We can deny it as much as we want now, but, for a lot of us back in the '90s, a group like the Prodigy sounded like music's future. Knee-deep in our pre-millennium tension, the itchy rave-romp of Music for the Jilted Generation and The Fat of the Land spoke to the snarling uncertainty of a new century, smashing punk into dance into hip hop into rock 'n' roll because, presumably, once the calendar hit 2000, all hell was going to break loose. Although it's true a certain amount of hell has broken loose in the '00s, it wasn't quite the kind we had expected ... and the Prodigy's brand of cyberpunk didn't end up being this decade's spiritual soundtrack. Undeterred, the group's new album plows forward, making our times bend to the Prodigy's now slightly dated sonic outlook.
Invaders Must Die, the first Prodigy record to include vocalists Keith Flint and Maxim Reality since '97's The Fat of the Land, very much feels like a continuation of that album's strengths. (Tellingly, Prodigy mastermind Liam Howlett again samples the Breeders, as he did so memorably on that album's big hit, "Firestarter.") But while Invaders has its share of adrenalized electro-rock, Howlett smartly strips away the cartoonish aggression that hampered Fat of the Land. At one time, the Prodigy felt like a conduit for the menacing dread that a new age would most assuredly unleash. As accomplished as it is, Invaders Must Die doesn't so much reflect our era as it creates a comforting alternate reality — one where our biggest fear is getting dehydrated on the dance floor. If only it were so.
The Prodigy plays Friday, May 22, as part of the Movement opening night party at the Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-5451. With Dethlab.
Tim Grierson writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.