The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy both made their biggest splashes in the 1990s as forces of big-beat/breakbeat electronica. Imagine this: It’s 1996, and The Prodigy release two singles, “Breathe” and “Firestarter,” from their upcoming album The Fat of the Land that go to the top of the British charts. The Chemical Brothers match that, with “Setting Sun” (released 1996) and “Block Rockin’ Beats” (1997) from Dig Your Own Hole both going to #1. Both albums come out in 1997 and top the charts in the UK, and The Fat of the Land even goes to #1 in the US. Electronic music seems to be the new punk rock.
Here in 2015, both are back after long absences. The Prodigy released The Day Is My Enemy about a month ago, their first album in six years. The Chemical Brothers will put out Born in the Echoes, their first album in five years, in July.
We’ve already got two singles from each disc and hey, they’re pretty good. The Prodigy is sticking to their big beat guns, and treating us to some cool animation as well. Here’s “Nasty,” in which a cornered fox gets its revenge:
The Chemical Brothers’ “Go” features Q-Tip and has a video directed by Michel Gondry:
Still with us? “Wild Frontier” is more hard-hitting Prodigy, with a video that tells a different version of the story from “Nasty”:
The Chemical Brothers put this video for “Sometimes I Feel So Deserted” on YouTube last week, although it looks like a place-holder. Still, it may be better than Gondry’s chicks-with-sticks routine.
How we score it: The Prodigy seems to have come out of the gates stronger with good-ol’ Prodigy screaming and mayhem and two fun-to-watch videos. The Chemical Brothers don’t seem quite as with it, partly due to Michel Gondry’s snoozy video to what is really a Q-Tip song.