This isn’t meant to last, hesitation is the better part of valor

Posted: September 1, 2013 by The Social Retard in Music

NINAs I’ve talked about here before, I get tunnel vision when it comes to collecting. I know what I want and I become fixated on trying to get it. Today, I will talk about how patience can sometimes by prudent. I have been a fan of Nine Inch Nails for over twenty years, ever since I saw the video for “Wish” on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. My obsession for the band only got more intense as time went on. I bought the Broken EP through the BMG music club and loved every second, especially “Last”. That song was kind of a prophetic explanation of my life as well as NIИ in its current form: “This isn’t meant to last/This is for right now”. Broken was my first experience with hidden tracks with 98 and 99 were amazing covers pf Adam Ant and PIG tracks. I went back and bought their debut, Pretty Hate Machine, which was a bit too techno for my taste.

In 1994, Trent Reznor and company released the magnum opus, The Downward Spiral. This was an instant 14-track unblemished classic. Not a single misstep in the bunch. “March Of the Pigs” presses on a nerve or something as the very listening of it taps into something primal inside me that brings about an aggressive reaction, the only song that really still makes me want to slam into other people. I had a hard time with “Heresy” because, at the time of first hearing it, I had not yet had my crisis of faith. Now, I gladly scream, “Your god is dead and no one cares”, usually entirely unprovoked. I no longer have any reservations listening to the album. Every note is a small part of a masterpiece. “The Becoming”, “I Do Not Want This”, and especially “Reptile” are just wonderful. I didn’t understand the lyrics to “Reptile” then but I loved the fact that Reznor had created a sound that could have come from Godzilla. I even managed to convince my mom to get Woodstock ’94 on pay-per-view so that I could see Nine Inch Nails live. I told her that old losers like Aerosmith were playing and I would tape it (yes, VHS was the only option then) for her. After that performance, everyone wanted their piece of the band. They weren’t my secret anymore. Not that they ever were, but I was the only one I knew that listened to them. “Closer” blew up and, all of a sudden, that’s all anyone wanted to hear. Foolish jackholes didn’t even realize the treasure trove of gems the band had. I ended up transferring the performance to an audio cassette and played it in my car, when I finally got my car (three years later).

I remember playing it in my car in 1999 when the blonde vulture wanted me to drive her to her ex’s place because he was waxing suicidal. I agreed to it but I played that tape the whole way there and back because I really didn’t want to talk about the situation. She tried to shut it off but I was having none of that. Little did I know that in a few months, she would leave me and I would be the one with the dark thoughts. I’m not proud of it but I took my pain out in criminal fashion. Weeks later, it was September 21 and the follow-up to TDS was finally being released. Through less than savory techniques, I went to a music store (that no longer exists) in Chicago Ridge Mall and “procured” it. It was like me at that point, The Fragile. It was a mere weeks earlier that she and I were listening to the CD single “The Day the World Went Away”/”Starfuckers, Inc.” on the stereo at her place. Now, I was nicking a business out of The Fragile, Tori Amos‘s Boys For Pele, Type O Negative‘s World Coming Down, Chris Cornell‘s solo debut, Euphoria Morning. I really love all of these albums, not just because of the music but at the time of my life that I needed to hear them. How I got them doesn’t matter (maybe to the company, it does).

It would be six more years until the next album and, this time, I got to see them live in support of it. With Teeth, is not up to par as everything that came before it but it was fine. However, The Downward Spiral was a prediction of sorts as everything has kind of gotten incrementally worse since then. Year Zero is nearly unlistenable to me, as nothing sticks out for me at all. The Slip has one good song, “1,000,000”, and the rest is just crap. Ghosts should not count as a NIИ album as it is entirely instrumental.

I currently have Pretty Hate Machine on remastered CD and vinyl, my original BMG Broken, the remastered deluxe of The Downward Spiral, the Natural Born Killers and Lost Highway soundtracks, the original pilfered The Fragile, the limited edition 2-disc live album And All That Could Have Been, With Teeth, Year Zero, Ghosts, and now I await the arrival of…

Hesitation Marks. I pre-ordered it on vinyl back on June, 7 after only hearing one song, the pretty okay “Came Back Haunted”. With shipping, the total was $36. I listened to the leak the other day and, before it even arrives this Tuesday, I know that it wasn’t worth it. For a more detailed reason as to why, you can check out my review over at Examiner. Maybe it’s not-very-goodness is karmic payback for my nefarious deeds in acquiring The Fragile, but I don’t believe in karma. I used to believe in Trent but, now, all I can do is wish.

  1. I still believe in Trent, but we’ll see if that continues to be the case after I hear the album myself Tuesday.

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