Nine Inch Nails
Pretty Hate Machine



by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 155 replies

Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine (Released 10/20/89 on TVT Records)

Nine Inch Nails is:
All music written by Trent Reznor, performed with a seperate band
Nine Inch Nails bio:
See "Trent Reznor bio"
Trent Reznor bio:
See "Nine Inch Nails bio"

I could go on like this for hours.

It is common knowledge that Trent Reznor is basically the only official member of NIN. In other words, Trent alone can be credited with bringing Industrial to the mainstream. Michael Trent Reznor (yes, Trent is his middle name that he went by to avoid being confused with his father) comes from a lifetime of dealing with computers/music. He played many instruments while growing up including saxaphone, piano, and tuba. He spent one year at Allegheny majoring in computer science and music, but dropped out to pursue music full time. He selected industrial as his point of interest because it allowed him to create heavy music while still working heavily with electronics. Trent formed and played with many bands, most of which were small time and local bands. After playing many gigs Trent finally settled down in 1988 to create his own brand of Ministry and Skinny Puppy influenced music. Initially, he had hoped to produce a simple 12" single on a European label. But after a number of american lables got a hold of that single, nearly every one offered him a record deal. He ended up signing with TVT, who would go on to release Pretty Hate Machine in 1989. That leads us to the review.

Head Like a Hole - 5/5
A true classic. Head Like a Hole is the heaviest song on the album, and probably the best as well. It starts off with a nice quick rhythm, and breaks into the chorus which proves some of the catchiest NIN lyrics ever. Hell, "bow down before the one you serve, you're going to get what you deserve" is pretty one of the more famous lyric lines period. This song should never be skipped, especially since it's the first song. a kickass way to start an album

Terrible Lie - 3.75/5
As well as the tracks after it, Terrible Lie shows more of the Industrial than the metal sied of Trent. It's a pretty slow track, with the title repeated over and over in the chorus with evident rage. As a whole, it's got a pretty gloomy sound. It's not too bad, but an obvious change in pace after Head Like a Hole. for some reason, this song always makes me think of germs - maybe it's just the Weird Al parody.

Down In It - 4.25/5
Back to the great rythms. Down In It flows nicely, but never really gets too heavy. Trent's voice seems work well with the drums in the background. It's pretty linear the entire 3 and a half minutes, so theres not a whole lot to say. Just have fun with this track.

Sanctified - 4/5
Crazy bass lines. That's basically what the song is based around. Random static sounds are thrown around, and Trent seems pretty angst-ridden (more so than usual) here. Again, not one of NIN's heavier songs. Near the end it picks up with heavier drums giving a reason to keep listening. The only drawback is that it seems to drone on repeatedly after a while.

Something I Can Never Have - 5/5
This song sounds truely amazing. It's a very soft, slow track with nothing but a muffled piano and Trent singing. The line "you make this all go away" seems to define the song. It's easily the softest, but also one of the best on the album. If anything, you should be skipping to this track. Don't pass it up - It's a beautiful song.

Kinda I Want To - 3/5
Acchhhhhhhhhh. This song just doesn't do it for me. It's very industrialized, but ultimately sounds like a random jumble of noises. At parts it can sound good and heavy, but the main parts are just crazy and unpredictable. Yet for some reason, I still seem to listen. **** Trent is good.

Sin - 4.5/5
Alright, this feels good after the last song. Trent seems to portray the feeling of being very angry witthout making a really heavy song. The electronic sounds produce a nice flow and low tormenting feeling to the song. Not quite up there with Head Like a Hole (few are) but still a stand-out for the album.

That's What I Get - 3.5/5
Seems pretty similar to Kinda I Want To. The big difference is that this has more of a pronounced rhythm, giving it a more defined and flowing sound. Other than that, it's still a really low and relaxed song. It's pretty repetitive for the most part, but seems to stand out. not for good reasons, but unique ones. I can never sit through it, although it's not all bad...

The Only Time - 3.25/5
Again with the psychotic bass lines. Sanctified is better though. This is one of the lighter songs (talking about mood) on the album. Not a whole lot of anger, so it's a pretty light sound too. The electronics seem to be talking to me, so I'm getting freaked out. On to the next song.

