Liam Howlett once said he’d never record a song that he didn’t feel he could win a war with. A bold statement. He then expanded his claims to say that he wanted his music to be so loud and deafening that could battle the apocalypse itself and win. How very kind of him, and if we’re to believe the conspiracy theories, he’ll need a song of such monolithic magnitude on hand in 2012, 2014 and 2038; the last two dates dependent on whether the Mayans were wrong, naturally.
Now, the D&B fans among us will have already spotted the apparently erroneous detail in the first paragraph: Liam Howlett is the lead singer/lyricist of The Prodigy, not Pendulum. You may ask why I chose to start this review with that man and a couple of his quotes in particular. The answer being it’s obvious that The Prodigy and Pendulum make similar music, but it seems a lot of people are criticising Pendulum for softening up a bit with their D&B, or “selling out”, as it were, whilst The Prodigy remain standing resolutely outside the circle of popular mainstream with their own undiluted D&B. Recent examples of Pendulums “softer” material include ‘Watercolour’, which was as feeble as it’s name suggests and ‘The Island, Part I (Dawn)’, which pales in comparison to it’s magnificent counterpart ‘The Island, Part II (Dusk)’.
But now, upon the release of ‘Crush’, the fourth single from their third album ‘Immersion’, Pendulum are giving the two-fingered salute to their detractors by going all out and releasing a song that I have a feeling would live up to the bold claim of Mr. Howlett. He would be proud of this song. It can easily win against the apocalypse, is what I’m saying. I know some people who could test it out… so I caught up with them whilst they lunched.
Famine: Apparently, there’s a new “song” that’s supposed to challenge us Four Horsemen when the Last Judgment comes around!
War: Yeah, I heard about that. I heard a bit of it on, what is it? Bookface? Yeah… *attempts to change subject* I have 5 fans. *pause* I think I’ll have the lamb. Live…
Pestilence: Oh I have Bookface too, got myself 7 fans! And I would order the same as you – but a dead lamb of course – unfortunately I fear I may get E.Coli. My immune system is low of late.
Famine: Well, I have 5 fans too. And I made my own sandwiches for today. They’re out of food in the kitchen. Honestly, it’s like wherever I go, you can’t get a decent meal.
Conquest: You can’t bring your own food in here, Famine, this is an upmarket restaurant. I, and my 8 Bookface fans, demand you put them away now. And Famine, your scythe looks a bit overly dramatic. No wonder you don’t have many Bookface fans. Not everything is doom and gloom y’know? Halloween isn’t till October.
Famine: You don’t see me complaining about your ridiculously large longbow taking up all that space by the door, do you? NO. And where’s your quiver anyway? You haven’t lost it again, have you?
Conquest: Lost it back in 1066… Oh well, I still have my crown–
Famine: PESTILENCE! Will you stop oozing the plague on my sandwiches, please? I have to eat those.
Pestilence: I say we order now. I’m feeling famished.
(A few moments pass)
War: Hmm… That song’s kinda scary though, isn’t it?
Conquest: (in between mouthfuls) Oh… ermm… yeah, I’d definitely take on the challenge but ermm… I’m not fully prepared… Only one arrow and all that.
War: Rubbish, you’re just afraid. But on that subject I’m not fit for taking it on either; been out of action for a few centuries, so y’know, might pull a muscle or something.
Conquest: Don’t hate me ’cause I’m the most popular on Bookface…
Pestilence: I heard they hail from “down under”. You know what that means don’t you… they’re from Hades! That’s me out, I don’t judge my own.
Famine: And I’m low on energy reserves if I’m honest… Ermm… Haven’t eaten or drunk in a few days… and Pestilence has moulded up my sandwiches so…
Conquest: Yeah… I think I’m gunna crash in Hades tonight guys, can’t be doing with these humans anymore. Nothing to do with anything in particular of course… I mean… yeah…
Pestilence: Yeah, I think we’re all gunna join you.
Conquest: Okay, where’s that lamb? We need one to close the seal.
War: You seem determined to get to Hades don’t you?
Conquest: Yeah, I’m feeling homesick.
War: We could grab the lamb you just ordered and go? Smite anyone in our path? This sword isn’t just for show, y’know?
Conquest: Let’s do it, before that song comes on the radio.
Famine: Hang on, I’ll just tell my Bookface fans I’m on holiday.
‘Crush’ is in the vein of Pendulum’s biggest D&B anthems – ‘Blood Sugar’, ‘Slam’, ‘Granite’, ‘Witchcraft’ – a song so riotous is could fend of the Four Horsemen themselves. But that hasn’t stopped War taking over a man’s consciousness for the video:
Ooh… Hooded black figure alert at 1:26… Grim? Is that you?
At the end of the day (not literally, the Horsemen are back in Hades now… throw down your weapons and flaming torches, peeps), Pendulum aren’t a mainstream act, and therefore there are many who will see this musical cacophony as just “noise”. But Pendulum deal in that kind of music – to them, it’s a regularity to be deafened by D&B of such epic proportions. And if these guys specialise in loud, thundering music, and they continue to release loud, thundering music, then they deserve nothing less than to be celebrated for it.
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Download: January 17, 2011 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Immersion’