August 12, 2013

Song Review: Nine Inch Nails' "Copy of A"


Trent Reznor's pretty hate reunion machine known as Nine Inch Nails is now fully operational, having embarked on a world tour and played its first shows in the U.S. with successful headlining slots at this year's Lollapalooza and Outside Lands festivals, and among the new tracks off the project's comeback album Hesitation Marks (due out September 3rd via Columbia Records) being test driven is its latest official single "Copy of A." Alongside the LP's first preview in the radio-ready industrial pop arena seat filler "Came Back Haunted," the similarities between Nine Inch Nails' latest incarnation and that of its 1994 classic The Downward Spiral are beginning to show exactly what type of "sparse and minimal" electronic-heavy forwardness Reznor was alluding to. "Copy of A" traces its roots back to the mid-'90s industrial trance revolution, cutely dubbed "electronica" back then and which practically fizzled out here in the States as soon as Madonna hopped on the Prodigy bandwagon, but nevertheless, Reznor contributed one of its most significant examples upon producing David Lynch's Lost Highway soundtrack and its Nine Inch Nails-helmed hit single "The Perfect Drug." Like that listen, "Copy of A" features a trippy beat that accelerates at the speed at which I imagine mimics the affects that ecstasy would have on some dumb kid on the blacklit floors of today's much more lame yet equally dangerous and stupid drug-induced rave and dub scenes. But with Reznor knocking at 50's door these days alongside being happily married with children, he escaped the fuckery of that wasteful lifestyle years ago. "I am just a copy of a copy of a copy / Everything I say has come before...," reflects Reznor, trying to convince you that he's some shell of his former self whose been far out and back. Fortunately for him, he was able to return with the laser focus of an industrial dance junkie without having pushing a pill down anyone's throats, and for that, it's at least impressive to know Nine Inch Nails can still do what they did a decade and a half ago without the icky dirtiness that a sound like this typically desires.

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