01. Less Than
02. The Lovers
03. This Isn't The Place
04. Not Anymore
05. The Background World
Add Violence is the second of a trio of Nine Inch Nails EPs, the first being Not The Actual Events, which was released last year. The third one is due by the end of 2017, conveniently in time for Christmas as a stocking filler for all the Goth kids. Like its predecessor, Add Violence has been released on NIN main man Trent Reznor's own record label The Null Corporation.
The opener Less Than is a catchy track, and the best dance floor friendly Nine Inch Nails track since 2005's The Hand That Feeds (from the album With Teeth) . Less Than initially sounds like it could have been lifted from their debut album, but with a 'retro-modern' computer game score thrown in. This kind of thing has been all the rage with a number of artists since the hugely popular 80's themed TV show, Stranger Things came out last year. Trent has tapped into this 80's chic without compromising the Nine Inch Nails sound, instead assimilating it into something familiar. A big dirty distorted guitar creeps in which contrasts nicely, and keeps the song sounding contemporary. Less Than is Nine Inch Nails at its finest, and their best single for many years.
The rest of the EP is a much darker and more arty affair. If you were hoping for more of the commercial and upbeat end of the Nine Inch Nails spectrum like Less Than, you're out of luck, as the remaining tracks will appeal more to the NIN connoisseur than the passing fan.
The Lovers is a trippy song which has Trent mumbling something or other, before bursting into a chorus that sounds like it belongs to The Cure. This Isn't The Place is a slow haunting track and is instrumental for the first half of the song. Trent's tortured vocals appear with one of the most beautifully miserable performances of his career. Not Anymore is a more aggressive affair which sounds like it would have been at home on the Broken EP.
The final track The Background World is another slow brooding number which builds nicely until it ends on a repeated section of music that becomes more and more distorted with each repeat, and this carries on for several minutes. It's artistic and creative, but who's going to listen to several minutes of distortion more than once? You just know that someone in a Rock pub will select this song on a juke box before they leave, and subject the other punters to what seems like endless distortion that they can't skip and will consequently have to endure in full. Thanks for that, Trent.