As I’m on the edge of my seat listening to The Prodigy’s brand new No Tourists album, I can’t help but hear throughout the uniquely Prodigy strand of musical DNA that’s gone one to influence groups like Pendulum and Noisia, who’ve taken on different permutations of that sound. Industrial, high-octane, and mercilessly metallic, the sinister, snarling edge to their studio productions has never lessened in the nearly 30 years The Prodigy’s been around. Their scope of influence is unquantifiable at this point, but the lasting impact of their hybrid electronica, speed-metal rap-rock can still be felt (just listen to the Pendulum Reworks album!), and it’s positively glorious.
No Tourists kicks the door down with their lead single “Need Some1,” which doesn’t pick up the same speed as the other songs on this album but lets you know right away with its rapid-fire laser synths, distorted electric guitar, and funky, almost staccato-esque bass groove that this is not suited for amateur listening. The title track comes in with a vengeance as its grinding percussion and violently spat verses give way to a classic Prodigy breakdown, and it feels like a song that’s daring us to enter the fray of the human experience right now instead of staying where it’s safe. My favorite cut on the album is, of course, the weirdest: “Resonate” riffs off a grating, hypnotic loop and rave-tastic ’90s synths that dance beneath vocoded, child-like vocal harmonies that belong in a horror film. It gives us an energetic break just after the two-minute mark before dropping into a punchy, adrenaline-fueled groove punctuated with the oddly soothing hum of distant electric guitar feedback.
Seeing no reason to leave us feeling even remotely comfortable, No Tourists ends on its most frenetic note with “Give Me a Signal,” which features British singer Barns Courtney. This one along with all of the advance singles sound like they could’ve been left on the cutting room floor of The Prodigy’s 1994 More Music for the Jilted Generation LP or their iconic breakout album The Fat of the Land, which just turned 21. There’s an acid house-meets-straight techno element to the last song laced with gritty, chopped-up vocals, and when this album ends I feel like I just ran five miles. Saddle up for a full listen of No Tourists if you dare and for your own safety, please don’t operate heavy machinery whilst listening.