Disrupting forte for alt-industrial pioneer Trent Reznor, How to Destroy Angels marries, the marriage, of his new love Mariqueen Maandig, and Oscar-Grammy golden collaborations with producer Atticus Ross (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), stroked perfectly cryptic with visual artist prodigy Rob Sheridan, who’s been helping Reznor get dystopian since millennial-era Nine Inch Nails. Remember the USB-drives hidden in bathroom stalls in promotion of Year Zero? Sheridan. All of which exploded with Matrix-hued, Lynchian eroticism back in 2010 with one of the group’s first crunchy singles, “BBB,” Maandig and Reznor panting: [LISTEN]
On the ground
Make a sound
What you’re told
Listen to the sounds of my big black boots
One would think holy matrimony and a new baby would loosen Reznor’s leather glove, but he and Maandig seem to love coddling the darker sides of life. Reznor’s not positing he wants to “fuck [her] like an animal,” by any means. Though their dada chemistry, laced around Ross’ sterile Depeche Mode-blip bloopery is sublime. Even in playful folk oddball “Ice Age,” first introduced on the group’s second extended play, An Omen EP_, Maandig is found seething, “sometimes the hate in me is keeping me alive.” So a debut LP title like Welcome Oblivion (March 5) doesn’t really surprise, rather has us channeling our inner sadist. Or as Maandig howls aloft the burning house and blister imagery in lead single “How Long?”
Can we keep holding on?