Monday, March 21, 2005

Doom, Gloom And Tomb

So, the new Nine Inch Nails single, The Hand That Feeds is out now, and "has begun airplay on radio stations worldwide". Of course, we have been spurned in our quest for tickets for our former idols, so what follows is a nasty, incoherent, piece of polemic, rather than a reasoned and objective review.

But it's not very exciting, to be honest, sounding like nothing so much as an old Filter record. An awkward conclusion, since, as you can read from the linked reviews at Amazon, Filter were widely regarded as Nine Inch Nails clones. But Filter took one part of the NIN formula, and concentrated on it exclusively, and it was the treated screaming over 4/4 beat wirth crunchy guitars bit. NIN, as we've tirelessly insisted, can be excused the slightly gauche and over-the-top lyrical content by virtue of how inventivve they are musically. The niche instruments, peculiar keys, strange shifts in timing, and textured sounds. Clever.

And then Mr. Reznor comes out with a song that sounds like Republica fronted by a slightly grumpy bloke. And the video, despite some slightly clever shifts in camera angle, lacks tortured monkeys, murder, and the rest of the weird and wonderful elements we've come to love from NIN videos. And he's looking old. Pray the rest of the album is more interesting and that this is the unit shifter that Nirvana foretold.

We will allow that the new stuff is much more snappy, and that a less bloated ouevre will make for a less bloated live show than the one we saw in Brixton six years back. But we're unlikely to be able to confirm this, since the tickets have all been bought by lazy monkeyclowns in the heartland looking to diversify their revenue out of spamming.

A quick note about the Terri Schiavo case. Vile though it is to watch DeLay and sundry other far-right organisations make hay out of this tussle, we urge you to take a look at what Nat Hentoff wrote about it in the Village Voice a few years back. We don't agree with all of it, but we note that some very impassioned disabled rights advocates have also been following the case closely, and worry that withdrawing feeding is very difficult to apply in a clear and compassionate fashion.


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