Friday, August 29, 2008

Caught On Tape: Nine Inch Nails - 'March of the Pigs'

Need to let out a little angst?

Trent Reznor sure has done his share of venting. For all of the tortured songs that Nine Inch Nails has recorded over the years, few have matched the level of breakneck sonic annihilation that is 'March of the Pigs.' From NIN's 1994 album, The Downward Spiral, the song captures all the industrial nihilism Reznor could muster in a 3-minute single.

But it's not the rapid-fire drum beats or dehumanized noise that make 'March of the Pigs' so brutal. It's the two rare moments of Reznor's unaccompanied clarity that break from the grind to create a subtle, pop hook.

The music video for 'March of the Pigs' was stripped-down to a single, shaky camera shot, with the band performing live in a white room. The minimalistic video emphasizes the raw sound quality and aggressive nature of the band's performances.

What makes such a simple concept work so well here is Reznor's full-on rockstar takeover. He screams, he stumbles into the other band members, and he throws his microphone more than once - causing stagehands to enter the frame to fix problems. The video seems completely unrehearsed, and embraces its awkward flaws to emerge as a strong (and amusing) declaration of defiance.

Watch below to see what I mean:

There. Now, doesn't it make you feel better?

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