Ringfinger - 4/5
Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. In the beginning sounds deceptively techno, but bounces back nicely with the vocals/lyrics. Trent sounds pretty angry and sometimes anti-Christ, which makes the song. The chorus has some of the most freakish sounding effects on the album. This track is pretty disturbing, but pretty cool at the same time.

This album is legendary. To be honest, it's for a good reason. Trent brought Industrial to the mainstream with this, an album that will last forever. It's got some of the most memerable moments in rock (Head Like a hole) as well as some truely frightening moments (The Only Time). Essential for any NIN fan, this album is recommended to any rock/metal fan in general. After this, NIN seems to get heavier, so this is a good way to ease into he band. Never underestimate the power of a debut album.

Recommended songs:
Head Like a Hole
Down In It
Something I Can Never Have

Overall rating - 4/5 :thumb:
No trouble enjoying this one.

Recent reviews by this author
Opeth Blackwater ParkMirrorthrone Carriers of Dust
Cradle of Filth ThornographyTrivium The Crusade
Opeth DamnationBlind Guardian A Twist in the Myth

user ratings (2181)
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 29th 2004


Great review!! This was my first NIN album.

August 29th 2004


I love Pretty Hate Machine. My favorites are Ringfinger, Sactified, and The Only Time. My favorite part of the album is at the end of Ringfinger, where the guitar cuts through to play the dancy part :: orgasm::

Every Nine Inch Nails album sounds different, so if you're into The Fragile you might be surprised by how heavily synth-laden this is, and if you're into The Downward Spiral you might be surprised that this isn't terribly dark and depressing. This is my least favorite out of those three lp's, but still an excellent album.

August 29th 2004


Album Rating: 3.0

Kaden, you're right. My favorite is personally the Fragile, and I did notice how synth this album is. This is an excellent album - it's tough to say whether or not this is better or worse than the Downward Spiral.

August 29th 2004


[QUOTE=Death to Pop-Punk]My favorite is personally the Fragile[/QUOTE]
Me too

August 29th 2004


i grew up listening to this with my big brother.


August 30th 2004


Good work. I don't find this album too impressive but I understand why people dig it. I think the rating is a bit high, but it does have some good tracks. The Fragile is easily my favourite.

August 30th 2004


Many of the songs on this disc went thru different revisions before making their final stamp. For instance, Kinda I want to was a poppy, Soft Cell-esque tune and Ringfinger was initially called Twist, with different lyrics. They can be found on Purest Feeling, if you can find it. Sanctified also sounds different in every version its played, including some line changes from previous versions. While this isn't the best album he's done, it stands out among the releases in its era as one of the genre bending rarities.

Dancin' Man
August 30th 2004


Ringfinger is my favorite song here.

April 3rd 2005


The reason I am such a big NIN fan is because of this CD. When I was like 5 my parents played the hell out of this CD. Funny thing is, it never got old. NIN is some good stuff.

July 29th 2005


I tried getting into NIN by getting this album but after a few listens I was rather turned off. I disliked every song exept Head like a Hole.

August 17th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

the best NIN album. IMO.

October 8th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

i was very pleased with this album, it is one of my most favorite cds

November 29th 2005


Album Rating: 4.5

scince when has trent ever released something that wasnt good?

November 29th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

Trent has never put out any bad music. I think this is his weakest album, but it is still a damn good one at that.

Dried Muffin Remnants
November 29th 2005


Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely not his greatest work, but great nonetheless.

December 11th 2005


I can imagine how good this was back in 89.

There's a surprising amount of variation, I love this.

Best track is probably That's What I Get.

December 19th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

Did I say "Broken" was my fav NIN album? Cancel that...this is for sure!

December 19th 2005


I think this was recently re-released.

February 19th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

.Beautiful Work.

Tarantino's Tarantulas
February 20th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

This is good, but his later stuff is loads better. Ringfinger, Sin, Terrible Lie & Head like a Hole are all 5/5s though.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy