November 30, 2022

Meathead Break Down the EP

What’s good, homeslice! It’s your fellow cool teen Meathead here to yeet some more straight fire at y’all, obvi. No cap. Please let me hang out with you. I promise I’m not sus. I'm just a normal rad dude who low-key loves dope shit like pulling wicked sick ollies on my skateboard and dunking on everything your favorite band puts out. Based.

This week’s gargler of my verbal piss stream will be Bad Witch (2018), the third of three E.P.s which, if combined, and edited down to just the good songs, would probably result in… a single? No, that’s not very nice. I’m sorry. Atticus and Trent are trying really hard to make cool music for us to shop at Whole Foods to, and that deserves our respect. Trent could be staying at home, swimming in his massive piles of money like Scrooge McDuck, and Atticus could be… I don’t know, vaping more I guess, but instead, they’ve been busting their asses in the studio day and night. What do I do? I mean, besides maintaining my insanely popular website that pulls in literally twos of readers every month. I promise I’ll try to be more considerate.

But before I pull a total 180 and go back to talking about how bad Bad Witch is and why you are an idiot for enjoying it, can we change the subject for just a minute and talk about how much Elon Musk sucks?

Until very recently, I’d been largely ignoring Twitter and its tinnitus-inducing echo chamber of psychosis, for a couple of years or so. But when I finally decided to dig up the corpse of this website and make it dance around à la Weekend at Bernie’s, it seemed like it might not be such a bad idea to actually tell people about it. Might as well dust off that old Twitter account and jump back in, right? What could go wrong?

What could, and did, go wrong, obviously, was that a bored narcissist with Asperger’s whose parents gave him the infinite money Game Genie code for life decided to buy Twitter and play with it like a cat with a new catnip-filled plushie, quizzically batting it around for a couple minutes, shredding it to pieces, and then immediately becoming bored with it and walking away to go lick his own asshole somewhere.

Oh, and somewhere along the way, why not invite back every single self-absorbed, racist, homophobic, Holocaust-denying piece of shit that ever tweeted, including any former U.S. President(s) who may or may not have used this very platform to attempt a violent coup? Ooh, how delightfully disruptive! I'm so triggered! Yeah, I sure picked a great time to revisit this unmitigated hellhole. And then, as if all that weren’t bad enough, the unthinkable happened:

Our Lord and personal Savior Himself has formally peaced out and extricated himself from the Twitter community, presumably because of all of this tech bro billionaire bullshit, and hopefully not because of something I said. But on the off chance it was something I said, please accept my apologies, I didn’t mean it, you’re very talented and handsome and tall, Hesitation Marks was robbed of the Grammy that I’m assuming it didn’t win, please come back. But yeah, it was probably that other thing.

Of course, the world’s oldest toddler who has not lived in the White House just couldn’t resist sticking it to Shorty with world’s most expensive epic burn:

Imagine having so much money that you could buy Jeff Bezos and still be obscenely rich, so much goddamned money that you could literally go anywhere and do anything whenever you feel like it, and hell, maybe end world hunger or something IDK LOL, but instead you’re just putzing around and being a whiny little turd just because the guy who wrote “Kinda I Want To” doesn’t like you. Put it this way: if I had even “a” billion dollars, you’d better believe I wouldn’t be sitting here right now writing this bullshit. But since I’m a relatively normal person with normal money, here we are. So, on that note, stay in your lane, Little Lord Fuckleroy. Making fun of Trent "nine inch nails" Reznor is kind of my thing. I’ve been doing it since even before you were just Elon "paypal" Musk, and I think I’ve gotten pretty darn good at it, if I do say so myself. Why don’t you stick to what you're good at: selling tacky-ass self-immolating cars to bougie douchebags who think turn signals are for poor people, and producing children who will never love you. If anyone’s going to be calling T.R. a crybaby around here, it’s going to be me. But if when I do, it won’t be for not wanting to hang around on the deck of the Titanic with Kevin Sorbo and Marjorie Taylor Fucking Greene while the captain gleefully steers it into the iceberg just to own the libs. I mean, why go with that excuse when there are so many perfectly valid reasons out there to call him a crybaby? Could be maybe someone’s projecting a tiny bit?

