10 Most Underrated Nine Inch Nails Songs
Nine Inch Nails have released 12 studio albums to date, as well as numerous tracks for compilations and soundtracks. Band founder Trent Reznor has received high accolades from critics and fans alike, including a ton of nominations for major music awards. Reznor’s even taken home a few of those, including two Grammy awards. With all those tracks out there, some are sure to fall through the cracks. But there isn’t much filler to be found when sifting through the vast Nine Inch Nails discography.
As fans of the band that brought industrial music into the mainstream, we’re more than happy to sift through all those tracks. Of course, with an artist this talented and prolific, picking just ten forgotten tracks to highlight is no easy task. This is our list of the 10 Most Underrated Nine Inch Nails Songs.
‘Self Destruction, Part 2′
Shortly after Trent Reznor hit new heights with ‘The Downward Spiral,’ Nine Inch Nails released the remix album, ‘Further Down the Spiral.’ This remix of ‘Mr. Self Destruct’ titled ‘Self Destruction, Part 2′ seriously brings the weird by stripping down most of the guitar riffs and replacing them with a weepy, wobbling lead guitar line. Even with all the changes, this song is still one of the band’s heaviest tracks.
When ‘The Downward Spiral’ assaulted the world, industrial music suddenly became cool. ‘Reptile’ is a textbook example of industrial metal. Plodding gun-shot kick drums and the whirring of a machine’s up-cycle underscore this track and make it a perfect candidate for our list of the 10 Most Underrated Nine Inch Nails Songs.
After the huge success of ‘The Downward Spiral,’ Nine Inch Nails fans had to wait five agonizingly long years for their next fix. But they were rewarded with double LP album ‘The Fragile.’ ‘Even Deeper’ is often overlooked because it wasn’t a single, but the song’s mid-tempo dance beat and power-chord-driven chorus sticks in your head like a good single should.
Trent Reznor has always been great with his fans. So great that, in 2008, he released ‘The Slip’ as a free downloadable album. The closing track ‘Demon Seed’ pulses along with one of Reznor’s signature heavy drum beats, while layered guitars flow like water throughout the song. The “yeah yeah yeah yeah” that comes through the chorus helps put this song on our list of the 10 Most Underrated Nine Inch Nails Songs.
Fans were excited when they found out Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl was playing drums on ‘With Teeth.’ The collaboration did not disappoint, either. ‘Sunspots,’ while heavy (due in large part to the massively fuzzed-out bass line), gets the pop treatment when the high synth line kicks in. Do yourself a favor and play this one loud.
‘Letting You’ starts off fast and heavy and only gets heavier as it rolls along. Reznor layers raw guitars and thick synths together, disguising the catchy appeal of the song behind a thrash aesthetic. Even though this song may not get the attention it deserves, it should be on everyone’s Nine Inch Nails playlist.
‘Where Is Everybody?’
The drums and insanely fat, distorted bass line start ‘Where Is Everybody?’ off like a punch in the diaphragm. Then a drunken guitar line kicks in to mess with your head. Layers build up and fall away as the song struts through to the end. This track could easily have been another single from ‘The Fragile,’ but then again, a lot of the tracks from this album were single-worthy.
Soon after ‘The Downward Spiral’ came out, Reznor got involved with films, and ‘Burn’ showed up on the ‘Natural Born Killers’ soundtrack. The combination of sparse music and Reznor’s verses about living on the outskirts of society made the song a perfect fit for this movie. When Reznor tells us “I’m gonna burn this whole world down!,” the song backs up his promise with an unforgiving thrash riff that encourages you to join him.
‘You Know What You Are?’
‘You Know What You Are?’ opens up with what sounds like the beginning of an insane drum solo. Instead of breaking into a solo, though, the frenetic beat propels the song through the verses. The chorus then expands into a mid-tempo strut of epic proportions. Reznor’s seething growl demands to know if you know what you are while an army of guitars and synths back him up.
‘Physical (You’re So)’
The ‘Broken’ EP served as a teaser for Nine Inch Nails fans prior to ‘The Downward Spiral.’ ‘Physical (You’re So)’ is a surprisingly straightforward cover of an Adam and the Ants track. Many of the songs on ‘Broken’ were markedly heavier than the band’s debut album. And this track might be the heaviest of them all, making it the number one track on our list of 10 Most Underrated Nine Inch Nails Songs.