Nine Inch Nails
Not the Actual Events
When I first heard Trent Reznor’s score for The Social Network, a big part of me hoped it would stylistically find its way into the future of NIN. This surprise EP drop delivers a bit of that. It pairs nicely along with a savory bit of the live drum sounds and overdriven guitars of the classic “The Downward Spiral” period of NIN that solidified them as a top act of the “alternative” radio movement. The grueling nineties rhythmic drive of “The Idea of You” reminds us what a punch in the gut NIN used to be. I have enjoyed Reznor’s output throughout, yet the music on Not the Actual Events is most consistent with a beloved period in his oeuvre, that of Pretty Hate Machine thru The Fragile. There is even the ghostly echo of Closer on “The Idea of You” as it concludes. As if to say, I am back, as I was at my most dedicated and angry.
“Dear World” dances around a Kraftwerk rhythm. “She’s Gone Away” drones along with a predictable refrain, as he sings, “she’s gone, she’s gone, gone away.” “Burning Bright:” refuses to clear up whether NIN is a pure metal or industrial act with blurred lines between Black Sabbath style riffs and postindustrial production.
All in all, Not the Actual Events offers a sumptuous glimpse into the upcoming NIN music Reznor has promised. A subtle, yet fulfilling tease.