With Teeth





Metal Hammer


Juni 2005


Bark With Bite



Autor: John Doran









Slimmed down and laser focused industrial genius, featuring Foo Fighter Grohl

Well, well, well; hasn‘t Trent Reznor come a long way since the release of Pretty Hate Machine in 1989? After listening to ‘With Teetn’ your considered answer has to be: not as far as you‘d imagine. And we should be thankful, after his bona fide masterpiece ‘Downard Spiral’ and punishing ‘The Fragile‘ if he had carried on pushing in the same intellectual and sonic direction, ‘With Teeth‘ would have been the aural equivalent of losing several family members in a car crash after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Reznor, who was only a ball‘s hair away from swan diving straight into self parody from a great height anyway, has realised that even the greatest cartographers of existentialism and darkness can end up looking like self indulgent buffoons if they don‘t temper their art with same restraint.

Album opener ‘All The Love In The World‘ starts off as an understated electro-glitch ballad with whooshes of sub bass and feedback crystallizing into a distant but howling guitar solo. But just as you are getting a handle on the track it blindsides you by breaking into a lush and tuneful piano-led breakdown over which a gospel choir of Trents emote the chorus sounding almost like Primal Scream at their most acid-drenched.

So kicking the coke and the booze have put Mr Rez in a fairly chipper mood then? Well, luckily, not quite. We’re back on familiar, if dimly remembered, territory with ‘You Know Who You Are?’ A vicious guitar line that sounds like a hornet trapped in an ice cream cone forming a caustic loop over a dizzyingly fast tribal drum pattern.

The epic ‘Only‘ starts off with a dirty electroclash synth line and punk funk bass reminiscent of the influential Gang Of Four. As it squelches and rushes towards various narcotic peaks you start worrying that Reznor has lost his mind, but then you realise that in typically perverse and dark fashion, he’s constructed a diabolical disco song about self harm.

The album‘s title track again suggests that the cloudy thinking and near state of mental breakdown that he was going through during recording ‘The Fragile’ is a thing of the past, it being a concise, powerful and organic rock groove propelled along by guest sticksman, Dave Grohl. On a couple of tracks you get the impression that he still finds it hard to articulate the fear und depression that he suffers from and his lyrical palette remains a narrow one. This said though, if you‘re going to spend your money on one dark-haired millionaire goth hero pointing out to you how utterly painful, pointless, depressing and futile life can be this year: definitely make it this one.

An awesome achievement harking hack to his first two essential albums.

John Doran [8]