It’s really crazy to think that it has been ten years since I turned 21 and Nine Inch Nails released With Teeth. I remember the day it was released very well. It was the day of my 21st birthday (May 3rd). A few weeks before I had attended a listening party for the album and was very excited to know that it would be coming out on my birthday, added incentive of sorts. I remember putting the cd on in my friends car and blasting the ever living guts out of it, thinking to myself wow, this sounds great.
Originally the album was to be called Bleedthrough and was a concept based on the exploration of “loss and possible discovery of self, along with alternate layers of reality and perception set inside a nightmare you can’t seem to wake up from; with lots of feedback”. Not long after though Trent stated that the name was changed because “it was supposed to be about different layers of reality seeping into the next, but I think some people were thinking about blood or a tampon commercial”. “‘Bleedthrough’ is no more,” Reznor wrote in a message posted on nin.com, “as the songs and concepts matured, the focus and theme of the album shifted somewhat–leaving me feeling that title was inappropriate. Or you could just say I changed my mind. Yes, the new album has a title and track list, and no I’m not telling you what it is yet”. During the writing of the album Trent began to realize that the songs didn’t fit in to the concept and could stand alone without the need for an all encompassing concept. It was during this time that Trent was also heavily inspired by the use of more analog electronic effects and instruments, specifically tape delay and modular synthesizers, The drums on the album are courtesy of Josh Freese and Dave Grohl.
To me, With Teeth is as close as Trent will get to going back to that “RAW” feeling like he did with Broken. There are so many great songs on this album. The live versions of these songs translate so well. I had the opportunity to see them during this album and it was a great show. Songs like “You Know What You Are,” “The Line Begins To Blur,” “The Hand That Feeds,” “Beside You In Time,” and “Right Where It Belongs,” still stand out to me from those shows. I just wish Trent would play “Getting Smaller” at more shows!!
With Teeth stands up 10 years later and sounds fresher than most of the generic rubbish that is being churned out these days. Trent always stays true to where he is at in his life. This album truly represents getting his life in order and reflecting on the past as to not fall back down that trail again. With Teeth is and was the logical next step in the evolution of Nine Inch Nails. Here hoping that evolution continues!
Nine Inch Nails- With Teeth:
By: Brian Lacy