Nine Inch Nails are a band, founded by Trent Reznor, that was formed in 1988. They have released multiple influential albums, including The Downward Spiral and The Fragile. Their debut album, Pretty Hate Machine, is, in my opinion, one of the best debut albums in rock history. I already reviewed the first single off this EP, “Less Than”, which you can find here.
Add Violence, the second installment of NIN’s EP trilogy, balances restraint and minimalism with the pure rage that Trent Reznor is known for. Every song on the EP has its place, delivering a message with the level of intensity that Reznor allows on each track. The leading single, “Less Than”, provides a classic retro sound that is reminiscent of “Came Back Haunted” on 2013’s Hesitation Marks, which has an amazing music video, directed by David Lynch, which you can find here. Compared to the previous EP, Reznor seems to be going back to his aggressive roots, where on Not The Actual Events he seems to be going for more of a modern sound, like what he did with the Call of Duty: Black Ops II video game. The thing that ties all of his projects, however, is the ability to use minimalism so successfully to deliver a complex message that most people couldn’t do with a diverse and dynamic palette, which funnily, Reznor still has. Trent Reznor reminds me of a modern day classical composer, where Philip Glass would be the Mozart and Reznor would be the more violent and aggressive Beethoven. Something I noticed was the fact that the song “This isn’t the Place” is exactly 4 minutes and 44 seconds, which is funny in light of Jay Z’s new album, 4:44. I do, however, sense a departure from the sounds of Hesitation Marks, that sounded much more professional in a modern sense, and Add Violence sounds as if it is more distorted and violent like how he originally started as, and is probably what he was aiming for, especially since the name of the EP is Add Violence. The synths sound much more primal and analog, which is I’m guessing why the single “Less Than” as well as the rest of the album reminds me of his early material. There isn’t really a point of picking my favorite tracks since it’s just an EP, but the extended outro track, “The Background World”, is definitely a track that stood out to me. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but I heard the influence of vaporware on this song starting at around 4 minutes and 10 seconds, where the music stops in the classic vaporware style and comes in again after a second disrupting the original tempo, giving a sense of unease. This track brings the total length of the EP to 27 minutes, which is a good length for an EP. I would have to certify this EP fresh, not stale, and am interested in seeing Trent Reznor perform these songs live on his new tour, which he teased in this new video:
We’ll have to wait and see how he ends his EP trilogy, but so far, I’m pretty sure its going to be unexpected and interesting. Thanks for reading, and as always, God Bless America.