Nine Inch Nails - Bad Witch EP

Nine Inch Nails
Bad Witch EP

Bad Witch is third in a trio of EP releases from Nine Inch Nails over the past two years. This record is the rawest and most guttural of the bunch, capturing that unabashed energy that Nine Inch Nails are so well known for. With Nine Inch Nails the joy is usually that slow burn and  deep build but on this record they put everything in your face from the first moment. "Shit Mirror" has Reznor singing with a highly affected vocal cutting through the electronic fuzz into some new crazy production. Listening to NIN now makes you appreciate their older work even more. The production is done so incredibly well, but you realize Reznor has been able to do this for years. "Play the Goddamned Part" is a song that is forever building, reaching for something that it never finds over it's almost five minute runtime. It's raw, uncomfortable yet stunningly pretty. The same can be said of much of NIN's music, it is not meant to feel safe and warm, it is meant to put you off balance and make you think about what it is you are actually listening to and why it matters. There is so little pretense on this record though, something Trent Reznor is usually filled with.

It's that honesty and that consideration for this music that makes it so dynamic and bold. With sounds like this you would expect high minded ideas and a lot of filler, but when things drag it feels purposeful and directed. "I'm Not From This World" with it's almost seven minute run time is more about creating a vibe than crafting a song. The vocal-less track is all dread and menace, machines pounding in this never ending search for something to latch on to. It sounds like what going through a Black Hole must be like, but somehow in a good way? This may be an EP but it runs over thirty minutes, longer than some full albums. Bad Witch is chalked full of interesting ideas, stellar explorations and sounds that further the mythos of Nine Inch Nails. This album is complex and full of depth but the real amazing part is just how great it sounds it your ears. Don't expect this record to be playing at your backyard BBQ, but those who know...they know.

8.0 out of 10


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