Santa Claus came early last December and brought along “Not The Actual Events”, the EP composed by the music genius Trent Reznor and the now-official new NIN member, Atticus Ross. A long-time collaborator and film-scoring partner, Ross brings a new palette of textures and structure that simply adds a new listening experience and raw industrial sound.
Many of the new EP atmospheres resemble those of the Academy Award-winning score for The Social Network. Defined as ‘skin-crawling’ synths, bass-like guitars and sequenced drum patterns, “Not The Actual Events” is yet another moment in Trent Reznor’s career. For fans, it also means that the band will most likely be touring in 2017, after announcing their first major festival at Panorama NYC as headliners.
Songs like “Burning Bright” (a personal favorite) which has the saw-sounding guitar front-and-center (played by Jane’s Addiction Dave Navarro) is a clear evolution of what once was dubbed as industrial rock. Latin American bands including Koyi K Utho (Colombia) and Sepultura (Brazil) have strong influences from NIN (even though Sepultura began four years earlier than NIN), also demonstrated by the use of heavy synths and drum machines.
Technology is another instrument
Technology is a vital element in Nine Inch Nails’ repertoire of not only music, but their live shows. From their music videos to their festival appearances, technology is the underlying factor that makes the music come alive. Along with Canada-based studio Moment Factory, the band created moving stages, high-range LEDs, sound-activated lasers, and computer vision graphics animated by automated sequences.
Clearly, every show is a mind-blowing experience even for the non-fans. Each song tells a unique story accompanied by yet another technological gadget and superb musicianship and composing. Take “The Idea of You”, with Dave Grohl on the frenzied and syncopated drums. Add it to an exquisite set of mastering tools and ultimate technology, and you get an amazing album.
Trent Reznor is a music scene in and of himself. Seemingly unsurprising, how his musical universe continues to attract other musical geniuses. Navarro played guitar on NIN’s ‘Further Down the Spiral’ back in 1995 while Grohl played drums on seven tracks on NIN’s 2005 album ‘With Teeth’. A very unique music scene indeed.
With the high probability of a second Oscar-winning film score, the wonder duo also composed the music for the new Peter Berg film, “Patriots Day”, starring Mark Wahlberg. Nationwide release of the movie was on January 13th.
Summer of 2017 looks very promising. Check out the full EP here and start learning the lyrics for Mr. Reznor: