Monday, March 4, 2019

By now it has been confirmed by The Prodigy’s mastermind Liam Howlett that the band’s MC/Vocalist Keith Flint has committed suicide over the weekend at the age of 49. Another entry in a long, sad list of pop figures who have chose to end their lives early, a list that is growing at an increasingly alarming rate. It’s too early and too morbid to speculate as to why or how. In fact it’s no concern of ours.

Like most people of my generation I discovered the Prodigy with their second album Music For The Jilted Generation. Electronic music for fans of punk rock and metal. It was the era of Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and industrial metal, a time when the trippy and aggressive sounds of underground rave music were slowly infiltrating rock and the mainstream.

But the real impact came in 1996 when they released The Fat Of The Land. The videos for Breathe and Firestarter introduced a new demonic figure. Spikey hair on the side, shaved eyebrows and smeared make-up, an intense stare reminiscent of Johnny Rotten and an antagonistic attitude, Keith Flint was the Lynchian presence that gave The Prodigy its visual identity. That was enough to get this Alice Cooper fanatic hooked.

In retrospect the nihilistic hedonism he exuded in his performances probably pointed to this. Or maybe it’s too easy an analysis, too reductive. And again, it’s no one’s business. Whatever the reasons, he has chosen to stop the fire down here to join the eternal bacchanalia where the night never ends, where the music is never over, where you dance forever and where you never stop running with wolves.

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