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NIN's 'Hesitation Marks' Worth the Long Wait

  • Katherine Cole

Trent Reznor of the Nine Inch Nails performs on day one of Lollapalooza 2013 at Grant Park in Chicago, Aug. 2, 2013.

Trent Reznor of the Nine Inch Nails performs on day one of Lollapalooza 2013 at Grant Park in Chicago, Aug. 2, 2013.

In 2009, Trent Reznor shocked his fans by deciding to stop touring with his band Nine Inch Nails. Instead, he turned his attention to other projects, which included co-composing the Oscar-winning score to the 2010 film “The Social Network.” But now he’s brought the band back to life with a new CD called “Hesitation Marks” and the new songs were worth waiting for.

Performing live for the first time in years, Nine Inch Nails has been opening its shows with the new song “Copy of A.” Reznor has said it’s his way to reintroduce fans to the band, letting them know Nine Inch Nails isn’t just cranking out the same old songs.

“Hesitation Marks” is Nine Inch Nails’ eighth full-length CD in 25 years. The music on the new disc isn’t as heavy and dark as some of the band’s past records. Instead there’s a funky, industrial beat with a theme of rebirth. That’s not to say it’s all sweetness and light -- this is, after all, a project from the famously intense Reznor. But instead of sounding angry, he just sounds, well, “Disappointed.”

Nine Inch Nail’s last major label release was 2007’s “Year Zero” on Interscope. Reznor went on to release several albums on his own label, including the Oscar-winning soundtrack to movie “The Social Network.” But after half a decade of self-releases, Reznor has issued “Hesitation Marks” on Columbia Records. Even though Reznor might make more money selling CD’s through his own company, such independent labels lack the sales and marketing staff to push an album number up the worldwide sales charts.

Reznor recorded “Hesitation Marks” in Los Angeles with regular collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder. He had a few guests in the studio for this one, too, including Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac and Adrian Belew of King Crimson. They won’t perform onstage with the group, but a re-energized Nine Inch Nails has already been touring Asia, Europe and the U.K. and will launch a North American tour at the end of the month.

If you can’t get to a show this time around, you may want to check out the new live EP that’s just been released. It’s exclusive to the subscription based online music streaming service Spotify and has tracks recorded at Chicago’s Lollapalooza festival and the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.