Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:
Trent Reznor has always been a one-trick-pony, but it's a damn good trick: sunny melodies filtered through ferocious electronics. Unfortunately, the trick's impact was often watered down by a tendency toward petulance and self-absorption. Still, almost six years after NIN's last release, The Fragile, the trick itself has lost none of its Teen-Beat-from-hell appeal. With Teeth blisters from the start with "All the Love in the World," and tracks like "The Collector" take full advantage of Dave Grohl's sledgehammer drumming. Reznor stretches occasionally, trying out different tactics, from crunchy, overtly commercial rave-ups ("The Hand That Feeds") to borderline New Wave ("Only"). But Teeth isn't about stretching. It's about doing the same trick, only better, with less clutter and more bite. By neatly distilling the sparseness of Pretty Hate Machine with Downward Spiral-style density, it ends up being the most focused record in the NIN catalogue. --Matthew Cooke

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