Now this is where I’d love to make a big announcement that I’m also leaving that vortex of pain and misery in a show of solidarity, but the sad truth is that right now it’s still the most effective way for me to let you freaks know when there’s a hot, throbbing new Meathead Perspective available. So after doing a cost/benefit analysis, I’ve decided I’m willing to forego my basic principles a little bit in order to continue providing this vital service to you. It’s all about you. However, that’s not to say I don’t have one foot out the door at least, as I’ve also joined the huddled, nerdy masses at the Twitter refugee camp known as Mastodon, just in case. If you want to be best friends (not legally binding) on there, my awkward-as-hell “handle” or whatever the hell it’s called is:

Twitter is dead, and Musk doesn’t care; so if this is a viable alternative, I’ll see you there! Ugh sorry

Anyway, let’s get back to business, and never mention that whiny turd on here again.

Way back in those sepia-toned, pre-COVID days of 2018, while I wasn’t paying attention, The Nin Twins saw fit to put out Bad Witch, what I assume/hope is the last in a string of E.P.s which I’ve been covering in grotesque and unnecessary detail here at the Perspective during the last few weeks. Now, over four years later, I’m finally ready to get around to being all caught up and moving on with my fucking life!

The first two E.P.s were, as nearly anything would be, a notable improvement over Hesitation Marks (2013). Not the Actual Events (2016) was a nostalgic return to the chaotic noise of the mid-1990s, or at least the closest approximation one could reasonably hope for these days. Add Violence (2017) took us back to the era of Reaganomics and Cabbage Patch Kids, except in that dark, edgy, Hot Topic way we’ve all grown to love. And both releases were actually pretty much okay, contrary to what many, many people had said. So, naturally, I’ve been curious to find out what musical time period I’d be magically whisked away to this time. 1950s doo-wop? 1600s baroque? 800s Gregorian chants? As the esteemed poet Robert Frost said, the best way out is always through.

So, as the esteemed plumber Mario also said, here we go!

(Real mature, Meathead. Jesus.)

URGENT NOTICE PLEASE READ IMMEDIATELY: In an effort to appeal to a global audience, the Larry, Darryl and Darryl ratings will now use the metric system. Thank you for your patience as the Meathead Perspective continually attempts to evolve into a more inclusive space for everyone.

Shit Mirror

Oh, boy. Can I just say, right off the top, what a nice title. You can already just tell this E.P. is going to be a half hour of nothing but rainbows and sunshine and baby otters holding hands. They should put “shit” in all their song titles from now on.

Truth be told, I’ve never been the biggest fan of mirrors either, but you know what’s even worse? Shit Front-Facing Camera On My Phone That I Apparently Switched To Without Realizing. Ugh. But “Shit Mirror” sounds better as a title, I guess. It just glides off the tongue. “Shit Mirror, the new fragrance from Dior.”

Musically, “Shit Mirror” comes off at first as extremely Nine Inch Nailsy. Perhaps laying it on a little too thick, even. Like, you’re Trent “nine inch nails” Reznor and Atticus “trent reznor” Ross, we get it. But it is a welcome departure from that ‘80s-shorts-and-sweatbands trip they’ve been on lately with Hesitation Marks and that other one. I can’t decipher nearly any of the lyrics (something about not eating in the bathroom?), but that’s probably for the best, let’s be honest.

Then, wait for it… any second now… and… yup, there it is, the quiet part. Yay, I got Nine Inch Nails bingo! And that’s also 20 Darryls for you, “Shit Mirror.” But don’t worry, it just sounds like a lot because it’s in metric. It’s all good.

The whole stompy sing-along part during the last minute of the song is this song’s ultimate saving grace, though, and earns it 2,000 extra Euro-Larrys. Don’t spend them all in one place!


FINAL SCORE: 110,630

Shit Ahead of Ourselves

That last song wasn’t bad, so this one must be just as good or possibly even better, right? Now, let’s not get Ahead of Ourselves, lest we forget the Track 2 Syndrome that has afflicted the two previous releases. Probably best to manage the hell out of our expectations here.

