The Prodigy, No Tourists - album review
The Prodigy are back, and for the most part continuing the pure aggression that has always been there in their sound but has really boiled over in the last few records.
Since dropping Experience in 1992, this trio have held something of a grip over the British people who love their music louder and more aggressive. The 'Godfathers of Rave' have enjoyed hit after hit, ignoring political and media criticism to thrive and stand as a lit candle for a generation of underground dance fans.
Invaders Must Die - released almost a decade ago in 2009 - and 2015's The Day Is My Enemy signalled a further evolution.
The bass felt a bit deeper. The pace quicker. The anger was no longer just snarling, but also foaming at the mouth.
This - album number seven - follows that path. And while there are some undeniably Prodigy thumpers contained within, it seems to fall a little below what the last two albums created.
Second track Light Up The Sky contains those thundering beats and aggy melodies that made those past two records so inviting. It's electronic fire crisps our eardrums - big, brash and not at all caring who it upsets along the way. You can't help but love these guys in this mood.
The ferocious pace of Champions Of London is a joy too. Here, Maxim Reality is allowed to let loose with his trademark vocal style. At once he can sound like he doesn't care about you, while at the same time fixing to rip your face off.
Fight Fire With Fire, featuring Ho99o9, sounds like The Prodigy at their sleazy 90s best. Those almost-lazy beats are akin to those on Back 2 School or Under My Wheels as they bob along.
The title track, too, opens with those Prodigy sirens that wail as they rise and fall heeding a warning to everyone listening that this is about to get loud.
But, we don't know, it seems to just fall short in comparison to Invaders and Enemy. Perhaps it suffers from being a little too similar. And had it come before those, we may have been crowing from the rooftops about this instead.
The Prodigy play at Arena Birmingham this Saturday - November 10