Quick Review [Extended Edition]:
Its been 21 years since Trent Reznor unleashed the awesomeness that is Nine Inch Nails.
The first time
I heard a nin song it was a Halloween night in the early Nineties. The TV had been flipped to Mtv after the conclusion of a brilliant Simpson’s Treehouse of Terror. We were counting our candy and someone said, “Hey, look at that.” The video for ‘Head Like a Hole’ was playing, and I just kind of stared at it, not realizing what I was watching. My next and most relevant introduction was a few years later, senior year of High School, with the seminal release of The Downward Spiral.
But, after all the years, and all the Halos, my favorite nin album has always been Pretty Hate Machine. Reznor has promised for years that, given the chance, he would gladly sit down at the boards and remaster this album. It looked glum for a long time as TVT held tightly to the master tapes. Then Ryodisk managed to get a hold of them for a remaster in ’05… after which they apparently were locked in a vault until the bank went under and finally, early this year the lot was purchased from the failing bank and allowed to breath. A deal was struck and Reznor allowed access. Magic is what happened.
FRESH off the presses, Pretty Hate Machine comes back to us in a neat little package. Sleek plastic sleeve over bi-fold cardboard, but not the cheap type crap we got in the nineties. This is quality cardboard people! And I must say that I love Sheridan’s new artwork. Although quite similar to the art on the t-shirts I’ve seen at the nin concerts last few years (Ironically, the t-shirt quality has gotten shoddier and shoddier over the years. weird.). Also included is a little fold out insert with lyrics and more art.
I have decided that I will not bore you of my super long, song-by-song review Seriously? You know all the songs. It’s been 22 years and a bajillion plays between all of us. We’ve worn out several editions of the cassettes and CD, and are only thankful that we were able to rip these to our PCs back in the day at a high bit-rate! ah… right. but I digress… here a couple of short bits.
Over all, the album sounds GREAT! Really clear, and more precise than any previous version. Bass is boosted some, and is much harder and deeper. Vocals are sharper, and the effects clearer. Sound effects, animal noises and metal pipes tapped against the wall… Better, much better. and the drums… wow.
When I saw nin the first few times in the late nineties, I remember seeing TWO sets of drums. Now I realize exactly why. There’s a whole extra set of drums under the main set. And NOW with the remaster/re-issue you can really hear those extra drums.
Two songs that i do want to highlight are Ringfinger and Get Down Make Love. Ringfinger benefits a lot from the clean up, but i noticed (or re-noticed) something odd about this song. No matter how many times you listen to it you cannot get a handle on the beat. It seems to speed up and slow down at random times. That’s just weird, eh?
On Get Down Make Love, I’m not sure it really belongs with the album. I realize that it does in the sense that it was issued as a b-side to Sin, but the sound just does not fit with the other songs. I love the song. do.not.get.me.wrong. I love it. BUT you have to admit that it sounds a bit out of place when you listen to the album.
to sum up: Great album, made even greater with the re-issue. Still wish we could have had a 5.1 surround version, but hey! maybe for the 25th anniversary, eh Trent?