Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth

Andrew Parks

By Andrew Parks

on 09.05.12 in Reviews

With Teeth

Nine Inch Nails
A demon-smothering denouement to years of B.S.

After disappearing into his own downward spiral of drugs and despair for much of the mid-to-late ’90s, Trent Reznor reemerged a broken but not beaten alt-rock icon around the release of With Teeth, a full-length that was framed as a demon-smothering denouement to the self-immolating bullshit he put fans and friends through for years. If he sounds a tad bitter on the opening track (the steady, piano-spiked build of “All the Love in the World”), Reznor slams that egocentric door shut with the dagger-like drums, backwashed synths and enamel-cracking choruses of “You Know What You Are?” and the downright danceable death-disco rhythms of “The Hand That Feeds,” a rallying cry against The Man that was remixed by James Murphy’s former DFA duo. Reznor’s relatively healthy but decidedly heavy second life begins here, on a record that crackles with newfound energy and welcome surprises like the live drumming of Dave Grohl on half of its tracks.