Nine Inch Nails - Not The Actual Events - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Nine Inch Nails - Not The Actual Events

by paul_guyet Rating:9 Release Date:2016-12-23

Trent Reznor seems to have decided that 2017 will be one of his active years. Along with definitive reissues of all of Nine Inch Nails' core releases on vinyl and high resolution audio, he has promised "two new, major works" from Nine Inch Nails. Then there's his and Atticus Ross' score for Peter Berg's Patriots Day (official release in a few weeks), the upcoming Ken Burns film about the Vietnam War (due in Q3), and who the hell knows what else. But, before all that, Reznor started things off by fulfilling his promise from last year by releasing new Nine Inch Nails music in 2016, namely, Not The Actual Events, a 21 minute, 5-track EP. 

Reznor says the story and concept for NTAE originated from a few years' worth of musical experiments and the idea of directly referencing back to a track of his from the mid-90's. He says it's impenetrable and unfriendly. He says it should be played loud. Some of the lyrics here feel like automatic writing or stream of consciousness. Reznor's voice is affected on some tracks, nearly unintelligible on others, and, on the opener "Branches/Bones", half of the song's lyrics aren't sung. Maybe we're supposed to...feel them...? Also, the fourth track, "The Idea of You", sounds a bit like electronic Metallica.

It's dense and it's brutal, but I can't tell if the fucking thing is good*. I haven't stopped listening to it since it came out, but that means nothing; I'm a Nine Inch Nails fan and that's my function. I can say that I actively enjoy "Branches/Bones" and that, when the chorus of "Burning Bright" kicks in, I feel something explode inside of myself. But that's me. Not The Actual Events is on all streaming services as well as vinyl and some other mysterious format Reznor is teasing people with, so give it a listen and decide for yourself.

* So, please, disregard that little number up there.

Comments (6)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

My eyes immediately went to the "9" and I thought "what!?" Then I read your last sentence. :)

It is what it is...just seems like a kind of inconsequential warm-up EP...looking forward to his 2017 releases nonetheless.

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It might just be exactly that, but knowing him, it might be an ARG...or some sort of message to some future version of himself.
Christ knows with this lunatic...

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The first thing that came to mind when I listened to this was 'half-baked'...Reznor's best work (in my humble opinion) is typically labored over...this E.P. has that 'Laptop at the kitchen table' feeling that just does not resonate with me. ...

The first thing that came to mind when I listened to this was 'half-baked'...Reznor's best work (in my humble opinion) is typically labored over...this E.P. has that 'Laptop at the kitchen table' feeling that just does not resonate with me. Hopefully this is just everyone getting their feet wet.

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So, who knew the lyrics to She's Gone Away would be about Laura Palmer! Do we think the phrase 'Not the Actual Events' has any meaning to Twin Peaks as well?

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A lot of NIN fans are speculating about that, but nothing confirmed from Reznor. People are going to be scrutinizing that new EP though, that's for sure.
Some folks are interpreting the song as from Bob's perspective...

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Would we get confirmation anyway? Anything Twin Peaks related should be shrouded in mystery.

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