I realize I’ve talked a bit about Nine Inch Nails practically once a week for the last 2-3 weeks, but I promise that today will be the last day I make any mention of the band for at least a month. See, because in spite of the fact that we were told a new NIN single “Came Back Haunted” would be coming down the pipeline on Thursday morning/afternoon, like so many things in the internet age it leaked a bit earlier than that. Okay, so like 12-14 hours earlier than expected. Tech savvy as the band are, once it was out there in relatively low quality streaming format, they immediately uploaded a high quality version of it to Soundcloud, and it is featured below as part of today’s Pick Your Poison. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to it a handful of times so far as I work to get a handle on exactly what is going on in the track and what it reminds me of. Way back before there was any sense that NIN would actually be coming back and recording new material, I recall Trent Reznor saying that if he were to bring the band back, he’d like to try something new and unlike anything he’d done before. In a sense, it’d be a new band under the same old name. Technically speaking he did that when it was announced that people like Adrian Belew (King Crimson) and Eric Avery (Jane’s Addiction) would be part of the new touring lineup. Yet Avery has officially bowed out now, upon realizing that there was going to be a massive tour and he wouldn’t have time for other pursuits. Belew was part of the band during their recording sessions, though he’s decided to not go out on tour either. While I do think that we’ll be hearing some “different” versions of classic NIN songs on the upcoming tour, part of me was hoping that maybe any newly recorded material would also be different than anything the project has done before. “Came Back Haunted,” to me, feels like a retread of the old NIN, like what would happen if Pretty Hate Machine were recorded today. It has a good beat, is dancey and features synths, but thinking about it so did a single like “Only” off the With Teeth record from several years ago. Really after reflecting on it I think it collects elements from the band throughout the duration of those first 20 years and squeezes them into one song. For somebody like me, hoping to have something truly fresh and unique, it’s easy to chalk the new song up as a disappointment. Yet I also loved this band for the duration of its existence and have heard everything that Reznor has ever put together. Compared to that massive catalogue of songs, “Came Back Haunted” actually feels like it’s in the upper echelon already. Instantly likeable and a reminder of how great this band was and still can be. Reznor has said in a recent interview that the upcoming album Hesitation Marks (out on 9/3) is “fucking great.” If the rest of the songs on it are as good as this first taste, he’ll have told the truth. Now then, let’s take care of today’s Pick Your Poison business. Tracks earning my thumbs up today come from CFCF, Hourglass Sea, Metaform, Night Drive, The Petticoat Tearoom and Sun Rai. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, there’s the aforementioned new NIN song, along with some other great stuff from Angel Haze, The Dig, Lorde and The Silent Comedy.
Thumpers – Innocence (ft. Gaggle)
Angel Haze – No Bueno
The Dig – How Can You Trust A Feeling
Lorde – Tennis Court
Nine Inch Nails – Came Back Haunted
The Silent Comedy – God Neon
Two Door Cinema Club – Handshake (Amtrac Remix)