Monday, 18 July 2011

With Teeth – Nine Inch Nails

NIN are a hell of a band (it’s a bit more complex than that) but they can be pretty hard to get into. Trent Reznor’s style of dark, swirling thumping music is fantastic and doesn’t really have a good comparison (perhaps later Radiohead and Marilyn Manson) but it’s easy to get lost or disinterested before you get into it. The Downward Spiral is certainly the best of his albums, but the intros are almost Pink Floydian in how long and ridiculous they are. Pretty Hate Machine is much more accessible but has a dated quality; some of the effects sound a bit token and cliché and don’t really fit with what the band moved onto later.
With Teeth however is a straight forward, rocking, down and dirty album of squeaks, screams and awesome, awesome drumming. NIN perfected big echoy drums years ago, but Dave Grohl shows up to contribute his talents and the results are fantastic. “The Collector” has a powerful drum intro while “Y’know What You Are?” has some pounding thrash beats powering it forward.
“Only” is as close as NIN ever got to a pop song, with a catchy beat and a beast of a hook; “There is no you there is only me!”. “The Hand That Feeds” is a good place to start too. “Right Where It Belongs” is a hauntingly slow paced moment of quite in the barrage of all mighty noise.
Overall the album is a quite clear about recovering from an addiction but this being NIN this is twisted into a “is everything what it appears to be?” Matrix-esque muddle. It’s not going to shatter your brain cells or anything but it will stay in the back of your mind for quite some time.
With Teeth is a hell of an album and if you like it I strongly recommend digging up his/their other stuff as the quality is pretty consistent. Today Trent is winning Oscars for some stellar soundtracks, check out this collab with Karen O for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, it’s pretty damn awesome.

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