New NIN Album

World Exclusive Preview

Originally published in Kerrang! on March 2, 2005

The frenzy surrounding the May release of NIN’s first album in almost six years just multiplied a hundredfold with the internet leak of a low-quality version of the first single. It’s still being debated whether the mp3 – currently available from all the usual peer-to-peer networks – is a demo or CD rip: either way ‘THTF’ is trademark NIN from the get-go. With the closest predecessor perhaps being the agonised crescendo of ‘Please’ off 1999’s ‘The Fragile’, only more upbeat. It sounds like it could be a massive hit.

‘THTF’ opens with a jaunty guitar-coated industrial-pop pulse before bursting into big riffs, an even bigger refrain and Reznor chanting about hearts being black and hollow and cold and asking that everyday question ‘Will you chew until it bleeds?’ before the inevitable electro-synth tomfoolery kicks in. Okay, so the music’s barely audible over the background static – but you can tell it’s a fucking amazing song. Welcome back, you miserable sod.

Every Day is Exactly the Same
Desolate mid-tempo ballad, with gorgeous piano-and-synth atmospherics that recall ‘A Warm Place’. Stunning.

A natural successor to ‘Hurt’, this funereal epic features a distorted vocal that comes thrillingly into focus two minutes in. Key lyric: ‘What if all the world you know is an elaborate dream?’

Getting Smaller Every Day
Discordant, edgy and wired, this frantic anthem boasts a wild-eyed vocal from Trent. ‘I think I’m losing my grip, but I can still make a fist’ he screams over a pounding drum loop.

‘There is no you, there is only me!’ howls Trent over a savage, floor-filling electro-funk riff. Further evidence that NIN have their sites set on the mainstream once more.

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