BBC / Music Editorial

The prats of the land

So, in a radical and unexpected move, The Prodigy are courting controversy again by choosing a song with dubious lyrical content to herald their return to the pop fray.

The band's forthcoming single, Baby's Got A Temper, features scary Keith Flint extolling the virtues of Rohypnol, the tranquillising drug that's often associated with cases of date rape.

How very risqué and rebellious. Or, more likely, how very shrewd and calculating.

As a result of its contentious subject matter, the single will be denied mainstream radio airplay. And if they're lucky, some stations may even ban the song all together, pretty much guaranteeing The Prodigy a number one hit.

Bingo! But haven't we been here before?

Back in 1997, middle England was not amused by the sexist overtones of The Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up and its graphically violent video.

So the band hit the headlines, conveniently just as they were about to release new long player, The Fat Of The Land. Both single and album made the top ten. Moral outrage shifts units.

As if to prove you can't teach old dogs new tricks, the pantomime punks seem intent on repeating this winning strategy all over again.

But in the five years that have elapsed since The Prodigy last released any new material, young upstarts like So Solid Crew have wreaked real havoc, with real guns. Which just makes Liam, Keith and Maxim come across as estuary uncles trying to shock the kids with their pro-drugs rant.

You're going to have to try harder than that, boys. Let's just hope they can still turn out a good tune to distract us from their pathetic attempts to appear exciting and relevant.

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