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Nine Inch Nails : Live: And All That Could Have Been

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Nine Inch Nails : Live: And All That Could Have Been

Look out, kids. Trent Reznor‘s back in town, and he

wants to fuck you like an animal. Or so he claims on

the vintage speedpunk electroid snarl-up of ‘Closer’,

a stand-out track on this, the first ever Nine Inch

Nails live album, recorded on NIN‘s Fragility tour two

years ago. But in general, judging by the cacaphonous

sado-goth trouser-bulgers which bulk out this 16-track

marathon, the Viagra seems to be wearing off.

Blam, straight in, no foreplay – Trent just hammers

away through the cybermetal grind of ‘Terrible Lie’ to

the buzzsaw schadenfreude of ‘Wretched’ and the

punkabilly grunterama of ‘Wish’. It’s efficent,

occasionally stirring stuff, but gratingly

single-minded. Reznor‘s self-serious rumblings make

such an easy target, although in fairness he is no

more po-faced than Thom Yorke, no more of a negative

creep than Kurt Cobain, no more of an emotional fraud

than Richard Ashcroft. But crucially, he lacks the

gift for infectious melody, sly humour or populist

charisma that all of the above can muster when the job

requires it.

From the Euro-synth gloomwash of ‘The Great Below’ to

the slamdanciug self-abasement racket ‘Suck’, Rezza‘s

musical rainbow stetches from off-black murk to

none-more-black black holes of very black blackness.

And thus all this collection essentially proves is

that Trent‘s been writing the same tune, venting the

same cathartic despair, and worrying the same bone for

10 years now. He may vary the tempo a little, but it’s

still always the missionary position.

Stephen Dalton