Here at Team Rock, speaking ill of Nine Inch Nails results in public shaming, bouts of name-calling and King Joffrey levels of sadism. Trent Reznor's electronic brainchild evokes anger, hatred, love and confusion, adapting to almost any situation. Ever been stuck for appropriate tunes at a house party/funeral? Don't fear – Nine Inch Nails are here!
INCITE MASS SING-ALONGS TO THE HAND THAT FEEDS
With the band rolling into the UK for a full-on arena tour later this week, there will be countless NIN die-hards weeing their pants as Trent’s pretty hate machine lays waste to cities up and down the country. Their live show has always been a somewhat immersive experience, but when they’re packing tunes as catchy as The Hand That Feeds, Head Like A Hole and newie Came Back Haunted, it’s easy to see how casual listeners may be enticed. So let’s draw them in and have them enjoy the singles before morphing them into fully-fledged, been-there-got-the-t-shirt Nine Inch Nails fans – with Trent promising different set-lists every night of the tour, those expecting the hits may be sorely disappointed and delighted in equal measure.
DIG OUT THE BROKEN EP, GO ON A JOG AND INSTANTLY LOSE SEVEN STONE!
Sick of jogging with that shit Eric Prydz song as your sole companion? Ditch the running compilation CD, whack on Broken and sprint until you can’t feel your legs. Easily Nine Inch Nails’ most abrasive, balls-out aggressive piece of work, the EP retains a constant, almost formulaic driving beat across its short play time. Scoff as you zoom past the flock of schoolchildren with Gave Up pummelling your eardrums and overtake Ferraris to the iconic riff of Wish; Broken is now your training montage.
GET DEM FEELS OUT WITH HURT
Grown men weep when this one is played live; Hurt has been covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to Leona Lewis (yup) and Leslie Chow in The Hangover III. It’s a miserable anthem that your Nana has, at some point, probably heard – use it to your advantage. How about serenading your landlord when rent money’s getting a bit tight? Perhaps you’re stuck for funeral music and need something genuinely emotive? Or how about going all John Cusack and blaring it through a boom-box to woo the love of your life? Just don’t let them see the lyrics, or you could end up with a restraining order.
TRY BLASTING OUT NO, YOU DON’T WHILE PLAYING TEKKEN
Released on 1999’s double-disc beast The Fragile, this track was and still sounds light-years ahead of its time. The primal drum beat and mental synth come across as the ideal companion for a game of a Tekken - imagine punching that stupid Bear character with Reznor’s scream of “No, you don’t!” egging you on in the background.
EXPERIENCE THE MOST DRAMATIC MASSAGE OF YOUR LIFE WITH GHOSTS
The Ghosts project was met with a somewhat ‘mixed’ reaction amongst fans, but remains a cornerstone in how to properly do electronic music. Clocking in at almost two hours, the opus traverses guitar-laden territories, Skinny Puppy-esque levels of weirdness and an ambience compared to the works of Brian Eno – expert use of marimba makes for a supremely relaxing album. So next time you pay a random stranger to rub the knots out of your back, get this playing in the background and succumb to the trippiest, most overly dramatic massage of all time.
DANCE LIKE YOUR DAD TO SIN
Thing is about Nine Inch Nails, people seem to forget that they started out having more to do with synth-pop than with heavy metal. And we’re cool with that. We really are. Début album Pretty Hate Machine turns 25 this year, and it still remains a much twerkable tome. So play Sin, shake your arse about a bit and buy a ticket to see Nine Inch Nails – no matter which style of theirs you prefer, there’ll be something in the set-list for everyone.