Wednesday 1 April 2015

Review of 'The Day Is My Enemy' by The Prodigy

It’s time to test those subwoofers and annoy your conservative elderly neighbours. UK rave veterans The Prodigy are back and they’re not about to go all ambient on us any time soon. In fact, this might just be the group’s loudest and most aggressive album to date. Sadly, it’s also their most forgettable.

Let’s get one thing clear first - this album is forgettable by Prodigy standards. The Day is My Enemy doesn’t contain any cheap house beats. There are no airhorn-loaded trap numbers. Compared to most EDM artists out there, these guys are still clearly attempting to be innovative and in some ways succedding. The percussion rhythms for one are reliably creative, the key ingredient in many of the group’s prior bangers such as ‘Spitfire’ and ‘Firestarter’. The beats on 'Rebel Radio' and 'Medicine' made me want to move and brandish glowsticks and rip my shirt off.


Hence, the issue with this album clearly lies elsewhere. Personally, I see the band's forgettability (if such a word exists) as being largely down to the texture of this album.

The synth tones deployed on this album are abrasive, but they’re simply not fresh. They’re essentially the same synth tones that were being used on Invaders Must Die. In fact, they’re the same synth tones that Pendulum were playing with a decade ago.

Clearly the griminess of these synth tones plays a large part in the aggressiveness of this album, but overall the moments that truly stand out on this record are the moments in which these abrasive synth tones take a break. Such moments include the 8-bit Nintendo-esque keys on ‘Wild Frontier’, the rave stabs on ‘Destroy’ and the driving guitar on ‘Invisible Sun’. Here, The Prodigy expand the sonic palette. Sadly, these moments are too few and far between, resulting in the remainder of the album feeling very samey.

Lyrics prove to also be a problem on The Day Is My Enemy. Whilst I can’t say I look for much introspection from The Prodigy, hooks such as ‘nasty nasty!’ and ‘Ibiiiza!’ do feel uninspired, especially when compared to the edginess of a past hook like ‘Smack my bitch up’ or ‘Take me to the hospital’.

‘Ibiza’ arguably redeems itself when it is revealed that the track is a jab at many current EDM artists’ live shows that involve plugging a USB stick into a laptop and waving their arms around for a bit. Here, The Prodigy prove their relevance in today’s music scene – they’re still the best live band in EDM.

It’s just a shame that as an album band, the same can no longer be said.