Nine Inch Nails

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 April, 2007, 12:00am

Nine Inch Nails

Year Zero


Nine Inch Nails' fifth, and studio, album is filled with innovation and all the multi-dimensional beats and textures that its rock dominated predecessor, With Teeth, lacked.

Yet the real story may be the intriguing marketing campaign behind this release. As far back as February, leaked tracks were found on disc drives in a Madrid restroom at one of the venues where the band played. Their European tour T-shirt cryptically led some fans to a website that details the drug Parepin, mentioned in the new album, which, in lead singer Trent Reznor's world, has purportedly been put into the water supply by the US government.

Since then, dozens of websites have been uncovered, leading some to believe that Reznor's vision of Year Zero will eventually be part of a futuristic alternate reality game. This stems from his sudden social awareness and vision of a futuristic US society circa 2022, in which every step is monitored and forms of expression are supressed. 'I pushed a button and elected him to office and he pushed a button and dropped a bomb' Reznor raps in a clipped British accent on the beat-heavy Capital G.

Aphex Twin and Public Enemy-styled production dominate the 16 tracks that, with a little tinkering,

will make inroads on dance floors. Throbbing basslines, industrial sounds, and questions about God are the order of the day, on a set that's as bizarre, compelling and engrossing as anything Reznor's made since 1994's The Downward Spiral.