Fans on Nine Inch Nails’ Reddit page are definitely impressed with the album so far.
Shit Mirror is so fucking cool, sounds like the more compressed songs out of With Teeth like The Line Begins to Blur, the transition to the next song is flawless.
Ahead of Ourselves sounds kinda lo-fi and muddy, very different from the live version, would easily fit in The Slip between 1.000.000 and Letting You.
Play the Goddamned Part is a instrumental track that has some really cool HM, Black-Noise-like ambiences going on along with a percussion that could have come from Further Down the Spiral. Also: sax, serves as a introduction/complement to God Break Down the Door IMO.
I’m Not From This World is surprisingly another instrumental track, this time more inclined to Ghosts or Year Zero atmospheres. It’s very creepy actually.
Over and Out has a badass bassline and LOTS of atmospheres reminescent of the last three tracks. Sounds like if The Background World was made by David Bowie.
In my opinion Bad Witch was the most cohesive work of the trilogy, it seems that Atticus and all those OSTs Trent produced over the last years had a big impact on the crafting of these songs. The LP sounds like a modern and polished version of everything NIN has done since TDS. My only complains are that the album is unfortunately too short and I’ld have loved more vocals, but clearly this is a ambience/atmosphere based experience.
This further and further compounds my suspicion that this trilogy was TR & AR take on Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. The short track lists, the vastly experimental nature, the intentionally raw lyrics and delivery, sparse vocals on many of the second half tracks, the rapid delivery.
All of it was TR pushing himself and his vulnerabilities with AR in the same way Bowie did with Eno.
The Blackstar and Bowie inspiration on God Break Down the Door has been well noted, but again on Over and Out – and Play the Goddamn Part might as well be the occult tribal score for Bowie’s Second Line (even more so when you consider the end of the I’m Afraid of Americans music video, and Trent’s long history with NOLA ).
Compound this by the fact he’s played that ‘Americans and I Can’t Give Everything Away in the recent shows and the music video for it appears to be a literal blackstar – all of this is following Bowie’s lead, a tribute, and him trying to pick up the pieces of grief but also shining his own light on the path Bowie was leading us to with Blackstar. Which I very much feel was Bowie’s intention, for all of us.
Mass respect all around.
First impression – this record is fucked. In a good way. It sounds like pure experimentation, like nothing fits, its uncomfortable, drawn out, confusing & weird. What you expect to be a hook is warped and frayed. It demands attention and focus. It plays with the mind, creating synaptic pathways that are cut short. It’s unsatisfying, yet demands relistening.
The biggest shock to me was the Ahead of Ourselves ‘chorus’. Instead of being big, bold and full on, it’s lacerating & acerbic. It’s all high end frequencies. The outdo is drawn out to the point of ‘what the hell are they doing?’
It’s very organic and most definitely not a record that you should go into hyped up. It requires focus & an open mind.
[EDIT] I definitely think this is Trents ‘Jazz’ record. From the weird title to the cover art, the grainy portrait of AR & TR & the general ‘organic’ yet totally manipulated sound; this is highly experimental and very jazzy in its structure and composition.