Album review: Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Add Violence’ EP

Annie Zaleski

Three stars

Add Violence Nine Inch Nails

During a recent interview, Trent Reznor revealed that he had decided to release the next Nine Inch Nails record in piecemeal fashion: by first unleashing a series of EPs and then sculpting and retrofitting a full-length album from this existing music. The second EP in this series, Add Violence, comes on the heels of last year’s Not The Actual Events. Although the latter’s penchant for furious sonic nihilism is present—the grating “Not Anymore” sounds like a copy machine imploding, and “The Background World” ends in seven-plus minutes of harsh ambient static—Add Violence is more atmospheric. On “The Lovers,” percolating electro-pop chatters dominate muttering, indecipherable vocals, while the methodical “This Isn’t The Place” finds Reznor wielding a fragile, wobbly singing voice atop unsettled piano and dread-filled rhythms. As per usual, these songs sound impeccable; ultimately, however, Add Violence doesn’t quite gel, as the tracks feel more like the connecting glue of a full-length record rather than a cohesive EP. Only “Less Than,” which combines pulsating new wave keyboards with a noisy chorus that singes like a rusty razor, truly coheres.

Tags: Music, Album
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