Review Summary: Boring seems to be the general verdict of this entire EP.
It is always upsetting to see one of your once most inspiring influences fall from grace. This is the way that I feel about Trent Reznor. Bear in mind that I respect his new direction but ultimately what HTDA has done with this EP is proved that their inspiration is truly gone. From the moment “The Space In Between” opens you may be anticipating something dark and haunting and that is exactly what you receive, but the presentation here is just for lack of a better word: boring. The song feels like it drags on for the full 3 minutes and 35 seconds without changing and makes listening a chore. “A Drowning”, the album’s closer, follows this same pattern. By the time you get through the full six minutes of this track you may find yourself snoring.
Boring seems to be the general verdict of this entire EP. “Parasite” follows the same formula with a nice, NIN style instrumental that leads to some boring vocals and uninspired lyrics. The Reznors harmonize on this track and what had potential to sound like something great just sounds bland. I can remember a time when my father used to gripe with me about my music sounding like “just noise”. I always dismissed him, but HTDA at times just sounds like pure noise. This is not the good kind of noise we used to hear from NIN’s industrial sounds of the nineties.
There are a few periods where it actually sounds like these two may be on to something. “Fur-Lined” is an interesting, catchy track that serves as a throwback to the likes of “Discipline”. This would have made a pretty great single, had they released it. “The Believers” provides interesting tribal-esque instrumentation with an electronic layer that complements perfectly. The vocals here actually work in a way that adds flavor to the song rather than take away from it. If you download just one song from this EP, it should be The Believers.
Overall it just seems that these two didn’t really try as hard as they could have to make this worth hearing repeatedly. NIN have always had a discography that can be revisited time and time again and you’ll always take away something new. I gain respect for them each time I listen to “The Fragile” and others, but this seems like something that you’ll forget exists within a few weeks of it’s release. I will look to their full length LP with an open mind and hope that they tweak their sound between now and then, but after hearing the EP, it sure isin’t as promising as it once was.