That James Rushent of Does It Offend You, Yeah? is rumoured to have co-produced ‘Invaders Must Die’’s title track is irrelevant.
The fact that such an idea is even plausible is what’s initially damning of The Prodigy’s fifth studio album
Liam Howlett invented this rock/rave shtick and now he seemingly needs a hand from the kids he inspired to remain relevant today.
It’s certainly one way of looking at the opening gambit here, all pulsing and whip-cracking electrified cables to a high pitched synth riff;
a descendent from Rushent’s own ‘We Are Rockstars’. For others it’s humbling that Mr Natalie Appleton would ask for help,
especially when the remainder of ‘Invaders…’ appears to have taken a look at what an ‘updated Prodigy’
could sound like and bolted it in the opposite direction. Past ‘Always Outnumbered, Never Outdone’, it’s fled, through the punk-spitting
‘The Fat Of The Land’, back to the reassuring,
ecstasy-chomping days of ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ and ‘Experience’. And suddenly ‘Invaders Must Die’ doesn’t feel like an embarrassing ‘daaaaad’ moment,
but rather a big ol’ laugh on Howlett’s part; a thanks but no thanks, even if it is quite the ballsy and impressive of starts.
‘Omen’ takes three listens before you swear it’s a Prodigy staple that every club DJ you’ve ever heard wheels out to keep bodies on the dancefloor; ‘Thunder’,
with its thick Jamaican accent, a further two revolves before it resembles
a heavier remix of ‘Out Of Space’. Both are just the start of comparisons to previous Prodigy joints.
‘Colours’ – the most commercially viable track here – harbours a verse/chorus structure
that’s relatively original of The Prodigy, but we don’t want that anymore. We’re after nostalgic 90s rave tunes;
euphoric female vocals chased by gurning heavy beats (‘Warrior’s Dance’);
a trumpeting 6am comedown from ‘Screamadelica’’s sunny side (‘Stand Up’); early dance clichés like climbing pianos and samples of “3,2,1, zero” (‘World’s On Fire’); and… errr…
Dave Grohl cameos (the drum-thumping ‘Run With the Wolves’ a first for the band and Grohl together but still reminiscent of when
‘The Fat Of The Land’ sound tracked many a teen Quasar
battle in 1997).
Of course, a fair amount of cringing is bound to arise when men of a certain age strive to recreate their former selves,
which is exactly what happens fleetingly throughout ‘Invaders Must Die’, and wholly in ‘Take Me To
The Hospital’, or ‘Out of Space’ as it was called in But, seeing as our generation’s probably never felt more jilted, we need The Prodigy
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