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Nine Inch Nails | NIN | Live | review | electro | rock | Lollipop
Nine Inch Nails
by Scott Hefflon
Yeah, OK, so I like the fist-pumping side of Nine Inch Nails... Sure, it may be the Jack'n'Jack'n'Coke (a shot with a mixed chaser, in case I'm moving too fast for ya) to his fine wine sensibilities, but I'm a word guy, and nothing beats the self-mutilating poetic woo-ha of Pretty Hate Machine. Pure sonic ear candy aside, the tormented howls and quivering-with-hate whispers (yeah, OK, and the gut-wrenching yearning) really hits home for anyone who somehow survived and came of age in the violence and apathy and wars and whoredom of the '90s.
Nine Inch Nails live shows are amazing spectacles, in case you never braved the stadiums filled with freaky-looking teenagers (I don't mean to criticize the honest freaks, I mean the type who change in the car cuz they lack the courage to be a full-time freak. Get fired from jobs and get yer ass kicked by jocks and followed around by security every time you go into a store and tell me you don't deserve that handjob at the party), and while there's still too much arty vacuum-cleaner-in-the-next-room stuff and not enough fist-fucking for me, that's just me talking.
I followed NIN's initial lead (well, I was predisposed) and dove into black metal and all the other kinds of arty, musical, scary and freaky genres, most of which combine howling vocals, pummeling beats, and chainsaw guitars while Trent himself decided to stay in art school, selling sparse, unanthemic pieces to people who don't really get what he's doing, but know it's smart and cool and they don't wanna be the dumbass who admits it's over their head. Trent's a sharp guy, of course it's over your head.
Me? I still smile when I hear "the Devil wants to fuck me in the back of his car." Heh-heh, he said fuck. Yeah, I love the wordplay and aggression, and if I want my guts churned like butter, I'll listen to Borknagar, Arcturus, Mayhem, Emperor, or dozens of truly "evil"-sounding bands most Americans have never heard of, and that's their own damn fault cuz the web has expanded The Mall of Life to include more than they could ever imagine. The world's a big'n'scary place, and NIN is a swell introductory course to the violent, decadent and depraved. Live is a great CD filled with songs you already know by heart, so are you gonna leave it at that?