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The Prodigy: The Day Is My Enemy

Essex bruisers revisit their rave-punk roots with help from Sleaford Mods.

As the time-lag between Prodigy albums grows ever longer, it is hard to avoid the sense that Liam Howlett has exhausted his narrow range of ear-pummelling, beat-crunching studio tricks.

And yet these veteran Essex electro punks can still surprise – their last album, 2009’s Invaders Must Die, was an agreeable mash-up of post-punk and dubstep influences with added percussive clout from Dave Grohl.

Six years and several title changes later, the band’s sixth album is another uneven mix, but with enough fresh twists and smart cameos to save it from redundancy.

Alongside the obligatory huddle of mindless macho stomps with adolescent titles like Destroy and Rok-Weiler, the title track is a superior buzzsaw rave-pop gallop featuring sultry vocals by sometime-Tricky-collaborator Martina Topley-Bird, while Behind The Death Ray is a Vangelis-sized cinematic techno anthem, and Ibiza a snarly satire on superstar DJs featuring a typically Tourettes-ish rant from Sleaford Mods.

Howlett’s decision to marginalise the boorish chants of Keith and Maxim in favour of female singers and cascading turbo-synth melodies has paid dividends, putting these former bloke-rock bruisers more in touch with their feminine side./o:p

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Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.