CD Review: Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails
Pretty Hate Machine
Bicycle Music/UME
By David Chiu

Nine Inch Nails debut record, Pretty Hate Machine (1989), in retrospect might have been an unusual album at the time of its release: It was an industrial rock anomaly in a musical landscape dominated by stale pop music and overbearing glam metal. Preceding Nirvana’s arrival by two years when the music world later be turned upside down, Pretty Hate Machine was very groundbreaking with its brutal sonic and lyrical assault. It’s very catchy dance music, albeit chaotic and claustrophobic through Trent Reznor’s anguished vocals and soul-baring vision. The album is best-known of course for the classic angry rocker “Head Like a Hole,” the other songs follow in the same vein such as “That’s What I Get,” “Sin” and “Down In It.” Only “Something I Can Never Have” offers PHM’s reflective moment throughout the angst. This reissue contains a bonus track, an industrial rendition of Queen’s “Get Down Make Love”—taking the original song’s sexy and dangerous vibe a couple of notches higher.


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