Pretty Hate Machine
In a more perfect world, a record like Pretty Hate Machine, with its catchy
pop-industrial hybrid tunes, would rule college radio, clubs and eventually top
40 playlists. Yet somehow we get the feeling that the masses aren't quite
prepared for a project as innovative and ambitious as this pack of Nine Inch
Nails. The Cleveland-based outfit strikes into truly uncharted territory:
dance/ethereal/industrial/pop/rock, with more emotional (read: real) singing
than a thousand Nitzer Ebbs could muster. Head Nail Trent Reznor has penned
some dark, bitter songs that are the staple of the genre ("Head Like A Hole,"
for example: "Head like a hole/Black as a soul/I'd rather die/Than give you
control"). Rather than sinking into the muck of self-pity, Reznor creates
catchy, ironic, static-y melodies with the help of Flood, Keith LeBlanc, Adrian
Sherwood and John Fryer - all the cream of the DOR and industrial crop. With
Reznor's heartfelt and nasal vox (kinda like The Cure's Robert Smith with a
head cold) leading the way, Nine Inch Nails could be the first hard-edged
techno-pop group to find its way to mass appeal as well as critical acclaim.
Nail these to the wall: "Down In It" (available on maxi-single with loads of
remixes), "Ringfinger," "Sin" and "Sanctified."
CMJ Music Report
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is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.