‘How to Destroy Angels’ and still keep them intact

by Viviana on June 8, 2010

in Music

Washing one’s laundry in public does not always raise a stink. Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and domestic partner Mariqueen Maandig, backed up by Atticus Ross came up with an innovative project entitled after Coil’s debut single ‘How to Destroy Angels‘.

Released as a six-track EP on June-01 with a free download option prior to the CD and vinyl release of July-06, the eponymous album from HTDA may not be the latest in post-industrial rock, but it does bring a novel and fresh taste in today’s music. There’s no telling yet of the visual realm HTDA aims at, and it’s bad manners to review their visual artistry by just skimming one single video (‘The Space in Between‘, featuring the beyond cliche hotel room, overflowing sink, a tv left on and a beautiful corpsette that starts singing). But taking into account the sound, we should and why not want to expect beautiful visuals to go with it.

Sound-wise, there is practically nothing not to like in ‘How to Destroy Angels‘. If you were musically active in the 1990’s there are obvious tinges of Smashing Pumpkins and Sneaker Pimps rushing by like rivulets intertwined with classical Nine Inch Nails sonic identity. What is probably unique about the album is that it renders the Nine Inch Nails part almost a far-fetched conclusion because of the powerful voice of a different gender. It’s nowhere else more obvious than in the second track of the EP, ‘Parasite‘, which combines in a typical Nine Inch Nails manner the clashing of violent sounds and undulating overtones.

Just to contradict the above sentiment, ‘Fur-lined‘ comes back with a more pop-ish sound. If you had ever wondered what would Nine Inch Nails have sounded like on a mainstream spree, that’s the song to listen to – and rejoice. There’s nothing demanding about the sound of it, and what is more, it sounds completely fresh and one can only infer, taking into account Reznor’s numerous affairs with the production industry, what a mindset like that would bring to today’s soundscape.

BBB‘ does not strike as particularly original, but there is something of a jingle about it. It does, in a way, prepare the path to ‘Believers‘, which is probably one of the best tracks of HTDA’s EP, and to the energetic carelessness of ‘A Drowning‘, actually cutting the album in two idiosyncratic halves. With the Morcheeba sound to it, ‘A Drowning‘ creates probably more harmony than the whole Nine Inch Nails discography altogether, while ‘Believers‘, well, ‘Believers‘ is the hidden gem of the album.

There are not many mythologies to gather round this first attempt from project HTDA, but one can only hope it was meant to last and to have this first EP as a testing rod for today’s musical tastes. One thing for sure, except the Coil tribute (nothing more impressive these days), there is nothing angeloclast to dive in for in the album.

HTDA official website: http://www.howtodestroyangels.com/


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Chuck Frey 8 years ago at 7:09 am

I was never much of a Nine Inch Nails fan, but really enjoyed The Space in Between. A Drowning is very good, too. The rest of the EP didn’t do anything for me, however. Still, it’s a promising first effort for HTDA!

Brett Widmann 8 years ago at 8:44 am

A Drowning was probably my favorite track from the EP. Overall, I was very impressed with how well this musical combination turned out. I had my doubts, but I anticipate a solid full length from HDTA and am eagerly awaiting it’s release.

Brett Widmann 8 years ago at 8:45 am

Chuck! You’re from WI, too? Small world! :)

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