Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday CD Review - Nine Inch Nails:Pretty Hate Machine

In 1989, during the head bangers, glam/hair metal’s height of glory, a new band stormed onto the scene with their big hit single, Head Like A Hole. Nine Inch Nails was launched and no one knew what to make of them, but the music was definitely great.

Pretty Hate Machine was Nine Inch Nails debut album and is decidedly different from the current offerings of Trent Reznor. The early discs helped define the sound of Nine Inch Nails and their industrial, edgy rock. Pretty Hate Machine is the closest they have to a pure rock/metal album, and it is also a fantastic disc to listen to.

Head Like A Hole, the big, signature, arena stomp song, opens the disc and sets the pace for a hard rocking, fast moving, wild ride. Terrible Lie follows and keeps the sound rolling with its rocking groove and fist pumping, foot smashing beat.

The keyboards, bells, whistles, and extra sounds are what make this disc so intense. It’s a blend of different instruments, background effects, vocals, and obscure noises that pull the music together and solidify the listening experience.

The funky grooves of The Only Time will make heads sway and may cause an infectious case of body motion. The angry cry of repressed youth can be felt on the song SIN, a worthy tune of no longer receiving what was once easily accessible. The song touches on denial, rejection, humiliation, and human desire, everything a growing teenage boy needs to scream about.

The “ballad” of the disc would be Something I Can Never Have. Lyrically speaking, it is more of an anti-ballad, a soft, slow moving, beautiful song that speaks of losing a loved one and living with the aftermath of that loss. It’s never quite stated if the loss is breakup or death, but either way, the pain is felt and translated into this wonderful song, one of the best on the disc, and possibly one of the best Nine Inch Nails songs ever.

From start to finish, Pretty Hate Machine delivers everything that a hard rocking, head banging fan could want in a record. Although there are no songs of the glamorous party lifestyle of the Hollywood strip, this would pave the way for the alternative movement of doom and gloom. While Pretty Hate Machine covers a lot of hatred and anger, it also moves the listener musically and raises the bar lyrically.

Trent’s lyrics may not be the most uplifting, but they do make one think. And long after the record has been released and played over and over; people are still talking about it. That’s what makes it a great disc, one that stands up over time. Pretty Hate Machine can compete with today’s bands/music, just as easily as it did back in 1989 when it first released. This is a fantastic disc that stood the test of time and still has musical relevance. A rare feat, but a grand one that master Trent pulled it off.

Vie’s Rating: 8.5 (Out of 10)

Track Listing:

1. Head Like A Hole
2. Terrible Lie
3. Down In It
4. Sanctified
5. Something I Can Never Have
6. Kinda I Want To
7. Sin
8. That’s What I Get
9. The Only Time
10. RIngfinger

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