Musician Trent Reznor has been around since the 80s, gaining increasing popularity with every album, EP, and remix. Through his rein as king of Industrial Metal, Reznor's pseudoband Nine Inch Nails has changed drastically in their sound. Toward the end of the 80s, Reznor released Pretty Hate Machine, a disturbing bordering on cheesy underground hit. With overused 80s synthesizers and cheesy programmed beats, the distorted lyrics about torture and dominance could hardly be taken seriously. In the 90s, Trent changed his sound drastically, adding ear-splitting guitars, screaming vocals, and beautiful orchestral interludes using classically oriented piano solos and masturfully arranged synthesizers. The 90s gave birth to two Nine Inch Nails albums, the darkly melodic Downward Spiral and the two disc masterpiece The Fragile. With each successing release, Trent Reznor continued to master the bridge between pleasure and pain, but to the casual listener, too much mastering occured between Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral without any full lengths in between. The reason for this is 1992's Broken EP, a 99 track 33 minute long metalfest essential to the Nine Inch Nails collection, despite its underratement. Filled with crunchy yet catchy riffs, Broken is the perfect transition from the cheesy 80s to the dark 90s.
Pinion - 3/5
A decent minute long intro filled with distortion, building up to an acapela guitar riff.
Wish - 4.5/5
The distorted riff of Pinion drops out to make room for a well-programmed beat and vocals, allowing room at the end of every line for a short metal riff. This all culminates to the loud but catchy metal chorus. The rest of the song follows a similar verse-chorus pattern, only incorporating more metal guitar in the verses and a synth-interlude foreshadowing The Downward Spiral. The song then ends the classic Nine Inch Nails way, building up to noise and then dropping out for 3 or 4 seconds of silence.
Last - 4/5
Last uses a slower and more twisted riff to give off more of a Pretty Hate Machine sound, only with more metal distortion. The main riff sounds like a cross between the older 80s Nine Inch Nails and the later Downward Spiral sound. All in all, a good metal song to bridge the two Nine Inch Nails sounds.
Help Me I Am In Hell - 5/5
A melodic instrumental sounding very much like something off of The Fragile. Help Me I Am In Hell is a nice little moment to take a breath of air before the last 4 songs knock the air right back out of you.
Happiness in Slavery - 3/5
One of the worst songs on the album. The song starts out lacking any form of melody whatsoever, leaving you to focus on the screamed line of "Slave screams". Once the song finally mellows a bit to give some sort of verse with melody, Trent Reznor launches a campaing promoting his sick little sado-masochistic world. Not the greatest song, but it's bearable
Gave Up - 4.5/5
After a minute-long drum intro, Gave Up blasts into a good guitar riff before switching back to a quieter verse. Although the sound on the stereo is quiet, the drums are still being pounded, the lyrics are still being screamed, and the guitars are still being blasted, indicating that in no time Trent will blast up the volume on the mixer, showering the listener with distortion. Fortunately, the buildup to the loud chorus is somewhat gradual, allowing the pre-chorus to only get slightly louder before blasting into metal. The song then goes on to repeat the loud riff before fading into literally 91 seconds of silence.
Physical (You're So) - 5/5
After 91 tracks of nothing, the first of the two bonus tracks delivers a crude catchy tune, dripping with sexual innuendo and a chorus that can stay in your head for days (just make sure to keep yourself from singing the chorus of "You're too physical to me" out loud).
Suck - 2/5
The album could do better without this song to end things. Having two bonus tracks in the first place is overkill, but when the second one is this bad, it makes things worse. Suck is a schizophrenic piece of crap switching back and forth between the worst of the 80s techno-metal and generic 90s metal riffs. Physical could have been a perfect ending to the Broken EP, but Trent Reznor had to try and add more.