Nine Inch Nails shared very few details in the lead up to their new album, Bad Witch. But with a legacy that dates back 30 plus years, it’s an absence that’s certainly warranted, even by today’s standards of cultural ubiquity, considering the group’s continued wane into cult-like status.
Originally believed to have been the final installment in the band’s recent trilogy EP series, frontman Trent Reznor insists Bad Witch is an album. EP’s feel less important, he nearly swears. Though if the new album had been an EP like originally expected it would have been just as demanding of a listen. Just thirty minutes and six tracks in total, Bad Witch is textual and progressive. Still severely dependent on the guitars that have driven NIN since the early ’90s, they’re relying on severely off-kilter production; whirling saxophones, ample acid house bass lines, newly poised post-punk drumming.
Saxophones and industrial-tinged synthesizers glitter and delight throughout only to spiral out of control with an unabashed urgency and eerie evocativeness that begs innumerable listens. At the very least its an album that demands the awareness and attention of its listeners, just like the very world it exists in spite of.
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