Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hesitation Marks - Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks

Great album. Not quite what I expected in some ways though. Not at all in a bad way, it’s just that having seen the live streams of various recent performances I was expecting a much rowdier album in a way. I guess I was expecting Nine Inch Nails, and what I got was some kind of cross between the Cure, How To Destroy Angels, Tangerine Dream, and NIN. Which I have to say from my perspective is totally cool.

So first thing I have to say is that when I heard Adrian Belew was part of the new Nine Inch Nails I was totally blown away. Couldn’t have imagined a better combination. Then some months later that was that and it was as if it had never happened. I was a little bummed in fact. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that he’s actually all over the album, and that made me pretty happy. Perhaps not front and center like it was King Crimson, but he’s definitely there. Nice.

Secondly, you can hear a huge bit of How To Destroy Angels. Far less wall of guitars, at least on the recording, and far more wall of synthesizers. Again, from my perspective, totally cool. It’s less hard rock and good bit more interesting. There’s a lot of texture here, a lot of arpeggiator and sequencer, not near as much bit-mangled guitar. In some ways there’s a lot more here, and a lot more room to breathe, more room for the music.

And yet it’s still Nine Inch Nails. Still the same power, the same raw emotion, the same edge. And live, with the same huge crazy energy. So as a huge How To Destroy Angels fan and a huge Nine Inch Nails fan and a huge Trent Reznor soundtrack fan I have to say that Hesitation Marks is a darn good blend of all of those. And hey, it’s even got a little saxophone. Can’t ask for more than that.

I’m seeing them live in a month or so with 20,000 or so of my closest friends at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, my first time there. Can’t wait.

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