In the 1990’s, the music genre Industrial saw a huge boom in popularity. One of the most notable bands to come out of this fad was Nine Inch Nails, which was an interesting ride in background noise tinged with metaphorical lyrics and a darker, ambient beat not so likened to mainstream music of the day. The creator of Nine Inch Nails-affectionately called “NIN” by fans-decided in 2009 to finally call it quits on touring with the band and more or less disappeared from music headlines for a bit (or so everyone thought).
Today, the music industry is quite a mess of muddled sameness. Radio has been invaded mostly by horribly produced hip-hop with questionable lyrics and very light rock and roll that usually follows the same formula of either young love or a hard break-up. So when a new band rolls in from established names such as Trent Reznor, there is some hope for a breath of fresh air. And indeed, How to Destroy Angels delivers in a romp of dark but catchy music sure to please Nine Inch Nails fans and attract new listeners alike. The band released their first album in early June as a free download on their website, though die-hard’s can opt to pay a small fee of 2.00 dollars for a higher quality version of the music. Also, merchandise is available at howtodestroyangels.com
The meat of the EP, which is self-titled, is actually different from what Reznor fans might be accustomed to from earlier works. Rather than having Reznor flux between yelling and melodious singing in angry songs made to make the listener ponder about the world, his wife takes up the stage for vocals and is sure to mesmerize anyone with her hauntingly beautiful voice. It is a sharp contrast, but very welcoming. Mariqueen serenades with a steady narrative in the entire EP, never once inducing possible anxiety from the music but rather a nice bobbing of the head.
Fans are very keen to point out that while How to Destroy Angels is an entirely different entity, the core of the sound resembles much of Nine Inch Nails later works. Regardless of such a comparison, the sweeping beat of each song on this EP is completely original. Songs sure to become popular with the masses include A Drowning, Fur Lined and The Space in Between.
One possible gripe with this EP is the message at hand. What exactly is How to Destroy Angels trying to say, or convey? Perhaps a collective melancholy, moody and introspective of thoughts and ideas, but, that is entirely up to interpretation. Though lyrics are not scarce, it is still not enough to the point of being blunt for the listener. It keeps this entire band shrouded in an elusive veil, leaving the fans wanting more and also having them question what exactly does Reznor and Mariqueen want to do with this project.
And while previously mentioned there is a bridge of similarity between this new band and Nine Inch Nails, it almost seems like too much at times (mostly with the song Parasite). The reprieve that is Mariqueen’s voice definitely brings about a new touch of originality, however, the rest might sound all too much like a more pop-induced Nine Inch Nails. But, with familiar names such as Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder (the geniuses behind NIN since The Fragile), and of course Reznor, there is going to be some sameness.
Regardless of this tiny complaint, How to Destroy Angels self-titled EP is a must-listen for any Industrial fan. Or better yet, a perfect band to help someone get into the genre. The music is not ‘out there’ enough to turn off potential fans and yet still brings a great big breath of super fresh air to a now monotonous genre that has been suffocated by bands such as Angelspit or Combichrist. The music sounds real, Mariqueen’s voice is like sex and the production is top-notch.
Go download this EP right now.