Nine Inch Nails (NIN), an industrial rock band founded in 1988 and who originate from Cleveland, Ohio released the long-awaited album Hesitation Marks after a 5 year hiatus. The band, driven by Trent Reznor (producer, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist) and who re-signed to Columbia Records, have returned with an album that demonstrates a considerably lighter, cleaner and smoother sound than previous works, displaying more rhythm and even an occasional ‘pop’ influence as evidenced in Everyday.
Whilst the album may not have the same depth and has a distinct lack of Pushing of Boundaries prevalent in previous records, Hesitation Marks is driven by catchy rhythms and a hard-hitting bass – the rudimentary ambience of Copy of A features melodic changes set against an addictive pace.
Came Back Haunted a somewhat blander, wallowing song and the second half of the album featuring the tracks Various Methods of Escape, I Would for You and In Two lose much of the energy visible at the beginning of the album, resulting in flagging and forgettable tempos.
This collection appears to be a more self-reflective body of work for Reznor, giving the impression that it is a cathartic offering pulled from his deep subconscious, leaving behind the rages and tension of previous works to deliver a more direct production that in Everything even displays cheerful vocal harmonies!
Overall this album reflects a more solid NIN offering than some earlier works and they have succeeded in returning with an album that is a refreshing and pleasing addition to the legacy that now stretches over 24 years.