Angels in Alternate Universes...


13. Mai. 2010, 6:08

In an alternate universe where Massive Attack doesn't exist--and I'd never heard of Nine Inch Nails--the new track A Drowning from How to Destroy Angels would signal the start of an epic journey in sound...

But I can't say this song alone does that for me.

In the very first release from the team-up of NIN collaboratiors Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor with Mariqueen of West Indian Girl fame, I hear some very endearing--and very familiar elements.

Listening to the track, I can pick out Atticus Ross' spanning soundscapes and lush drone--Trent's melody, distorted guitars and the sonic dissonance he uses to create emotive beauty and form--and Mariqueen's lovely voice combines with it all in a smooth blend of touching lyrics.

I'm in love with these guy's sounds, but find myself a bit disappointed. What this trio has done in 'A Drowning' is...a little too familiar. Minus Mariqueen's vocals, the music Atticus and Trent created in this track sounds like something they've done before. I hear echoes of Ghosts I-IV, Right Where It Belongs, and a pitch?-heightened Me, I'm Not. It's almost like an innovative re-sampling of earlier work. Mariqueen's voice is a lovely addition to that mix, but it hasn't yet delivered the potential punch she might be packing to blow my mind. In my (slight) dissatisfaction with what I received so far, I'll be honest: I find my appetite whetted for more.

What am I trying to say?...

Reznor and Ross have already demonstrated through their earlier work that they can easily convert me into a gibbering fan-boy excited with each new release. Strangely enough, though, I'm kind of hoping that this project is not simply NIN Part II. I hope it's a unique and alternate expression of what these three together can achieve.

Maybe it won't reset my life, become the soundtrack of my soul, or change the way I perceive the world, but I look forward to the release of the How to Destroy Angels EP. At the minimum, I expect it to be good. However, I wait with baited breath and fingers crossed that it will be something great.


  • KoldKalamity

    It's also got me thinking of a darker version of Portishead, but I feel there's more going on here. Mostly because I'm indeed, a gibbering fanboy. Definitely worth paying attention to in the coming months. It's certainly a very new kind of release for Reznor. This, with Trent passing on the vocals to someone else, reminds me of the Tapeworm days. The people he's collaborating with this time demonstrates the kind of dynamic he needs to work in a band. Back with Tapeworm, he was working with guys who are worthy of having an ego as big as his. I figure that's what must've got in the way of them producing any finalized output. I'm expecting for HDA put out what that material was expected to be, or at least something similar to it.

    13. Mai. 2010, 17:29
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