Nine Inch Nails - The Slip
Self released
Industrial Rock
10 songs (43:45)
Release year: 2008
Nine Inch Nails
Reviewed by Goat

There’s barely a mention of Industrial music that goes by in one of my reviews without the chance being seized to criticise Mr Reznor and his musical project, but upon hearing of the release of album number eight I decided that it was time I gave Nine Inch Nails a second chance. You see, The Slip is available to download from the link below, absolutely free, as a thank-you to fans for their support throughout the years, a support that Reznor is clearly grateful for. It’s interesting to read through all of the various ways in which he has made an enemy of the music business, from withdrawing from the 2005 MTV Movie Awards after a dispute over a planned backdrop image of George Dubya, to openly telling fans to ‘steal’ his music online instead of buying it (at a concert in Australia: “steal and steal and steal some more and give it to all your friends and keep on stealin'”) after a dispute with Universal Music Group over their pricing of 2005’s Year Zero. Well, now that Reznor’s contract with UMG subsidiary Interscope Records is up, he’s taken the route travelled by Radiohead and Amebix, and released his music online – unlike those bands, however, there’s no ‘pay what you want’ option, this is completely free and gratis, available in a variety of digital formats and under a licence that lets people remix it as they please.

Of course, just because something’s free doesn’t mean that it’s worth having, and yet as someone that thinks that Nine Inch Nails are the most overrated act in music since The Bee Gees first strolled onto the scene, that hates Reznor for completely ripping off the far, far better Skinny Puppy… I have to admit, this isn’t bad at all. The brief ambient intro of 999,999 soon flows into the Punkish 1,000,000, a twisted yet catchy song with typical Reznorian fuzz and a surprisingly complex bit of backing programming, complete with a false ending that will catch you every time. Further tracks run the typical NIN gauntlet from aggressive political assault (Letting You) to ballad (Lights In The SkyRadiohead’s Pyramid Song, anyone?) but they’re all pretty good, even if Reznor is hardly breaking new musical ground here. The likes of Discipline will have the crustiest of corpsepaintees disco dancing (with the best use of piano I’ve heard in a while) whilst the Queens Of The Stone Agey Echoplex has all of that band’s casual psychedelia and more. Heads Down pushes the electronics, and (personal highlights) instrumentals Corona Radiata and The Four Of Us Are Dying could teach many a Black Metal band a trick or two about atmospherics.

Reznor’s lyrics are always crap and The Slip is no exception (‘watching you drown/I’ll follow you down’ and ‘chip away at the old version of you/You’d be surprised at what you can do’ being two especially insipid examples) yet the music is far from dreadful. Doubtless seasoned NINnies will have heard it all before, and there may well be more songs available on the physical release of the album later in July – after which it’ll probably no longer be available for download. Still, the modern ‘net kids may be used to ‘free’ music, but the rest of us - those that have actually, y’know, paid for the music in our collections - the idea of a free album is something pretty special. I repeat: it’s FREE, it costs nothing but a few moments of your time to download – what complaints can there possibly be?

Download the full album for free here
Killing Songs :
1,000,000, Discipline, Echoplex, Corona Radiata, The Four Of Us Are Dying, Demon Seed
Goat quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Nine Inch Nails that we have reviewed:
Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth reviewed by Aaron and quoted 76 / 100
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