Believe it or not, though, “Ahead of Ourselves” actually manages to break the precedent set by “Dear World Comma” and “The Lovers.” None of that “everyone is asleep” crap this time. It’s just a fun little ditty about how the human race is a joke and we need to fuck off and go extinct already. I have to toss a few Darryls its way, however, for the abuse of that underwater effect on the vocals during the verses. It’s cool for the first 10-15 seconds, I guess, but damn.

Two songs in, Bad Witch isn’t faring too badly, but still feels a little light in substance. “Shit Mirror” and its emotional support song “Ahead of Ourselves” are like musical free chips and salsa. They’re good and all, and yes I’ll have some more please, but after a while it’s like, where’s the real food I ordered?


FINAL SCORE: 2,000,000

Play the Goddamned Part and Shit

Man, someone’s in a grumpy mood. I wonder if Trent angrily renamed all the songs on this E.P. at the last minute after getting into yet another argument with the Mrs. over him not replacing the empty toilet paper roll. But that’s okay. Here at the Meathead Perspective, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Goddamn motherfucker shit piss fart ass. Swear words are fun! (But seriously though, she shouldn’t have to remind you to change the roll every. single. goddamn. time.)

Finally, this is the carne asada combo plate I was waiting for. “Play the Goddamned Part” is quite possibly one of the top five NIN instrumentals (I refuse to call them “NINstrumentals,” as I find such portmanteaus crude and vulgar). It’s nice to finally have a good, solid instrumental track for the first time in at least a decade (nothing on Hesitation Marks qualifies). Not only is it a refreshing break from all that goddamn whining, but that sax tho! There’s more woodwind on this song than on an entire Kenny G record. Obviously it’s not our friend Kenny playing this time – trust me, I can tell the difference – but Trent’s doing his best here, and that’s so adorable. I actually listened to this track a few times before moving on to the next song, because I wanted to savor this moment for as long as I could before “God Break Down the Door” inevitably makes me say “eh, but that last song was pretty awesome!”

I have no choice but to give this tune another perfect Larry score of 100,000,000 (7 U.S.). I can’t point out a single thing about it to hate on, despite my best efforts. And as an added bonus, it didn’t make me feel all shitty and sad about how everyone I know and care about is going to die someday! So I’d say it’s even more perfect than the previous recipient of this prestigious distinction. Good job, fellas! If the next two songs are at least remotely tolerable, you might get that third punch on your membership card after all.


God Break Down the Shitty Door


Okay, what in the actual Kentucky Fried Fuck is this shit? Techno lounge music?! Fuck this, I’m out. No, seriously. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life, Christ almighty. Forget everything I said before. The sheer awfulness of this “song” is so massive it has its own gravitational pull and is starting to fuck up the earth’s tides, and it categorically negates every remotely half-decent thing Trent Reznor has ever or will ever have any involvement in creating. I could ultimately look past “Running,” but this is too much even for me. I just can’t. Dude is officially cancelled! Atticus and Alessandro too, all of them, they’re guilty by association. Time to pull all my old NIN CDs, ticket stubs and autographed butt plug out of the closet and throw them in the dumpster. Bye, Felicia.

Relax, I’m just messing with you. I love this cheesy Wayne Newton shit. Even on the best NIN albums, I’ve always felt that there was still something missing, but never could quite put my finger on it. Now I know! It was lounge music this whole time.

“God Break Down the Door” is probably the first time someone made a Richard Cheese version of their own song before Richard Cheese could. But I’m here for it. Most of my favorite NIN songs over the years have been the ones that initially provoked this reaction:

You know what I’m talking about. Like anyone reading this didn’t have to suppress the impulse to yank their With Teeth CD out and snap it in half when they heard “Only” for the first time. It’s always fun to see Trent get weird, because when it works, it really works. Of course, when it doesn’t…



Shit, I’m Not from This World

Another instrumental, what luck! Jesus must have been listening to my prayers, after all! I’ll admit, I do find it a little bit harder to critique the instrumentals since NIN lyrics tend to provide such abundant comedic material to work with, but I’m trying my best over here. I just hope I never have to review an entire album of these someday.

