The final installment of Nine Inch Nails 3 EP set is finally upon us. Bad Witch is the conclusion to Not The Actual Events and Add Violence and it provides a sense of closure to this piece of work. What Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have created is something that they should be proud of. Each EP stands out on its own merit, with each representing something different. Bad Witch seems to take a little bit from each of the other two and deconstruct it and open the wound for all to see.
Starting off with “Shit Mirror” is a perfect way to set the tone for what this EP is to be. Plus with a title like “Shit Mirror” you know you are going to get something that tingles up and down your spine. “Ahead Of Ourselves” is classic NIN over and over. This song could have been found on Broken or The Downward Spiral. And live, this song is one of those that the crowd will eat up. “Play The Goddamned Part” acts more as a segue but adds a very distinct mood to the middle part of the record. “God Break Down The Door” is a very Bowie-esque song that is more of a tribute to the late David Bowie. The saxophone parts on the song make the song feel bigger than it is and full of texture. “I’m Not From This World” is a stark and ambient track that will sink into your head and guide you along an escape from yourself. “Over and Out” segues perfectly from the previous song and in a beautiful way that is almost haunting and leaves you with a mantra.
The distorted electro jazz that permeates from the speakers as you listen to this EP, sucks you in to a vortex of awesomeness. The entire album is a David Bowie tribute in a way. You can definitely hear the inspiration and influence all over this album. In particular Bowie’s “Low” era. Bad Witch is a pessimistic album but it does come with a grain of optimism. It’s crazy to think that it’s been 30 years since Nine Inch Nails was first formed. Being a fan since I was a little kid till now as a full on adult, I and many of the fans out there, have been able to witness the true artistry of Trent. Each era and album that has ever been put out tells its own story. With the world the way it is now, it’s no wonder that this 3 part saga feels the way it does. Bad Witch is the perfect way to end this chapter. I sincerely hope that there is more to come. Trent and Atticus seemed to have really hit on something full of inspiration.
There are certain collaborations that should have never happened. One HUGE one that has stuck in my head for years is when Jimmy Page gave permission for Puff Daddy, Diddy, or whatever he calls himself, to use Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” If you don’t recall this atrocious moment, it was during the Godzilla soundtrack and the song was called “Come With Me.” I don’t know why or how this came about to be but it’s something that should have NEVER happened. It almost, actually it did ruin that song for quite some time. Also it’s worth noting that Tom Morello was also featured on this song. The sheer association of Zeppelin and P Diddy is about as wrong as oil and water, they just don’t go together!
To this day, I will always remember the first time I heard “Lady, You Roof Brings Me Down.” I was sitting in my room doing my homework and listening to the radio and then there it was. I thought to myself, this doesn’t sound like Stone Temple Pilots but, that’s Scott singing. I was absolutely engrossed by what I was hearing. Then the song ends and the DJ says that it’s a song from Scott’s upcoming solo album and from the film Great Expectations.
Fast forward a bit and I now have Scott’s solo album, 12 Bar Blues in my stereo and I’m playing it on repeat. There was something odd and strange about this album and at that age I wasn’t quite sure what I was hearing and where this influence was coming from. So, I did what I’ve always done and really looked into it. To me 12 Bar Blues was an album Scott made to pay homage to those that really influenced and inspired him over the years. There is a real David Bowie and Iggy Pop element to the record among many others like Lou Reed and some in the R&B world.
The album was also made while Scott was deeply into his addiction and you can hear those nuances in the instrumentation, chord progressions, melodies and lyrics. You could tell, even back when STP made Tiny Music From The Vatican Gift Shop, that Scott was looking to explore different styles and sounds to break away from the “rock” sound, and he managed to create something that really stood out in a good way. When you listen to songs like “Desperation No. 5,” “Barbarella,” “Where’s The Man,” “Cool Kiss,” and “Mockingbird Girl” you can really hear the escape Scott was plotting as well as the influence. The album as a whole is a true piece of art and deserves to be acknowledged as such. For Scott’s first foray into making a “solo album” he really set a high bar for himself and others in his genre to follow.
I remember back in 1996 when Marilyn Manson released his version of the Eurythmics song “Sweet Dreams” that it would be really cool if one day he did a version of Gerard McMann’s “Cry Little Sister” from The Lost Boys. Well now over 20 years later, my wish has been granted. Marilyn Manson finally did a cover of the song and it’s just what I expected it to be.
There are certain bands that I will always go see no matter how many times I’ve seen them live. Nine Inch Nails is atop that list and I’ve now seen them 17 times. Each time has been it’s own experience which makes all the shows that much more unique. This past weekend I had the pleasure to see my favorite band at The Joint in Las Vegas and it was just as epic as you would think it was. Trent and company would be performing on 3 different dates and I was lucky enough to be at 2 of the 3. I have to say I’m pretty sure I was at the best shows of the weekend.
2003 saw the release of an anticipated movie that sort of (well not sort of) fell flat on its face. That movie was Freddy vs Jason. There was so much potential as to what that movie could have been but instead we got what we got. One thing that actually was cool about the movie was the soundtrack. Over the 20 songs featured on the soundtrack, you got to hear the end of the “nu-metal” era and the beginning of the “metalcore” era. You had bands like Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Chimaira, Sevendust, Lamb Of God, Spineshank, Ill Nino, DevilDriver, Stone Sour and even Type O Negative, to name a few. Something else about this soundtrack that is worth noting is that 14 of the 20 songs on this soundtrack were previously unreleased songs by that bands.
So as you can tell I’m still really digging on The Atlas Moth. Since I saw them live a couple weeks back, I’ve been searching for all things related to the band. I recently stumbled upon this cover they did of Pink Floyd’s “Fearless” and I have to say it’s pretty damn good. Check it out and enjoy what The Atlas Moth brings to this Pink Floyd gem.