Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor has tantrummed his way back to the charts with "The Hand That Feeds," the fiercely in-form single from Nine Inch Nails' five-year-plan album, With Teeth. But the NIN experience — fostered equally by Reznor's obsessive attention to visual detail and a rapaciously devoted online fan base — is complete only when consummated communally. A newly buff and drug-free Reznor is in fine microphone-and-epithet-hurling form, and this tour — while still featuring dysfunctional, industrial-strength renditions of "Head Like a Hole" and "Only" — also offers a contrasting and fascinatingly ambient palette of soothing video projections à la Tool. Though drummer Jerome Dillon has been on and off the tour owing to health problems, look for NIN's flesh-and-blood band of guitars and percussion to undercut industrial music's undeserved rep as cacophonic, mechanical, and distant. After all, Reznor is the guy who screamed, "I want to fuck you like an animal," more than a dozen times in "Closer" and still received radio airplay and a thrilling MTV rotation cycle out of the ride.

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Jean Carey
Contact: Jean Carey