"Head like a hole/Black as your soul," bellows Trent Reznor on his debut, the first industrial singer-songwriter album. The sound of a studio janitor shouting down his enemies and baring his diseased soul over 1989 state-of-the-art noise, Pretty Hate Machine was sculpted by U2 producer Flood and hip-hop drummer Keith LeBlanc, who taught Reznor a lot. With this long-awaited remaster, the record never sounded scarier or funkier. Alas, there's but one bonus track: an extreme defilement of Queen's "Get Down, Make Love" that's also pretty sexy. Reznor can make even debasement seem inviting.
From The Archives Issue 1119: December 9, 2010