Monday, July 8, 2013

Video Of The Week: Nine Inch Nails

This had all the promise and the making of an instant classic, of a timeless piece of art: Trent Reznor resurrecting Nine Inch Nails, returning to a sound more electronic, harking back to prior to The Downward Spiral, closer to the Fixed/Broken EPs, and an artsy black-and-white video directed by none other than David Lynch, one of the most daring, unique, visionary American film directors of the past quarter-century; the pair had previously collaborated on Lynch's amazing Lost Highway, as NIN wrote two songs for the film (The Perfect Drug and the end credits' Driver Down), and Reznor producing the film's soundtrack.

What we're left with is (relatively) standard experimental film fare, vaguely inspired by Luis Buñuel's and Salvador Dali's Un Chien Andalou (the eyes), at other times reminiscent of the works of Kenneth Anger (the subversive and repetitive subject matter), Norman McLaren (the animation, the scratching of the lens), René Clair, Stan Brackhage, Fernand Léger (the repetitive found images of an odd dance/ballet), and maybe even Georges Méliès (the moon-face).

I wouldn't call it ''cliché'', but it's not all that original, either.

But I decided to give it a few days, a few listens.

And this, despite its obvious references to a film grad and screenwriter such as myself, remains the best video I've seen in a (short) while. And to anyone without the experience to see where the inspiration comes from, this could open their eyes to a whole new world of (better) films out there. Which is also great.

And the song itself fits in the NIN pantheon. Very well. It's not as political as Head Like A Hole, not as obviously subversive as Closer (though that song is now a staple at strip clubs and sporting events...), not as heavy as March Of The Pigs nor as angry as Starfuckers, Inc., not as ''inclusive of all the ingredients that make up Nine Inch Nails'' as The Perfect Drug, but it's one of the better songs released this year so far. It grows on you.

And I'd rather have Nine Inch Nails doing the rounds, performing on talk shows, touring, grabbing your attention (and dollars) than modern-day futilities such as Macklemore, Bruno Mars and, or past success revivalists like Chicago and Bon Jovi.

I'll be purchasing the new album, Hesitation Marks, the day of its release - on September 3rd - as I have done since 1992 because, well, NIN is a great band project.

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