With Teeth Review

Nine Inch Nails infuses funky tempo in latest effort: the ruthless 'With Teeth'

By Emily Burnham for Bangor Daily News on July 1, 2005

Trent Reznor doesn't do his fans any favors. In the six years since 1999's double-disc odyssey "The Fragile," there was a time when we heard next to nothing about Nine Inch Nails. Then there was a year or so of rumblings from his rock-star mansion in New Orleans that a new album was in the works, and that it was going to be called "Bleedthrough" and that he categorized it as, musically, being like "12 hard punches to the face." Trent's not one for subtlety.

Well, we have a new album. It's called "With Teeth," and instead of being like 12 hard punches to the face, it's more like 13 songs that are unmistakably the work of Nine Inch Nails that are also - dare I say it - funky. As in, you can dance while you're screaming your lungs out to them.

The album starts off on one of the high notes of Trent's long career; "All the Love In the World" begins with the piano twinkles featured so prominently on "The Fragile," along with Trent's tortured vocals. After a masterful crescendo, it locks into a devastating electro beat, and sets the mood for the rest of the album: painstakingly crafted electronic rock.

"You Know What You Are" hearkens back to "The Downward Spiral," with its high, pounding drums and screamed vocals, while hit single "The Hand That Feeds" and midalbum track "Only" sound more like indie heroes The Faint than the stuff they've done in the past. Though there are a few draggers, the album is as good as anything Trent Reznor has ever done, and in some places, better.

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