January 31, 2013

Song Review: How to destroy angels_' "How long?"

Last year’s second EP from Trent Reznor’s How to destroy angels_, An omen, wasn’t all that much of the exit away from stirring cinematic plots AS was hoping to hear from the Nine Inch Nails frontman’s new band with wife Mariqueen Maandig, film score collaborator Atticus Ross and visual artist Rob Sheridan. The project’s formal debut Welcome oblivion_ arrives March 5th on Columbia, and with no short-play teasers standing in its way (on top of their live debut announced for this year’s Coachella,) Reznor is now giving us an Htdi_ listen that’s more focused on its groupier elements in the LP's initial preview “How long?” Given Reznor and Ross have spent the past half decade creating moody long-form electronic soundscapes for Fincher films, it's at least a small triumph to hear "How long?" march to the beat of accessibility with a hook-heavy bleep beat and robotic anthemry in Maandig and Reznor's mutated chorus. The collective's paranoid android fascination still permeates its core style, but where many of the tracks on An omen often seemed too dense to allow both Maandig and Reznor's vocals shine, "How long?" arrives closer to the ultramodern technology pop you were probably expecting from How to destroy angels_ all along thanks to some old fashioned traditional structure.

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