It bothers me. I say that NIИ released “their” debut album, but really it was just Trent Reznor who did/does it all.
Today we know him as Oscar winning composer for the film, The Social Network, but back on October 20, 1989, Trent Reznor was still the mastermind behind Nine Inch Nails (or simply NIИ.) It’s on this date that Nine Inch Nails released their debut album (It bothers me. I say that NIИ released “their” debut album, but really it was just Trent Reznor who did/does it all. Nine Inch Nails becomes something resembling a band when Trent takes the show on the road. Anyway…), Pretty Hate Machine, and what a debut it was. This was the album that introduced me to Nine Inch Nails years after it’s release. You see, I didn’t become aware of Nine Inch Nails until 1995 with the video for “Closer“, off of NIИ’s 1994 album, The Downward Spiral, but somehow, this video wasn’t enough for me to become a fan. There had to be something I was missing.
… he just couldn’t shake his maniacal love for freestyle music. I didn’t get it.
In 1995, I was still in shock by the death of Kurt and just didn’t want to know about Trent Reznor, yet it was at the behest of an some neighborhood ruffian who fashioned himself a faux-Industrialist (JNCO Jeans, wallet with the oversized chain attached to it, Marilyn Manson cop hanging from a tree T-shirt. He went the whole nine. It was bullshit though; he just couldn’t shake his maniacal love for freestyle music. I didn’t get it.) and for him it was all Industrial, all the time. One day when we were sick from being outside, we go back to his parents place and he pops in Pretty Hate Machine. Now, I don’t know what I was going through, but I didn’t immediately make the connection between the artist I was listening to and that warped as fuck video for “Closer“. It wasn’t registering that they were one and the same. The album kicked off with “Head Like A Hole“. Okay. I can get down with this. What’s next? “Terrible Lie“. Does it really get any better than “Something I Can Never Have“? That song is beautiful, heart-wrenching, Trent just bares it all on that one, does he not? Nine Inch Nails where have you been all my life?
… I’ve picked up their other releases hoping to relive that one bright shiny moment back in 1995 …
Pretty Hate Machine was synth-pop, it was electronic, it was dance, it was angry, deranged and cool as hell. It was everything for me. That first experience with Pretty Hate Machine meant so much to me in the long run, because for me, it was Nine Inch Nail’s best work. Sure, over the years I’ve picked up their other releases hoping to relive that one bright shiny moment back in 1995 when I played Pretty Hate Machine five times in a row, but alas, that was not to be. For me, Nine Inch Nails since Pretty Hate Machine has become more of a great singles group. I find that with the exception of Pretty Hate Machine I can’t listen to any of NIИ’s albums all the way to the end, but hey, that’s me. I know more than enough people who think I’m crazy and just hung up on this one album. I really don’t think so, but you know, opinions and what have you.
If you are just a casual fan of Nine Inch Nails or even if you’re just a fan of “Closer” (you’re not really just a fan of “Closer“, right?), then you need to add this album to your collection. You can purchase Pretty Hate Machine right here.
We want to hear from you my fellow kilSters! What would be on your Desert Island list of great albums? Please feel free to comment in the comment section below this article and who knows? Maybe we’ll cover your Desert Island album for you.