91. HOW TO DESTROY YOUR MUSIC CAREER

Nine Inch Nails’ frontman Trent Reznor has recently started a new band called How to Destroy Angels and the video/single to the ban’s new single ‘The Space In Between’ is a track that eerily creeps up on you no matter what time of day it is.

Here’s the latest video from the band:

And the US-based music magazine SPIN recently ra-ra’ed the EP as well the video to the single. Here’s what it said:

“When it comes to blood and gore, Trent Reznor and his wife Mariqueen Maandig’s new band, How To Destroy Angels, are giving M.I.A’s genocidal new video some fierce competition.

The band just released their new clip for “The Space in Between,” from their self-titled six-track EP, out this summer, and it’s a total horror show: the newly-wed couple are found murdered, laying face-down in a pool of their own blood in a hotel room, where they’re soon set ablaze. Yowsa. Watch below.

The song, a NIN-esque affair with brooding electro beats, buzz saw guitars, and atmospheric flourishes, only expounds on the video’s ominous vibe. In the clip, ex-West Indian Girl frontwoman Maandig, whose corpse is propped up on a blood-soaked bed, next to her hubby, sings the frightening ballad: “All the blood lying on the floor… / Arms entwined in a final pose / Narrative drawing to a close.” The flames soon engulf her, melting the skin off her gorgeous face, while a man and woman (presumably the perpetrators) sit on a couch, smoking cigarettes and watching their victims burn.”

[SPIN Online Magazine 2010]

As you can see from the above picture – it’s a ghastly sight. All I can say is, I’m glad this video wasn’t done in 3D! I’d have gladly given it a miss.

I’ll gladly give the EP released by HTDA a miss too because despite me being a NIN fan for ages I feel that Trent and his musician cronies, drugged up or not, have lost the plot for 2010.

The EP sounds like Trent is serving leftover melodies and beats from his Ghosts I-IV album – totally uninspired drivel, devoid of any of the raw, gritting, emotional honesty that haunted his soul and ours, the listeners.

I’m afraid he and his music/personal partner in crime, Mariqueen, are going to have to sell a helluva lot of merchandise to their remaining fans after this disastrous EP to think about the next record, let alone remain relevant in the rock world.

Trent Reznor, sad to say, is going the route where all other established music artistes have gone before their success waned, with this free EP.

The sound that was once so unique to him has stopped striking much of a chord with this fans because 

1. fans have evolved, grown up or matured and

2. fans expect him to keep pushing boundaries via new lyrical perspectives/musical sounds and/or styles

Of course, there are fans who will drop off along the way because of above reasons and that’s just the nature of music – the nature of Life.

People move on – fans and musicians alike.

What’s happening here with HTDA’s new EP (abb. for How to Destroy Angels), I feel, is that, it isn’t grabbing me by the nuts because I’ve seen all this coming from the NIN factory before.

I’m tired of the buzz saw guitars, the electric bloops, chunky fat basslines, frothing drums or kicks and eerie atmospherics that were once so adrenalin pumping to me.

What’s even more tiring is hearing the man’s constant need to write self-destructive, annihilistic lyrics about how the world is drowning him in bulls**t.

Instead, I was hoping he would evolve like David Bowie or Bjork – with lyrics focusing on his internal evolution and/or other external experiences, with a more proggresive perspective, especially after his brill albums, ‘With Teeth’ and ‘Year Zero’, where he showcased more outspoken political and social views and took his music beyond just trips into his messed-up psyche.

To be honest, Trent Reznor is one f**d-up man and fans like us knew that from Day One. Back then, the explosive anger that laced his songs musically and lyrically basically creamed all the other so-called bad-ass rock bands out there. I mean, classics from the Grammy-winning EP “Broken” with bulldozers like “Happiness in Slavery” and “Wish” was the stuff that echoed  the start of the literal decay of humanity due to the brutal materialistic excesses of 80s post-Reagan-esque/Bush economic policies and lifestyles.

His music spoke to those left behind in the vicious cycle and those who rebelled against the cowherd system. It urged people to fight, rise and buck the trends.

It was the sound that brought music fans to a whole new level of conscientious awareness that something about the world wasn’t quite right – that the balance was off. It certainly did in mine. It made me realise that Life was not all about ‘Strawberry Shortcake’, pink dresses amd knights in shining armour. This allowed me to go past the obvious BS thrown at me most of my life, from family and even friends.

Photo by Persis Shanker (Copyright 2010)

And that, ladies and gents, was Trent’s magical days; Days when anguish and self-loathing, black and white videos with flies hovering over rotten food was the industrial rock order of the day – The days when such musical offerings got you iconic status and where your name would be dropped by people you helped nurture musically and provide soundtracks to like Marilyn Manson, David Lynch, Filter and Tori Amos.

I even recall countless other acts like ‘Machines of Loving Grace’, ‘White Zombie’ , ‘Curve’ and ‘Stabbing Westward’ all incorporating some level of incessant electronic bleeps,  thrasing drums, techno kicks and bass pads to their songs ala NIN.

Time Magazine even went so far as to call Trent Reznor the ‘lord of industrial’ back in 1997. And befittingly so. I mean how can one deny that someone who makes the darkest, soul-shredding music that seems to come from the torture chambers of some Middle Ages cell isn’t?

I mean, people who hear his music today still writhe in agony or clench their teeth in rage when listening to some of his pieces so yes, he will still be affecting us in some menacing way. What’s sad is, he can’t seem to go beyond it.

O yes, newbies to his music will think they found the best possible anger-venting music there is out there in today’s diluted music landscape but can Trent still command the same rock god-like status he once had through his disturbing music?

I fear not.

With HTDA, his music has seemed to hit the skids with nothing new to add to the musical mix except more deep throbbing basslines and hollow background soundscapes that could chill you to the bone, except it doesn’t because for most of the fans, the ghosts that once used to haunt us are now long gone.

Trent Reznor, Mariqueen and their industrial minions are going to have to sacrifice more blood in their future efforts to make a serious killing in the rock music charts or suffer fools kicking and dragging themselves in goth gory.

And as a tribute, here’s one of my favourite tracks/videos from the glory days. NIN featuring the talents of Marilyn Manson and Richard Patrick (from Filter).

NIN with ‘Gave Up’ from the ‘Broken’ EP.

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About thejellyfarm

In real life, I am a television writer and producer...er no...scratch...a television director....noo, scratch....a media loser.....wait, that doesn't sound quite insulting enough....... OK, ahem. In real life, I'm an idiot box expert with a penchant for the creative. In short, I'm a loser with no focus or direction in life. I just go where the creative flow takes me. Mostly it takes me to clogged up drains and stinky oceans but it's going.......going.....somewhere. And this blog is an expression of that mindblowing roadblock. Creative frustration is a great motivator and here is a result of that.

Posted on July 5, 2010, in Entertainment (Music/TV/Films) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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