Monday, February 26, 2007
I was never a huge fan of Rage Against the Machine. It's not that they didn't make some great music from time to time, or that their brand of politicized wrath didn't have a welcome place in a world of otherwise innocuous pop tripe -- it's just that after awhile, all that righteous indignation and soapbox castigation got a little, well, old. There's only so much humorless haranguing I'm willing to endure before my contrarian nature involuntarily kicks in and I find myself standing in line at the Gap, actually demanding to walk out with the fleece-hoodie that resulted in the most Guatemalan sweatshop deaths.
I don't like being told what to do -- whether the authority figure in question is a religion, a government, or a sanctimonious rock band.
My other issue with Rage, was that they never evolved. Their sound didn't change one bit over the course of their career -- a liability for any band, but a glaringly obvious Achilles Heel for a group whose sound came to be an almost caricaturish barrage of contrived outrage.
Once again, you can only do the anger thing for so long.
With all due respect to those who desperately insist that forty is the new twenty, I find myself once again fearing that humorless rage is in danger of becoming self-parodic as I listen to the new material from pissed-off quatrogenarian Trent Reznor, better known as the mastermind behind Nine Inch Nails. Understand, I've loved Nine Inch Nails since their inception. During my early to mid-twenties, they provided the crushing soundtrack to nearly every second of pain, confusion, indecision and self-destruction that I willingly or unwillingly endured. Trent was like a friend, comforting me through my worst moments by encouraging me to embrace them. I'm still a fan, and I always will be.
The new Nine Inch Nails album, Year Zero, promises to be as furious and aggressive as ever. But here's the thing -- Trent's now forty-one years old; at that age, screaming about "My Violent Heart" runs the risk of coming off as terribly insincere or just outright silly.
I realize that I'll be accused of blasphemy by some of my dearest friends -- in particular Votar, who's already been frighteningly detailed about the effect that Year Zero's impending release is having on the intransigence of his penis -- but being that I'm never above a cheap shot, allow me to suggest a new track listing more befitting someone of Trent's "maturity."
1. Terrible Eyes
2. With False Teeth
3. Starbucks Inc.
4. The Hand that Bleeds (The Arthritis Song)
5. Getting Smaller (The Penis Song)
6. Head-On a Hole (Apply Directly to the Forehead)
7. The Line and Everything Else Begins to Blur
8. Beside You in Very Little Time
9. The Way Out is Through My Colon
10. Every Day is Exactly the Same (in Suburbia)
11. The Frail
12. Closer to God, Literally
(Hidden Track) My Violent Prostate