Surprise! NIN Debuts New Single: A Review
Trent Reznor must love surprises. First the Nine Inch Nails mastermind released 36-track instrumental compilation Ghosts I-IV out of the blue and now, without warning, he has temporarily pacified eager fans impatiently pleading for new material with surprise single "Discipline", yesterday on nin.com. Always the innovator in finding ways to release new music, "Discipline" was first played on various national radio stations before becoming available as a free download later that evening, catching those lucky enough to be on the right station at the right time completely off-guard.
The single's danceable rhythmic tones closely mimick With Teeth era themes - layering slightly distorted electronics, repeatable drum beats, and later incorporating gorgeous piano playing to boot. Lyrical quality continues to simplify for Reznor compared to earlier works with lines no more than 4 or 5 words a sentence. Delivery, however, is what counts here with Reznor's vocals poignant and flawless.
Since it's a single, I was thoroughly confused when during downloading I noticed it in .zip format, indicating it was more than just the one file I expected. Refusing to look up what else this would mean (ok fine, maybe I was hoping for a whole new album, sue me) I allowed myself to be surprised as I awaited my new song (nee, album.) Only one song track came my way, however not without disappointment – because lets face it, when does this man ever do anything that's not the absolute most coolest thing I've ever heard of at the moment.
The download includes complete lyrics embedded in its iTunes track information as well as the simplest of album artwork with 5 black squares adorning an all gray cover. Embedded in the squares was a decipherable code alerting fans to "Go to NIN.com May 5" keeping with an April 21 indistinguishable site update in which he told fans to check the official page in two weeks. This has left many guessing whether Reznor may release a 5-song EP, with the 5 squares on the album cover representing five new songs or if he could surprise us with a fully completed album yet again (yeah, I'm still hoping.)