NIN returns with more doom-and-gloom electronica on
By Associated Press
A Nine Inch Nails concept album comes as no surprise.
Trent Reznor - the band’s only official member - has been working the same doom-and-gloom concept for nearly 20 years, and you don’t have to be a genius to see who and what he’s directing his vitriol at on ”Year Zero.”
Returning less than two years after 2005’s ”With Teeth” seems odd considering Reznor has taken no less than five years to issue new material since his 1994 smash ”The Downward Spiral.”
Legal rangling over money and battles with drug and alcohol abuse have played a major role in that, so don’t think for a second Reznor comes off as rushed or unfocused on ”Year Zero” - which he says is a snapshot of the world 15 years from now if our social, economic and spritual decline continues ... well, spiraling downward.
The disc can sound so fractured it makes your head spin - but once you give it a few spins you realize that’s the point. Reznor’s sound is more electronic here than it’s been in years and is still quite dense, even though it’s scaled back by his standards.
But there’s still plenty of bombing bass lines and screeching guitars, and he’s even given some of the drum programming a subtle hip-hop feel that works well.
One look at the song titles and you get a clear picture: ”The Beginning of the End,” ”The Good Soldier,” ”The Greater Good” and ”Another Version of the Truth” are intricate pieces of a narrative about the end of the world.
”Survivalism,” ”My Violent Heart,” ”Meet Your Master” and ”The Great Destroyer” will fit in easily with his best work, showcasing a strong sense of catchy hooks and melody while losing none of the layered aggression.
It may be a bit on the long side, clocking in at just over an hour, but Reznor pulls it off with plenty of moody aplomb _ even though he’s saying the same old things he did on hits like ”Head Like a Hole,” ”Happiness in Slavery” and ”March of the Pigs.”
If that doesn’t bother you, jump all over ”Year Zero.”
© Copyright 2007 Associated Press.