Trent Reznor was never known for making “safe music”, with the new EP it’s clear that the music is one of a kind, only Nine Inch Nails can bring it, sound. Truly bringing back the sounds from the inception of Nine Inch Nails, the new album, Add Violence, is a step up above its predecessor.
Nine Inch Nails are releasing a trilogy of EPs. The first album in the trilogy, Not The Actual Events was released in December 2016. Comparatively speaking, Not the Actual Events is a step in a different musical direction compared to the new EP. Add Violence brings more flavor, more nostalgic qualities with background piano riffs, heavy synthesizers and haunting vocals.
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The first song released off the EP was, ‘Less Than’ – a song that will bring you back in time to the early 90’s when Nine Inch Nails first began. An upbeat techno mix of 90’s synthesized riffs, blatantly reminiscent of the sounds from Pretty Hate Machine. However, don’t get caught up the nostalgia and miss the the lyrical content. “And you can always justify. The missile trails across the sky again. So what are you waiting for? You got what you asked for. Did it fix what was wrong with you? Are you less than?”
When going back in time to Nine Inch Nails past, one of the most radio commercialized and covered songs (by Johnny Cash even), was the song ‘Hurt’. ‘Hurt’ is a slow and emotional ballad with powerful lyrics and haunting piano riffs. On the new EP, ‘This Isn’t the Place’ has a similar sound. Slow, mesmerizing heavy beats and pianos encompass the song. Trent Reznor’s vocals are basically background compared to the music of the piano that really tells the story of the song. The song ends in simple, repeating piano notes, similar to a heartbeat.
The dramatics of the synthesizers in the song, ‘The Background World’ make you feel like you are watching a movie without the visuals, however those are not needed when Trent Reznor paints the picture for you with his vocals. Like most Nine Inch Nails songs, it is a much appreciated work of art for the ears and mind. However, the song is 11:44 and halfway through, it is completely instrumental. The guitar sounds are dramatic and heavy, combined with rough, scratching sounds which will leave you wondering what is next. Although there isn’t a next, it is completely instrumental until the end of the song.
‘The Lovers’ is a tragedy/ballad/love song, however to be interpreted of what kind of love. “Hot swollen skin want me take me perfect embrace. Black and bloody. Rotten and perfect. The center has moved on and all that’s left is free. Finally” It leaves you wondering, what kind of love? Nevertheless, this is the beauty of the lyrical content to be interpreted by the listener and the beauty of the band itself.