Milo here.

And I’m back with another Music Mayhem, yea boi!

This time, we have a track from Nine Inch Nails’ stellar debut, Pretty Hate Machine, Something I Can Never Have, which was also featured on the soundtrack for Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. I can appreciate there’s a lot of italics there, but I’m sure you can handle it. Check da audio belooow:

I’ve gotten into Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor in a big way in the past year or so. Their, or should I say his, brand of miserable, disturbing but somehow seductive industrial rock really grabs you with powerful lyrics and layered compositions. With Pretty Hate Machine, Reznor and NIN made an extremely strong debut and, while songs like Head Like A Hole are big favourites of mine, the song we’re looking at today is an extremely interesting cut. The entire atmosphere of the song is heavy, in both its lyrics, that are primarily about suicide (cheery), and its instrumental that, while not “heavy” in the traditional sense, becomes thick and layered as the song progresses. Reznor is a master of layering sounds, a fine example of this is on my favourite NIN song, Closer, but it’s also done here, albeit in a different way. While Closer finds its sound in an eerie combination of industrial standards and menacing loops, Something I Can Never Have layers ominous piano chords and atmospheric strings to make something that feels both grand and abyssal, while keeping an industrial hissing in the background. On top of this, Reznor also lends a stunning vocal performance on this thing, screaming and whispering with equal devotion these pained lyrics. His performance here literally makes me shiver as I’m writing this. It’s a heavy song, and not one for the faint-hearted, but, Jesus Christ, it’s worth a listen.

Sorry to leave ya on a bit of a downer, but, c’mon, Nine Inch Nails are barely gonna do a cover of Yellow Submarine or something, are they? And thank Lucifer for that.

Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations

Milo.

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10 thoughts on “MMM: #568 Something I Can Never Have – Nine Inch Nails

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