Back in 2009 the Prodigy returned with the album ‘Invaders Must Die’. There was then an apocalypse.
Liam Hewlett truly utilised his prowess and his fellow band members (Keith Flint and Maxim Reality) on the latest realise, taking influence from all areas of the dance scene.
Title track ‘Invaders Must Die’ with pulsating bass that slowly unfurls, as the chords start it builds until the distorted voice proclaims ‘We are the Prodigy’, in case you forgot. The warped chiptone synths and piercing lead line work well in the track and the overall track feels refreshing and almost like they are treading new territory.
‘Omen’, the second release from this album and first single. It starts with Keith Flint saying ‘It’s an Omen’. You know how this goes. If not, may I be the first to ask you how was your coma and then tell you to go listen to this song. Simply this song kicks ass.
‘Thunder’ is practically the remake/2009 version of Out Of Space. The sampled Reggae track, the dissonant stabs and the wild force drumming. It is actually one of the more disappointing tracks on the album. On first listen it stands out, however it quickly looses its novelty.
‘Colours’ I love as it feels like a dirty dub track, true 6/8 time signature. Easily an underrated song, everything from the Sonic the Hedgehog inspired synths (pareidolia) – the band must have been fans.
‘Take Me To The Hospital’ is quite an interesting song at first. An updated version of something like ‘Breathe’ perhaps. It features Flint and Maxim on vocals yet it has a rhythm and structure similar too…
‘Warrior’s Dance’ throws back to song older hits such as ‘No Good’, it how one of the grandest openings in The Prodigy’s repertoire. A crescendoing eastern lilted opening with a sense of ‘thunder’ in the background. The singing line ‘Come with me to the dancefloor…’ stems from ‘Take Me Away’ by Final Cut, this is another throwback to early dance/rave scenes. It isn’t uncommon for Liam to do this though. In essence the song is an obvious release for a single but in reality it is actually one of the poorer songs on the album as it can become annoying quite quickly. It also sounds too much like ‘Take Me To The Hospital’. I played them over each other, it was hard to distinguish them.
‘Run With The Wolves’ features the almighty rocking Dave Grohl on drums, non stop head banging. Imagine ‘Firestarter’ going through a guitar amp with drums on the top and new lyrics. If you can, then you haven’t got this song.
‘Omen Reprise’ is like a break within the album, a stripped down version of Omen with tiny bits of left over and gliding synths, theremin lines and more.
‘World’s On Fire’ is easily the most skippable track after the Omen Reprise. It adds nothing to the previous songs, the nostalgic early 90s dance piano is out of place and dated. It is the one song on the album where the vintage element does not work in the slightest. The annoying intro doesn’t help.
Piranha is the newer of Charlie. 50s style theremin usage, typical Charly 7th chord synths. From the get go it feels lacklusture and it feels like a missed opportunity. From the Omen Reprise to this it is a bit of a boring album. However…
‘Stand Up’; with it’s triumphant brass (sampled from Manfred’s Man One Way Glass) pure instrumental, pure end of the night; is a highlight and one of the most unique sounding prodigy tracks. It is the only sampled song that is the root of track. The rest incorporate elements or use rerecorded versions and slight covers. Nevertheless it still has great (Dave Grohl) drumming, and rocking bass. It feels joyful from the very core.
Easily one of the few bands I think people from all sides of the musical palette spectrum can get along with for the most part. Whilst at times some songs are vaguely similar, you kind of expect continuous pounding rhythms.
Overall the album is like some of their greatest hits updated to fit the modern age. Part Nu Rave, part drum and bass, and almost a rock album at times. Prodigy have never been a true album outfit, the albums typically suit being played in sections. Invaders Must Die, on the other hand, feels like their most consistent and easily best since ‘Fat of the Land’. Liam Hewlett sure could teach something to these ‘Brostep’ kids on the scene. Who knew Dance music could be so melodic and yet so Rock. Yes it suffers from flaws and weak tracks and at times it is too repetitive, yet when it is enjoyable it is loveable.
- “Invaders Must Die“ – 4:55 (Liam Howlett, Nick Halkes)
- “Omen“ – 3:36 (Howlett, Tim Hutton, Maxim)
- “Thunder” – 4:08 (Howlett, Hutton, Trevor Joe)
- “Colours” – 3:27 (Howlett, Keith Flint, John Fortis)
- “Take Me to the Hospital” – 3:39 (Howlett, Flint, Jari Salo, Paul Malmström)
- “Warrior’s Dance” – 5:12 (Howlett, Bridget[te] Grace, Jeff Mills, Anthony Srock)
- “Run With the Wolves” – 4:24 (Howlett, Flint)
- “Omen Reprise” – 2:14 (Howlett, Hutton)
- “World’s on Fire” – 4:50 (Howlett, Reality, Marcos Vicente Salon, Kim Deal)
- “Piranha” – 4:05 (Howlett, Scrapper, Reality, Billy Childish, Rajesh Roshan, Sameer Anjaan)
- “Stand Up” – 5:30 (Howlett, Manfred Mann, Peter Thomas)