Saturday, 16 September 2017

Nine Inch Nails "Add Violence" (2017)

Its been four years since the last full length NIN record and fans are still crying out for more! At the end of 2016 we got the short EP "Not The Actual Events" and seven months later another short experience comes our way with rumors of a third in the works to make up a trilogy. In my mind this record sets itself up for disappointment with a huge contrast between the remarkable opening track "Less Than" and its ambient, atmosphere driven tracks that follow. "Not Anymore" musters aggression again in a noisy whirl of gritty bassline distortion and ambiguous, eerie synths that culminate with an explosive emergence of industrious groove and textural ecstasy from its crying sirens. It though, doesn't par with the vibes of its opener.

Its to short of a record to bridge the gaps between the different avenues of Trent's genius. It kicks of with retro jiving synths pulsating over muddy dissonant bass noise, the words and rhymes sung with a 90s edge that kicks into a sublime chorus so fitting of that era. In a strange way Trent's "So what are you waiting for?" hook reminds me of Oasis, if anything its a sign of where the musics coming from. A simple power chord arrangement flying high in a dense wall of sound the breaks out from the verses. Its one of the best songs Ive heard from him but that's not saying much given my lack of time with the NIN discography.

The energy, intensity and momentum is switched off instantly as the next two songs roll into the quiet and calm of downtempo electronic ambience. "The Lovers" has a fantastic backbone beat and murmuring melody that plays like the beating of a heart or ticking by of time, ceasing a sense of passing time as Trent calls through the fog of a chilling and lonely soundscape. The following number is similar with Ethereal vibes creeping into its dense and rich layers of sound that subtly moan and groan with what sounds like an effeminate voice buried between layers of sleepy sounds.

The record drones out with an experiment in noise manipulation as the final loop of music at the four minute mark is repeated over and over for a further seven minutes with increasing distortion, eventually devolving into a tonal mess with no resemblance to where it started. It stretches the run time with little avail. Its been an interesting listen but the stellar songs really deserved a slot in a full length project, on this EP they might go by unnoticed by some fans.

Favorite Tracks: Less Than, This Isn't The Place
Rating: 5/10