Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch EP – Review by Killian Laher
Bad Witch is either a short album or a very long EP, the third in a series of three, depending on your point of view. It marks the return of Nine Inch Nails, a year or so after the Add Violence EP. It opens with Shit Mirror, a whole lot of crashing and bluster, nodding backwards 25 years or so to the band’s heyday. Indeed, it could have come out then such is its faithful reconstruction of that particular sound. Ahead of Ourselves is dancier but equally in your face, with Trent Reznor’s heavily distorted vocals grating a little.
The instrumental material here acts as a kind of respite from the harshness of the opening two tracks. Though, Play the Goddamned Part features plenty of crashing and banging, along with the introduction of saxophone. I’m Not From This World is more atmospheric, though doesn’t really go anywhere, just acting as a long, drawn-out industrial mood piece.
The most interesting track here is the demented sax-dance of God Break Down the Door. It’s reminiscent of late Bowie, both in his 90s Eno/jungle period and also the Blackstar era. Instead of bawling out the lyrics, Reznor utilises an uneasy, low croon which integrates well with the dark electronics. Final track Over and Out opens with a long, spooky intro before Reznor again opens up his lower register, repeatedly singing “time is running out… I don’t know what I’m waiting on”. A longer album in the vein of these two tracks perhaps in the future? Certainly in comparison to the opening two tracks this could be the work of a different band.
The album is half decent and will please the fans, but probably time for Trent Reznor to be a little less prolific and release an album, with or without band, of lasting significance.
Track List –
1. Shit Mirror
2. Ahead of Ourselves
3. Play the Goddamned Part
4. God Break Down the Door
5. I’m Not From This World
6. Over and Out
God Break Down the Door