The Prodigy’s ‘The Day Is My Enemy,’ the same rage for a different age
The Prodigy have been making electronic music for the bigger rooms since long before stadium credentials and festival headlining were common place for the industry elite. Between 1992 and 1997, the British trio dished out three seminal albums, penning their unapologetically anarchic stance as a solid route for rave music to take its cultural peak without compromising on the energy of pilled-up Britannia’s golden heyday. The seven years that separated Fat of the Land and 2004’s Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned saw the festival staples hold their corner on legacy and live merits, but there is little denying the group’s work until now failed to touch upon the epic properties of their inaugural full-length offerings. The Prodigy have never changed the musical world, but they’ve sure as hell remained an eye-opening reality of it.
A wave of pre-release press from frontman Liam Howlett set a crystal clear tone for The Day Is My Enemy: in a time of saturation, cheap tricks and blurry lines of electronic dance epiphany, The Prodigy still saw room to shake a little anarchy towards the age of DJ pin-ups, pre-recorded sets, and bland commercial prospects. To that extent, album number six had a lot to live up to, but its two predecessors were not going to be hard to beat.
The album’s namesake is a typically chunky, distorted and aggressive first call you would expect from a Prodigy record. It fared well in the pre-release promotion and as one of 14 cuts, the tone set is one of the beat awoken. Further on, ‘Nasty’ and ‘Rebel Radio’ sound like trio at their finest, but with a notably smoother calibre of production, leaving ‘Wild Frontier’ to pick up that winning formula of breaks and chants we have come to expect from the group. For all its grand offerings, The Day Is My Enemy has its cringe moments, such as lad-rave offering ‘Ibiza’ and the seemingly misplaced ‘Get Your Fight On’ – the latter of which invites attitude, but fails to really take flight.
At times it sounds like the record is clutching to fill the LP format, but continues to essentially do what it says on the tin: the same shade of Prodigy set to shake up a generation accustomed to overly-groomed electronic music. Long-term fans have been spoiled with the group’s earlier work, but those unaccustomed to the group are sure to be moved by this brand of volatile dance music otherwise lacking from the modern market.
There is no denying that as the electronic dance market continues to grow, Youngblood innovators and bonafide legends are two of the key focal points to where the industry can serve some fresh perspective. More of a careful reminder that the group is yet to retire than a full-blown musical statement, The Day Is My Enemy captures that attitude in a new light, giving the renowned British duo a reassuring second wind without really pushing the boat out on anything new or disruptive from these UK dance rogues and their signature dynamism.