Serial Thrilla,” and “Fuel My Fire;” all of which had memorable vocal hooks.  Likewise, Maxim’s appearances are few and far between.  Even when he does pop up, the delivery is far more subdued.  Where is my “Diesel Power?”  While the album’s first single and “Wall of Death” scratch this itch to an extent, they are the exception to the rule.  I will admit that "Medicine" has grown on me with its infectious, exotic sound.
But maybe I am just falling into the trap of expecting maturing musicians to recreate a masterpiece they dropped nearly 20 years ago.  Lord, I feel old now.  I was a very different person back then.  Hell, I was a very different person 3 years ago.  How can I expect Liam and the gang not to change as well?  In the end, The Day is My Enemy is a collection of fun tracks that run the gamut from my beloved classics to more modern-day hits.  I suppose this is ultimately a good thing in that it could bring new fans to the style and prove that The Prodigy are no one-trick-pony (bonus Deadmaus joke :-P).   Check this out when it drops at the end of the month.  Pre-order here.

No comments:

Post a Comment