Sunday, 7 July 2013

Music: Nine Inch Nails - Beginners' Guide

Curious about Nine Inch Nails but don't know where to start? Here's 10 essential tracks chosen by readers, to ease you into Trent Reznor's world.

In 2009 Nine Inch Nails performed their final farewell show at a sold-out gig in Los Angeles.

Recently, lead singer and song-writer Trent Reznor announced on Tumblr that he was in rehearsals with a new line-up and was ready to get back on the road.

With the news that Nine Inch Nails' new album Hesitation Marks will be released in September, we asked readers to help compile a playlist of 10 tracks for people who have never listened to Nine Inch Nails before. Here's what they came up with:

1. The Hand that Feeds.

One of Nine Inch Nails' most polished pop records – a perfect fusion of dance beats and fuzz-laden guitars. @Tripmywire says “It's catchy, confident and certain to make a beginner dance!”

2. Head Like A Hole.

It's the opening track to their stunning debut album Pretty Hate Machine, and it's a favourite in rock clubs the world over. @WarHoleRadTimes loves the song's “skyscraper-sized angst, pulsing electro rhythms, and eardrum shattering noise.”

3. Closer.

For @jsinkersole, Closer is “sexy as hell and slightly sinister.” With its unabashedly explicit lyrics, it's probably not the best song to find yourself singing at work.

4. March of the Pigs.

From their second album The Downward Spiral, March of the Pigs brings together industrial rock influences and whimsical jazz piano. Frightened Rabbit says it encapsulates “both sides of NIN in one, brutal and tender.”

5. La Mer.

Melodic and frenetically detailed, for @sukeyyy, “it's gotta be their ultimate instrumental, showing off Trent's less abrasive, more relaxed and groovy side.”

6. Wish

From the band's Broken EP, its unflinching sonic barrage makes it one of their heaviest tracks. @BluetapesUK says, “it sounds like computers playing Ace of Spades.”

7. Something I can Never Have.

One of Nine Inch Nails' most desolate tracks. Its haunting piano and raw vocals make it one of the stand-out tracks of their debut. For @ArchieWhit, it captures the very essence of the band: “beauty, sadness, machines, anger.”

8. The Perfect Drug.

Originally feature on the soundtrack to David Lynch's Lost Highway, The Perfect Drug saw Reznor push the drum and bass genre to its limits – it also has one of the coolest music videos of the 90s. @n_mcguinness says it “represents the length and breadth of NIN.”

9. We're in this Together.

It's a track that crackles and broods before bursting out into one of the biggest rock choruses ever written – it's a song that needs to be played loud. @Eddasaurus say it's “accessible, but unconventional.”

10. Hurt.

Many people think that this song was written by Johnny Cash – many people are wrong. Hurt shows Reznor's song-writing at its peak. For Maarten Schermer, “Hurt has a great balance between harshness and beauty, something it seems Reznor has consistently strived for. And it's one hell of a song.”

This article was originally published by The Guardian, July 8th, 2013.

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