Nine Inch Nails – The Slip
It’s kinda hard to believe that I’m writing about a new Nine Inch Nails album less than six months after their last one was released. Ghosts I-IV was an experimental release, that was created with remixing and sampling in mind, sold online for a variable price. The Slip is almost the opposite: a lean, 10 track album that cuts to the chase and sweeps you up and doesn’t let go. This is Nine Inch Nails at their most dynamic; the sometimes ponderous industrial elements are scaled back in exchange for a faster, distorted sound. Guitars and bass fizz with menace and Josh Freece’s drumming is so good you’d swear a drum machine is doing most of it (the accompanying live DVD disproves that theory).
The opening two track let you know what you’re in for: the stampeding “Letting You” combines the distorted sounds with some pounding drums. “1,000,000” “Discipline” is an example of itself, a restrained, melancholy middle section stops the track from sounding too much like the previous two. “Echoplex” is the first drum machine track on the album and agian, it breaks the flow and prevents the song from sounding the same as the previous trio.
However, there’s a bit of a stumble towards the end. “Lights In The Sky” is a haunting piano track that’s almost an instrumental, due to the barely audible vocals. “Corona Radiata” is a purely instrumental track that flows on from “Lights In the Sky” and carries on it’s dreamy ambience to a static charged end. “The Four Of Use Are Dying” is a fairly limp ending, all surging electronics but no real bite until the last minute, but by then it’s not enough. “Demon Seed” is good but could have been placed in the middle for a better effect. It seems almost churlish to complain about the last few tracks considering the first five songs are some of the best that Nine Inch Nails have come up with in the last ten years. The Slip is a better than average album, but one that maybe benefits from downloading certain tracks from i-tunes, rathat than as a whole.
Nine Inch Nails – Letting You (live rehearsal):