Nine Inch Nails back with Teeth

By Cory Kellogg for The UW Daily on June 2, 2005

Trent Reznor and company take a step back to what made them stars with their latest effort With Teeth. Nine Inch Nails are forefathers of the electronic-metal hybrid they launched more than a decade ago.

Reznor could quite possibly still be the most ingenious and depressed man in the music industry, and he's never been the kind to hold it in. His anger rages in "You Know What You Are," "The Line Begins to Blur," and "Getting Smaller" with the dense, driving metal a la "Head Like A Hole" from their earlier days. Dark and sinister beats combined with Reznor's drowning, redundant lyrics on "All The Love In The World" are chilling reminders of what Nine Inch Nails was always about in the first place.

"You Know What You Are" puts the trademark Reznor rage back to the forefront of the music, reminding the public what put moody Generation X-ers in dark and brooding garb.

The band's softer side comes out on "Love Is Not Enough" and "Right Where It Belongs" to showcase their range, but the overall sound returns to their roots. The first single, "The Hand That Feeds," is just a taste of the overall product of With Teeth. The song is a hybrid of what one could expect to hear in a dance club and a mosh pit.

Instead of the constant, driving force that NIN hit with in "Pretty Hate Machine" in 1991, Reznor shows his musical maturing in the years since the band's debut release with the various piano riffs and tempo changes from one song to another on Teeth. It is a finely crafted sound unique to Nine Inch Nails. With Teeth is classic NIN though, as if Reznor realized what made them the top of the electronic/metal scene in the first place.

If it took six years off to provide NIN with the ability to create an album of this magnitude, then it was a well-spent vacation. Whether it is the discotheque overtones of "Only" or the top 40-ish nuances of "Sunspots," NIN shows an uncanny ability to combine its traditional sound with new, evolving techniques that put them back atop the genre.

Nine Inch Nails last album, The Fragile, was considered a disappointment by many critics and fans of the band who weren't happy to see them abandon the sound that brought them the throngs of fans they had garnered over the years. With Teeth reinforces what they were missing -- that sound has come back with a vengeance.

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