Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Nine Inch Nails-Broken (halo 5)
Released on September 22, 1992 by Interscope Records with partnership from TVT Records and Nothing Records, Broken is an extended play recording by Nine Inch Nails that marks a total shift from the previous sound from their 1989 debut album Pretty Hate Machine. Written, produced, and performed by Trent Reznor with additional production by Mark “Flood” Ellis on two tracks and two cover songs on the record. The record that feature contributions from collaborator Chris Vrenna, Martyn Atkins of Pigface, Filter co-founder Brian Liesegang, and longtime engineer Sean Beavan. The record was made in secrecy through various studios under different names at a time when Reznor was at odds with TVT Records over Reznor’s future and the type of music Reznor wanted to do. That eventually led to Interscope Record’s co-founder Jimmy Iovine to buy Reznor’s contract with TVT and give Reznor and his then-manager John Malm Jr. their own vanity label in Nothing Records. The resulting EP would be one of Reznor’s great achievements.
The first of two instrumental tracks in Pinion opens the record as it’s a one-minute intro that builds up in its volume softly with sounds of distorted guitar power chords that builds up with atmosphere electronic loops in the background emerging as it gets louder where it serves as an intro to the next track Wish. The song is accompanied by sounds of winds blaring through the song’s production with thumping beats as Reznor sings nihilistic lyrics that feature spurts of distorted and driving guitars. The song’s lyrics are definitely dark as the chorus include some low-key yet warbling synthesizers in the background as it would later feature live drum tracks from Chris Vrenna and Martyn Atkins as it is one of the heaviest songs that NIN has done.
Last is a metal-based song with driving guitars and hard-hitting drums in a mid-tempo setting with snarling vocals from Reznor as he sings dark and lyrics of despair as he knows that his time won’t last. It’s a song that has tempo changes that include a slightly-faster tempo during the bridge and hard-hitting sounds in the chorus thanks in part to its production by Reznor and Flood. The instrumental Help Me I Am in Hell is this quiet yet dissonant track driven by a guitar and a soft bass with atmospheric synthesizers in the background to build up a sense of momentum in the track while the guitars remain simple and to the point. Happiness in Slavery is this broad and heavy track led by pulsating and bombastic beats as Reznor screams “slaves scream” as he would sing these cryptic lyrics of slavery and oppression as the song is driven by spurting guitars and melodic synthesizers as it has this amazing structure in its production and attention to detail in where to put a synthesizer in the track as well as its guitars.
Gave Up is a song with different time signature changes as it starts off as a mid-tempo track with melodic synthesizers and pulsating beats as Reznor sings through filtered vocals to moody lyrics as it then kicks into a fast-paced chorus of driving guitars and drums as the song moves back-and-forth. Reznor and Flood’s production on the song would play with that structure as there is a bridge that mixes all sorts of sounds as Reznor sings the line “I tried but I gave up” repeatedly. The record on CD would then be followed by 90 seconds of silence in tracks 7 to 97 as they would later be removed in the 2017 reissue of the record on digital and vinyl where two extra tracks appear.
The first is a cover of Adam and the Ants’ Physical as it is this mid-tempo track chugging bass and guitars to a steady and bopping rhythm as Reznor sings Adam Ant’s playful and salacious lyrics as it include songs of barking dogs (Reznor’s then-puppy Maise) as the guitars and drums would intensify as the song goes on. The record closer Suck is a remake of a song Reznor co-wrote with the industrial group Pigface that was co-founded by Atkins. Reznor’s take included a sturdy yet melodic bass line, spurting synthesizer melodies, bopping beats, and these eerie lyrics of despair as the chorus would be hard-hitting with its beats and blazing power chords on the guitar.
Broken is a phenomenal EP from Nine Inch Nails as it display a major change in sound and production from Trent Reznor from the synth-pop aesthetics of his debut album to something much broader and complex. As hard-hitting and abrasive as this record is, it is also a record that has elements of melodies that does make it engaging no matter how intense the record is. In the end, Broken is an incredible record from Nine Inch Nails.
Nine Inch Nails: halos: halo 1 - halo 2 - halo 3 - halo 4 - halo 6 - halo 7 – halo 8 – halo 9 – halo 10 – halo 11 – halo 12 - (halo 13) – (halo 14) – (halo 15) – (halo 16) – (halo 17) - (halo 18) – (halo 19) – (halo 20) – (halo 21) – (halo 22) - (halo 23) – (halo 24) – (halo 25) – (halo 26) – (halo 27) - (halo 28) – (halo 29) – (halo 30) – (halo 31) – (halo 32)
seeds: (seed 1) – (seed 2) – (seed 3) – (seed 4) – (seed 5) – (seed 6) – (seed 7) – (seed 8)
Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross Film Soundtracks: null 1 - null 2 - (null 3) – (null 4) – (null 5) – (null 6) - (null 7)
Soundtracks/Miscellaneous: The Broken Movie - Natural Born Killers OST – Quake OST - Lost Highway OST
Live Shows: (NIN/Bauhaus/TV on the Radio-6/7/06 Atlanta, GA Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater) – (NIN/Deerhunter-8/13/08 Duluth, GA Gwinnett Arena) - (Jane’s Addiction/NIN/Street Sweeper Social Club-5/10/09 Atlanta, GA Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater) – NIN/Godspeed You! Black Emperor-10/24/13 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena - NIN/Jesus & Mary Chain/Tobacco-9/27/18 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
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