Picks and Pans Review: The Fat of the Land

UPDATED 08/11/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/11/1997 at 01:00 AM EDT

Prodigy

Eyes blazing through thick makeup, rings on every finger, metal piercing other parts—even his publicity bio describes him as a "deranged spectacle." Keith Flint, front man for this hugely popular British foursome, has caused quite a stir with that devil-horns coif. The prominence of his videogenic do in Prodigy's MTV hits "Firestarter" and "Breathe" has helped the group establish a unique visual identity among synthesizer-driven outfits, but it takes more than shrieked vocals and sledgehammer sonics to stir up real musical momentum. Granted, "Diesel Power" and "Breathe" are cathartic performances capable of spreading dance fever to the stubbornest rock-and-roll head-bangers, the kind who wouldn't be caught dead in a disco inferno. But in the end, Prodigy's techno fits are so rigid and unrelentingly brutal that much of Fat ends up sounding like well-orchestrated noise. (Maverick/Warner Bros.)

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