No ‘Hesitation’ in Nine Inch Nails’ new album

By Kevin Bartelt

Dark, rhythmic electronic music makes me think of two things: robot assassins in the night and Nine Inch Nail’s new album, “Hesitation Marks.” Both scare me.

Frontman Trent Reznor approaches music like a doctor in surgery, and the mathematical awareness in rhythm prove there are no accidents in “Hesitation Marks.” The band’s use of electronic percussion and synthesizer make me weak in the knee cap area.

“Copy of a” begins with a loose 16-note synth groove complimented perfectly by a 80’s sounding bass and snare beat. The contrast of the complicated electronic flow with very clear 80’s downbeats is impressive — Reznor clearly challenged himself in making opposing sounds work well together.

The complexity of instrumentation is astute in this five-minute track. “Copy of a” is the cast of Blue Man Group in the movie “Tron: Legacy.”

“Everything” draws emphasis to a clean guitar riff echoing from The Cure. The guitar part is something not heard often with Nine Inch Nails. Although I don’t find myself listening to “Everything” too often, I appreciate the group trying out a sound unlike their own. The switch from a lighter verse and heavy chorus is common with the band.

Due to its redundancy, I wouldn’t say “Satellite” is the group’s strongest track. The song sounds like a knockoff version of Muse’s “Undisclosed Disclosures,” but the two groups do have similarities with their electro-rock style.

“All Time Low” provides listeners with a unique guitar lick unlike most guitarists. Similar to “Copy of a,” the juxpasition of guitar, chromatic piano part and beat make the song another track that screams Nine Inch Nails.