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Snap Judgment: the Prodigy's 'Invaders Must Die'


Just downloaded the Prodigy’s “Invaders Must Die,” the title track from the band's forthcoming fifth full-length, made available today as a freebie on the Grammy-nominated trio’s website. While I’ve listened to the track only a few times now, I’ve got to say I’m a little underwhelmed. You can check out the song -- which isn't officially a single, reps say -- for yourself here.

There has never been a better time for the Prodigy to reclaim their old-school techno throne. Aggressive-sounding dance music is once again in favor, thanks to electro artists such as Justice, who have made more inroads with American rock music fans this past year than any other outfit. But with "Invaders Must Die," the Prodigy don't reach the high bar they set for themselves with their stellar back catalog of hits such as “Firestarter,” “Jericho,” “Breathe,” "Fire," “Charly,” “Smack My Bitch Up,” "Poison" and others.

Tipped as a return to the band’s roots, “Invaders Must Die” definitely shows the promise that made the threesome -- Liam Howlett, Keith Flint  and Maxim -- DJ favorites worldwide in the early 1990s (as well as chart-toppers in the late 1990s), but the distored-basslines and guitar samples on “Invaders Must Die” also hints that the band might have a more aggressive sound in store for 2009 (the disc bows next spring).

My first impression of the track was that it sounded a bit too much like Does It Offend You, Yeah? This is not a good sign. James Rushent from DIOYY actually appears on one of the forthcoming album’s tracks. But if you’re going to be mixing rock with techno, it’s a safe bet to call up a rock professional, which is what the Prodigy did for “Run (With the Wolves)." They tapped none other than Dave Grohl to hit some actual skins on “Wolves,” which made the cut for the album.

And while the debut track has some nice drum programming, I'm still not feeling the main hook. The Prodigy usually leave the listener wanting more; this track doesn't. I’m holding out hope that offerings such as “Omen” will give fans of early Prodigy a reason to get excited. In the meantime, I’ve just cued up “Everybody in the Place” in anticipation. As a full-on reaffirmation of the band, “Invaders Must Die," the song, falls short. As a teaser for “Invaders Must Die,” the album, it certainly will suffice.

UPDATE: Just got confirmation that James Rushent did indeed work with the Prodigy on "Invaders Must Die," the song.

-- Charlie Amter

Photo by Paul Dugdale

Comments () | Archives (12)

"My first impression of the track was that it sounded a bit too much like Does It Offend You, Yeah? This is not a good sign. James Rushent from DIOYY actually appears on one of the forthcoming album’s tracks."

Actually i think Invaders Must Die is the track that James Rushent co produced in. This would probably explain why it sounds like it's his work.

I was actually told that "Invaders Must Die" (the song) was not one of the tracks James produced on the record on Wednesday, but will try and get double confirmation for you on that by Monday. It certainly sounds like some DIOYY stuff, anyway, so that would make sense. I really need to hear more from the disc (besides the versions of "Warrior's Dance" turning up online etc...) to judge. Those who have heard the entire set seem to think it is good. Here's one early review: http://thequietus.com/articles/00800-the-prodigy-new-album-first-review

Well said! When their own website said that this will be a return to the "Rave Elements" of their older days. I was wondering, "where is the RAVE actually?" It at least sounds like they are trying to go back to "Fat of the Land" instead of "Always Outnumbered..." If only they could set their clock back to "Experience," I would be happy.

I really hope this isn't an indication of what's to come on the new album.
I was going to pre-order the deluxe edition from their website but after hearing this I think I'll be needing a full album preview before parting with my cash.

The album is co-produced by James Rushent so it will have certain elements from the DIOYY producer. Looking forward to the album though hopefully some dirty breaks and a return to the more raw sounding Prodigy of old?

I dont know about you guys but, I like it.

anyone that uses terms like "rave" should be beaten to death, and while "experience" was a good record for it's time, music has to move on like everything else

Well, I didn't like the direction they were taking last couple o'years, but this track (and Omen) is indeed a step back in time tune-wise.

I dig it! :)

I have heard just once this new album, but i have got the first feeling- im listening the mix of previous records. It is mostly stealing of already used schemes. No offence, but this is not so interesting product.
Take me to the hospital - something from -music from the jilted generation mixed with smack my bitch up
Run with the wolves- Ministry imitation

Much more like Pendulum than Justice - the album's a banger

Oh, yeah, believe me, this is a very interesting album. I agree they are mixing and recycling lots of their old samples and songs, however they do it with masterful skills and create absolutely new sound. Their mix of early rave, hard techno and rock guitars make it a great CD. Highly recommended, energy is back here.

The good - much of the album has an early to mid 90s electro feel, with a couple of early
tracks also having a nice blend of rock guitar and electro beat to add some variety. The
arguably bad - some music patterns and sounds feel like they were ripped straight from
earlier Prodigy work, and others (one track in particular) from an 8 bit zx spectrum computer
loading a cassette tape! Taking retro this far might not be to everybodys taste-especially in
the year 2009-and even if it is to yours, there is really nothing new here on this album that
you havent heard before (aside from some dave grohl drumwork on one particular track).

My main issue with this album is with its overall production in many areas-it has a crisp,
clean sound for the most part at least-but alot of focus on single electronic sounds in
particular areas can make it sound far too simple. Little has been done to beef it up, so it
sounds like youve just switched on the 'music example 1' button on your new Casio 'my first
keyboard' you were given for christmas! This may sound different if the album was played
in a large room with alot of reverb as a result, but this is not going to happen with a simple
home stereo.

Having said the above, no one can rip off early Prodigy off quite as well as the Prodigy!
This is a solid album, if you can get around the more basic production, and retro sounds
with occasional maxim vocals. If this was released by any other band back in the early to
mid 90s im sure it would receive much praise, but an album sounding this retro today, so
far away from the slicker production of Jilted Generation and Fat Of The Land is not going
to be to everyones taste. So if youre not sure, hear before you buy. If you class yourself
as an old skool raver or have a wide range of dance music, Im sure you will enjoy.
Reviews from the uk press have been generally quite good, elsewhere its been hit or miss.


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