Nine Inch Nails -‘The Slip.’ (from www.nin.com)
Following on from Radiohead, The Charlatans, and Pennywise, Nine Inch Nails have made their album available for free via the internet. Increasingly, this seems to be the way forward. But, once this very twenty-first century method of distribution (which makes cottage industries seem almost conservative by comparison) is out of the way, is the album any good?
I’ve got to be honest, I had sort of tuned out on Nine Inch Nails a while back. Don’t get me wrong; as a sixteen year old I thought Pretty Hate Machine a work of genius, and couldn’t wait to hear The Downward Spiral, having lapped up the Broken and Fixed EPs in the meantime. The soundtrack he assembled for Natural Born Killers is one of the finest ever, leaving Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs standing. Then sometime in the late nineties I’d got onto and into other things, and lost interest a bit. Last summer they supported The Foo Fighters in Edinburgh, and it was a reminder of why I’d been so impressed by Trent Reznor and his not-very-merry men in the first place.
The fact is that, into his forties, Reznor does Angst and Atmosphere extremely well. Lest we forget, he produced Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar LP, thus turning Manson into a bigger star than him in the first place, but he still has an edge. Whereas Manson took Alice Cooper’s template and ran with it, Reznor is the more thoughful, watchful older brother. There is still an element of nosie and industrial influences on here, as shown on opener ‘999,999’ but Reznor has not forgotten tunes, and these are here in abundance, particularly ‘1,000,000’ and ‘Discipline.’
If you didn’t like Nine Inch Nails before this may not change your mind, but if you ever felt that there was something else there, that you wanted to peer closer into the abyss you will find this a rewarding listen.
Nine Inch Nails -‘1,000,000.’ mp3
Nine Inch Nails -‘Discipline.’ mp3
The album can be downloaded for free at the Nine Inch Nails website. A physical release will follow shortly.