Episode 223: “March of the Pigs,” Which Is Bacon Three Ways

On the TFT Podcast, we listen to and discuss Trent Reznor’s debut as Nine Inch Nails, “Pretty Hate Machine.”

Matt and Jordan discuss Nine Inch Nails’ seminal debut *Pretty Hate Machine*, talking about what makes music industrial, the four ingredients in the NIN sound, whether the lyrics on this record are any good, and what exactly, you deserve.

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Syllabus: Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine

Industrial Music

One Comment on “Episode 223: “March of the Pigs,” Which Is Bacon Three Ways”

  1. Josie M. #

    I actually got into Nine Inch Nails as an adult, in college. Like I was aware of them in middle school and such – Closer was one of the first songs with a well-enunciated F bomb I ever heard – but it took me a while to really get into them, and I would largely agree that an instrumental version of Pretty Hate Machine would be perhaps more enjoyable at this point in my life. (Of course, today we have Reznor’s film compositions and instrumental albums).
    Like the point at which I really started listening to NIN in earnest beyond the singles was 2004’s “With Teeth”, which was Reznor’s sobriety album and the point where I think the philosophical and pop elements really began to fully overtake the more Angry Boy ones. A lot of it can be read as a rebuke to his younger self. Album closers “Right Where It Belongs” is one of my favorite songs of the last 15 years, and was really personally meaningful to me as I came to grips with my identity. It matters that NIN largely outlived their early-90s peers. The other big 00s album that Reznor worked on that meant a lot to me was his work with Saul Williams on “The Rise and Inevitable Liberation of NiggyTardust”, which sounds exactly like yours expect a Trent Reznor produced rap album to sound. (It also samples Public Enemy and features a cover of “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. So multiple TFT callbacks there.)

    As for Nine Inch Nail’s place as an “alternative band”, I think it’s less that they were an honorary grunge band and more that they were a non-grunge Lollapalooza band, much like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. When I saw NIN in concert in 2008 it was with Jane’s Addiction, the band that in a lot of ways was responsible for bringing together the various alternatives into that 90s MTV Alternative melage both by creating Lollapalooza but also by bridging the sonic and thematic concerns of grunge and the more glam/funk side of “alt-rock”.


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