“I’m Not from This World” feels more like first-person shooter background music, from some strange alternate universe where Trent was actually involved in that sort of thing. Not bad for what it is, certainly a fitting accompaniment to fragging Shamblers in the Netherworld, but I feel like it actually could benefit from some lyrics. So I went to the trouble of generating some with AI using the website These Lyrics Do Not Exist. It’s honestly kind of spooky how NIN-like they turned out. Please now sing these words in your mind whenever listening to this song, making sure not to forget the vibrato on “boys.”

I’m Not from This World

Verse 1
i'm cut like a butcher
My knife red, dripping with blood
Last week a friend made fun of me, called me names, said damn, how you like me?
i'm hate these boys, I'm hate this world. Boys

i'm will never understand why you have to play this game with me
Is it really worth getting no more sleep, no rest

This is no myth, we shall not give in
But some of us pursue it
i'm was so stupid that I'm feel like faking
i’m not from this world

Verse 2
One day I'm just wonder
If racing to the past was all a bad sign
All the birds are fading now their dead and gone
Still the strong has it

Not gonna pretend to chill
Not gonna pretend to chill

This is no myth, we shall not give in
But some of us pursue it
i'm was so stupid that I'm feel like faking
i’m not from this world

They are all just shadows, all the same
All I'm know is living pain

This is no myth, we shall not give in
But some of us pursue it
i'm was so stupid that I'm feel like faking
i’m not from this world

(Lyrics by T. Reznor and A. Ross)


FINAL SCORE: 80,000,000,000

Over and Out (Shit)

Whoa, a track 6? Haven’t seen one of those in a while! Haven’t seen a good one in even longer. After five perfectly acceptable songs on this E.P., they could have easily called it at “I’m Not from This World,” maybe extending it with a totally unnecessary seven-minute outro for good measure. But they really went the extra mile this time and gave us a whole other song, for free even! I like free stuff.

In the closer (meaning “one that closes,” not the “fuck you like an animal” song), we enjoy a few minutes of relaxing computer music before Bizarro World Adult Contemporary Trent Reznor returns from whatever he was doing backstage during "I'm Not from This World" to see us off at the end of the show and make sure we all get home safe. Great way to end this thing, with a number that says “okay, fine, we’re old, but you will be too someday.” (Editor’s note: I will always be young and cool)


FINAL SCORE: 85,000,000,000 OVERALL SCORE: 34,700,000,000,000,500 (metric, remember)

All right, come on, give me your damn card so you can get your third punch:

Congrats! Now if you ever actually put out any more music, I’ll have to completely bite my tongue on your next ill-advised song that would otherwise be declared career suicide! Enjoy (I won’t)!

Bad Witch is objectively the best of the three E.P.s, and as I've said over and over and will quite possibly be my last words on my deathbed, it sure beats Hesitation Marks. Obviously, there are bound to be some haters out there who feel that the vibes of Einstürzende Neubauten and Neil Diamond should never mix, and always keep their mashed potatoes and corn segregated on their plate, but those people are wrong. Personally, I love to mix that shit up. I mean, it’s all going the same place anyway, right? It’s just too bad that right after its release, Trent came out and publicly stated that Bad Witch would be NIN’s absolute last album ever, and that he is retiring and handing over the reins to Peter Cetera as promised, and will live out the rest of his days tending sheep on a quiet farm in rural Scotland*. So I guess he’ll probably never get a chance to cash in that free pass after all. Oh well!

Since there's nothing else to talk about, and NIN is now over (again), this unfortunately concludes the Meathead Perspective (again). It’s been a fun ride, folks, but now it’s time to “wave goodbye.” Maybe we’ll cross paths again at some point down the road. Thanks to everyone for showing up and reading!


*Correction: I’ve been informed that I was mistaken, for once, and that Nine Inch Nails have in fact released more music. Apparently, in 2020 they put out not one but two goddamned albums: Ghosts V: Flummery and Ghosts VI: Collywobbles. So, I’m not off the hook yet, since it looks as though I’m going to need to write things about those now. But that’s it. I can’t still be doing this when I’m 50. I just can’t.