The Prodigy – No Tourists
- Henry Northmore
- 8 November 2018
Business as usual from Essex's rave warriors with heavy hitting techno and thumping bass
The Prodigy have pulled off a coup. Their hardcore rave assault has united metal heads, indie kids and clubbers (they've headlined Download, Reading and Creamfields). Their sixth album, No Tourists, refuses to deviate from this tried and tested formula.
It kicks off in typically raucous style with the squelchy acid beats and big drops of 'Need Some1'; 'We Live Forever' continually ramps up the intensity; their collaboration with New Jersey punk / metal duo Ho99o9, 'Fight Fire With Fire', is as deliciously chaotic and hardcore as you'd expect exploding with jittery beats, harsh riffs and confrontational lyrics; 'Timebomb Zone' goes old skool with a dubstep twist and the insistent grinding rhythms of 'Champions of London' will set your teeth on edge. However there's also a clutch of tracks ('Light Up the Sky', 'No Tourists', 'Boom Boom Tap', 'Resonate') that feel like Liam Howlett on autopilot. Not exactly bad but predictable and faceless.
The Prodigy have a sound that's instantly recognisable: hammering beats, big, bolshie, thumping bass as Keith Flint and MC Maxim scream slogans above the maelstrom. Sonically, there's been little progression from their early rave days but you have to admire their tenacity and refusal to compromise. Six albums in and it's still brutally effective (2004's Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned has been their only serious misstep in over 25 years). It's relentless, ferocious and confrontational, immediately connecting on a visceral, primal, physical level.
If you want variety, No Tourists offers no respite from the Prodigy's ruthless robotic template (even their collaboration with singer-songwriter Barns Courtney, 'Give Me a Signal', is an in-your-face banger). They've created the perfect soundtrack to accompany the technological onslaught of Skynet's global machine revolution. And it's going to sound immense live. (Henry Northmore)
Out now on Take Me To The Hospital Records.