Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine Island CID9973 1989 By Russell Garwood Nine Inch Nails (NIN) Pretty Hate Machine is the album primarily responsible for watering down and providing a more palatable form of industrial music to the masses. NINs angst-ridden pop-structured songs are catchy and, while sounding slightly dated, are still a welcome listen. The music consists of strong looped drums throughout, plus many samples, noises, guitar and vocals. The majority of these are programmed, performed and written by Trent Reznor, the mastermind behind NIN. They create an atmospheric and downcast album, the lyrics (as always with Trent) being perfectly judged, and extremely well written; for example, it's still getting worse after everything I tried, what if I found a way to wash it all aside, what if she touches with those fingertips, as the words spill out like fire from her lips. Opening with the dancey and hugely cynical Head Like A Hole, the mood of the album is established early, being cemented by Terrible Lie, with a dig at organised religion. Track 4 Sanctify has a tapped, catchy bass-line that sticks in your head for hours and the heart-wrenching Something I Can Never Have has to be one of the most depressing, and best songs on the album. Other standout tracks include the more aggressive Sin and the dark and hopeless Ring Finger. This is a hugely influential classic which is still relevant and well worth getting, and while it may not be the best album to get if you are new to NIN, it is a necessity for fans of the band and industrial music.