Nine Inch Nails
Hesitation Marks


4.0
excellent

Review

by crookedllama USER (2 Reviews)
September 4th, 2013 | 25 replies | 1,630 views


Release Date: 09/03/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Most definitely not How to Destroy Nine Inch Nails.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

My first exposure to Nine Inch Nails was through the video for “March of the Pigs.” It was simple, brash, but effective. Trent Reznor and his 1994 incarnation of the band rocked out in an all-white rehearsal space, Trent went off the rails, trashing no less than 3 microphones, pushing his band mates around, and singing like a madman. The video brought to life the aggression of that particular song in a way that felt more honest than any traditional music video could. But, “The Downward Spiral” was released nearly 20 years ago, so what does it have to do with Hesitation Marks, Trent’s first Nine Inch Nails release in 5 years? For starters, it is a complete departure from the aggressive depression of Trent’s 90’s work. It also distances itself from the hard rock tinged electronica that made up the bands output in the 00’s. Hesitation Marks is both a culmination of previous work and a fresh start for a band whose sound was starting to stagnate. However, the new release keeps one thing that has become a stalwart part of NIN, honesty.

Reznor has been busy since NIN’s last release, 2008’s “The Slip.” He’s scored two David Fincher films (earning an Oscar for one of them.) He also started a new band with his wife and longtime collaborator Atticus Ross, How to Destroy Angels. These projects seem to have rubbed off onto the DNA of Hesitation Marks in surprising ways. For starters it seems much less “busy” than a typical Nine Inch Nails record. Compared to “Year Zero,” with its swirling electronic freakouts and paranoia-soaked lyrics, Hesitation Marks seems tame. Many of the compositions here take on a softer side; there is a clear lack of live drums which does wonders for the atmosphere here.

Things start off promisingly enough with opener Copy of A, the instrumentation is much sparser but lyrically it treads familiar territory for Reznor. Lead single Came Back Haunted is a bit of a disappointment with another simple beat and trademarked angsty Reznorian verse, complete with a “they put something inside of me.” All the usual NIN ticks are there, a shoutable chorus, check, a distorted guitar bridge, check, whispers, check. Yet something feels missing, it’s almost as if Trent seems uninterested here. “Everything” is a song that is so jarring in its departure from the rest of the record that it easily becomes an album highlight with its jangly pop sound. The song finds Trent out of his comfort zone and completely owning it, exploring the higher registers of his voice and utilizing vocal harmonies. “Satellite” is another high point, lyrically; it recalls the uncertainty of Year Zero while relying on a funky underlying drum beat to keep us away from what could have easily become the darkest song on the album.

Hesitation Marks uses juxtaposition well over the course of its fourteen tracks and it makes for what will probably be one of NIN’s most polarizing albums. Hesitation Marks album sleeve is a direct homage to “The Downward Spiral” but those hoping for a resurgence of the industrial metal found on that record are bound to be disappointed. In fact anyone coming into this record with expectations weighed against previous releases is going to struggle to like this. But Hesitation Marks is a grower; it begs to make its own case, to prove its relevancy in the Nine inch Nails catalogue. It seems the trick to reinvigorating NIN was to continue to do what Trent Reznor has always done: release honest, heartfelt music.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
crookedllama
September 3rd 2013



2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my first review, be ruthless, slap me around. I wanna get better

joomisy
September 3rd 2013



467 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

absolute fucking shit jesus CHRIST CAN YOU RIGHT
ANY WORSER

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
September 3rd 2013



9123 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

*PUNCH*

I read when you separate the paragraphs haha

Acanthus
September 3rd 2013



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Listen to Trent quasi-explain the albums direction:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdKCVSBrV1I



Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

royukiyo
September 4th 2013



15 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Separate the paragraphs. Indent the paragraphs. Don't be to personal (see introduction paragraph). Decent review overall.

BassDemon333
September 4th 2013



3351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for posting that Acanthus its interesting to hear Trent talk about the album. I'm digging that demo track he plays halfway through the conversation.

Acanthus
September 4th 2013



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

The demo tracks in the interview are great, and actually remind me of The Fragile; if more of that had been released with this album I could have seen the comparisons more.

demigod!
September 4th 2013



43891 Comments


heard a couple tracks from this, they didn't really do much for me though. kinda felt like Trent just went on auto-pilot with the songwriting and beats. "NIN by numbers"

Digging: Black Flag - My War

BigPleb
September 4th 2013



34124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dumbest thing ever listening 'to a couple of songs'.

Album is supposed to be listened to as an ALBUM.

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

demigod!
September 4th 2013



43891 Comments


i'm just giving my opinion based on those few tracks, calm down

amazing how youve turned from disliking NIN to becoming a fanboy in just a month

OmairSh
September 4th 2013



10056 Comments


Leb wtf dude take it easy.

Digging: Mercyful Fate - Don't Break the Oath

BigPleb
September 4th 2013



34124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listen to the album, then form an opinion.

OmairSh
September 4th 2013



10056 Comments


"heard a couple tracks from this, they didn't really do much for me though"

Everyone has an opinion based on a few songs dude even you do.

BigPleb
September 4th 2013



34124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Eh cool

Gwyn.
September 4th 2013



14902 Comments


Still tho


You shouldn't let that detract from trying it out, sometimes songs just work a lot better when coupled with the rest of the album

I've never heard anything from this so idk about the case here, just saying

Digging: Grief - Come to Grief

demigod!
September 4th 2013



43891 Comments


i'll listen

i have a feeling i won't really dig, but i'll listen.



just so i can give it a 2.5-3.0 and troll leb :D

BigPleb
September 4th 2013



34124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Do what you want man, at least you'll have listened.

OmairSh
September 4th 2013



10056 Comments


Yeah thats true but if more than one song doesn't do it for you then you might be deterred from checking an album out, esp since there's so much on the "to listen" list. Also it takes me quite a while to digest songs and fully appreciate them, and so it takes multiple listens. But anyway its not a big issue, you want to listen to an album then great, if you don't want to then great as well.

demigod!
September 4th 2013



43891 Comments


yeah exactly, and i dont really wanna devote an hour to something i'm not confident i'll dig. whatever tho, someone hook me up with a stream or some shit and i'll jam it.

sixdegrees
September 4th 2013



16838 Comments


I only listen to EPs

Digging: Ted Nugent - Shutup&jam!



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