Nine Inch Nails
Add Violence


3.2
good

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
July 25th, 2017 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Subtract noise, multiply choruses, divide fanbase.

There's nothing on Add Violence that Nine Inch Nails fans haven't heard before. Maybe this is a strange criticism of a thirty-year-old project largely masterminded by one artist; possibly it's even the point. But Not the Actual Events proved economically that there were still unexplored vistas for Reznor and co., even if they involved slathering fuzz and noise on top of the tracks until they sounded like staticky transmissions from the heart of a nuclear winter. By comparison, Add Violence returns us to the bite-sized pop with-a-dark-side which has been Reznor's bread and butter since 2005, but without the energy of Dave Grohl pounding the drum kit like it said a bad word about Kurt Cobain.

Trent Reznor knows how to compose music, and he's had a lot of practice at sticking to the stuff he does well. "The Lovers" initially seems like a shameless reprise of its predecessor's respective second track and only quiet moment, "Dear World," which swapped out the crushing noise and furious energy for a more subtle, sly type of anger. But as "The Lovers" builds to a gorgeous yearning chorus, it calls back more to the Year Zero days, when barely-heard spoken word sections rubbing against massive hooks seemed to be the backbone of at least half the album. "Not Anymore" finds itself much more in debt to its companion track, "The Idea of You", down to the presence of pounding drums and a punkish, raucous spirit; at this point a musical pattern between the two EPs becomes pretty obvious, and all the interesting ideas of mirroring and looping that this raises sort of overcome the rising feelings of inertia and musical deja vu, but also they don't quite. "The Background World" is the only track that really catches you off guard, as a looping nine-second sound – so meta - of something going very, very wrong and corrupting the world around it invites you into the depths of this dark alternate reality, like a disgusting perversion of Ghosts I-IV's contemplative ambient stretches. The presence of lyrical ideas like bleedthrough, a society in chaos, and strange worlds in the background of ours indicate that this trilogy of EPs is particularly indebted to the concepts of Year Zero and With Teeth, potentially even residing in the same thematic universe. All of which is fine, yeah, but it raises one burning question in me – in a body of work concerned with incomprehensible other dimensions, ghostly presences, and things not supposed to be understood bleeding into our own, why does everything have to sound so damn familiar?



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user ratings (156)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2017


38944 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

feels like I've been here befoooooooore



but I dunno anymooooooooore

Digging: Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2017


816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gotta disagree here. on the surface, yeah, it's pretty similar to With Teeth and Year Zero, but there are a lot of subtleties that Reznor has incorporated from his approach to score composing that make this EP sound more refined and more engaging than either of those albums.

ArsMoriendi
July 25th 2017


21256 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I like "This Isn't The Place" the most



"Not Anymore" honestly sucks



The other 3 are middle of the road, but the end of "The Background World" gets boring after a while. It reminds me of the 2nd half of "Negative Energy" by Foetus in that way.

Digging: Minutemen - Double Nickels on the Dime

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2017


4308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I'm happy someone reviewed this EP. Objectively, I agree this isn't anything groundbreaking, but the fanboy in me likes it more than it should haha. Still, Not the Actual Events is more interesting.

In a way, I wish these tracks were released as an LP, because in the end they would go fine together (I'm guessing the final EP will be more or less oriented on the same sonic path with a few different ideas here and there)

Digging: Nine Inch Nails - Add Violence

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2017


38944 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

yeah I don't think the third EP will be as good as NTAE at this rate but I will definitely put the best songs of all three on one tracklist



Less Than and Not Anymore do absolutely nothing for me, I like the other three to varying degrees

LandDiving
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2017


1166 Comments


that introduction is incredible holy shit hahahaha
excellent review as always rowbro i will listen eventually but it's not a top priority. i've only ever had a vague interest in NiN.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2017


4308 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Less Than is really catchy, I like it (much like The Hand That Feeds or Came Back Haunted - I find it somewhere in between these two).

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2017


11279 Comments


Great summary buddy, gonna check.

dimsim3478
July 25th 2017


7582 Comments


agreed best summary ever written. i mean the album title kinda sets you up but "divide fanbase" is just plain genius.

Digging: Ging Nang Boyz - ?????????

DeusAutomata9012
July 25th 2017


561 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This EP seems like hesitation marks pt 2, very solid record but it needs more aggro guitars tbh

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2017


38944 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

and here I was thinking this summary was awful haha

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2017


3249 Comments


great review, Row.. bite-sized dark pop pretty much sums up Reznor nowadays..

Digging: Erase Errata - Other Animals

Toondude10
July 25th 2017


11200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you forgot "profit" at the end of the summary



surprised you didn't like this as much as the last one, but I guess I understand why.

Digging: Leprous - Tall Poppy Syndrome

onionbubs
July 25th 2017


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review as always row. didn't like this as much as NTAE but i'm still hopeful for the 3rd one

Digging: Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns

Eons
July 25th 2017


775 Comments


This Isn't the Place has really great production. As to be expected, but I mean, it just sounds so crisp and warm.

onionbubs
July 25th 2017


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i only listened to this once. need to give it another spin again

JayEnder
July 25th 2017


372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review man. The only fault is the misspelling of "practice"

Digging: Departures - Death Touches Us, From The Moment We Begin To Love

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2017


38944 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

That's how practise tends to be spelt where I grew up so I'd hope it's a legitimate spelling lol

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
July 25th 2017


11279 Comments


I think it is ahah.

BlushfulHippocrene
July 25th 2017


1694 Comments


I've no idea about this band, but fantastic review. Oh, and in British (and Australian) English, practise is the verb, and practice is the noun, as far as I'm aware.

Digging: Lil Peep - Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 1



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