Nine Inch Nails – “Not the Actual Events” EP

3 quick years went by but the yearning for more Trent Reznor is always strong (yes, yes I know he’s been doing a bunch of soundtrack work, but you know what I mean.)

So what did NIN offer this time? The first proper EP since 1992’s “Broken”. 5 songs is never enough but you’ll never hear me complain about new music.

Truthfully, it’s probably his most “industrial” work since the 90’s and sounds like a cross of “Broken”, “The Downward Spiral”, and “The Fragile”. It’s controlled noise filled with plenty of ambience and bass grooves with Trent’s ever recognizable soothing yet pained voice providing uncomfortably comforting words over it all.

I enjoyed “Dear World,” “She’s Gone Away”, and “The Idea of You” the most. It’s not often that there’s guitar in Nine Inch Nails’ music, but it makes an appearance on “The Idea of You” and it’s frantic and ends chaotically… like you expected something else? I’d hope that if they play it live, they destroy the instruments because rock ‘n’ roll, man.

“She’s Gone Away” is probably the most normal song of the bunch. It’s slow and somewhat brooding and it’s also the longest. It’s more about the atmosphere than anything. The first song most of you heard was “Burning Bright (Field on Fire)” and it got a very mixed reaction. I liked it, but it isn’t the best thing ever either. This is where the “Broken” and “Downward Spiral” gap is brought together in agonizing torment.

I somehow expect to be hit with a full length album in 2017 just because Trent (who’s officially working with Atticus Ross) likes to drop surprises like that. Can we have another 2007-2008 kinda year?

There is no bad Nine Inch Nails album. “Not the Actual Events” is no exception. It’s just an appetite wetter though. Tour dates and a new album will bring many pleasure so, let’s get on with that!

Rating? 4/5

Reviewed by Marcus Miller

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