Album Review: Nine Inch Nails – Not the Actual Events


Trent Reznor seems positively inspired these days. Maybe it’s the presence of long-time collaborator Atticus Ross in the studio as a full-fledged band member, but NIN’s new EP is exciting and vital. I realize that these are not two adjectives that are typically thrown around 27 years into an artist’s career, but the lean, mean Not The Actual Events EP suggests that the extended play format may be one that works in Reznor’s favor.

Opener “Branches/Bones” starts and stops without warning and almost seems patched in from a bizarre punk FM station. Highlight “Dear World” uncoils and throbs with luxurious silkiness. Centerpiece “She’s Gone Away” lurks under the surface, all metallic clangs and ambient noise. This is the Reznor that recorded Pretty Hate Machine and the Downward Spiral, albeit a little older and more cultured.

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Trent Reznor has a wider and more refined palette than he did damn near 30 years ago and for once this wisdom and experience seems like more of a plus than a minus. Though Reznor has grown up plenty throughout the years, collaborating with David Fincher and winning an Oscar, this is the first NIN release in a long time that feels both in sync with who Reznor is now and where he started.

It’s tempting to say that this extremely promising EP could have been stretched out to a full-length album. But why is that necessary? Let’s appreciate what we’ve got, here, folks. We have an excellent new Nine Inch Nails release. How long has it been since we could say that with a straight face? This EP is exactly as long as it needs to be, and it whets the appetite for more. Game on, Reznor.


One comment to “Album Review: Nine Inch Nails – Not the Actual Events”
  1. Pingback: Nine Inch Nails planning on trilogy of EPs | Rocknuts

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