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Cover Art Nine Inch Nails
Closure [VHS]
[Nothing/Interscope]
Rating: 8.1

Ever since the first time I felt the warm glow of being distinguished from the other children with the moniker "Sick Puppy," I've made the sick shit my business... my speciality. From autoasphyxiation to self- mutilation, my perverse little mind has looked at the pictures, consumed the data, and pondered the ramifications. Although I don't actually practice in most of this truly twisted shit, I keep an eye out, just 'cause I like to know about these things.

Which brings us to Closure, a tantalizingly packaged 2-tape VHS video from everyone's friend and confidant, Trent Reznor. Before I saw this video, I thought Trent was just another screwed-up Pennsylvania boy with dark visions and a taste for the morbid. Now I think he may be on the other side of that imaginary line that divides Us from Them, the "Them" in this case being the B+D/S+M fetishists.

Part 1 is standard fare for the NIN enthusiast. Live- footage videos scraped together during tours, interspliced with backstage shenanigans with the likes of Jim Rose and Marilyn Manson. Mildly interesting, unless perhaps you were a founding member of the Trent Reznor Cult Of Personaility.

Part 2, on the other hand, hits you in the face like a geyser of liquid feces shot out of the ass of an excited goat. It's the music videos... apparently all of them. There are the ones you know and love; "Head Like A Hole" and "Closer (uncensored)." Then there's the ones you haven't seen, like "Happiness In Slavery" and "Pinion." I'd hate to spoil it for you, but let me tell you this: there's some disturbing shit to be seen on that second tape, and I say this from the perspective of a connoisseur. Powerful, intense imagery screams at you through symbols that are intended to cause kneejerk- reactions of revulsion and fear. They work. That the videos are absolutely fantastic, unquestionably some of the best of the medium, is just a sugary- sweet coating for the bitter pill of their content. I showed this to a friend of mine who is a spiritual man (not a particularly religious man, but a spiritual man) and his response was "I feel like taking a shower." Scrub hard, choir boy.

On the whole, Closure is far better than its competitors. There's not much to see on VHS when it comes to musicians other than performances, videos and interviews. In this case, you get a full dose of the first two with a smattering of the third. The live footage is average and it gets a little boring watching Trent smash another keyboard, but the backstage film is somewhat more interesting, what with getting to see Marilyn put on her makeup (I'd like 'er if it wasn't for that bum eye 'o hers). Sure, it makes you feel all icky and gross, but isn't that what Nine Inch Nails is all about? You'll have your whipping and like it, boy! Does it hurt? Oh yes, it hurts, doesn't it? I'm going to spank you now! Ooh! Tell mommy your secret thing... you can tell mommy... you can trust mommy... ahem.

-James P. Wisdom






10.0: Essential
9.5-9.9: Spectacular
9.0-9.4: Amazing
8.5-8.9: Exceptional; will likely rank among writer's top ten albums of the year
8.0-8.4: Very good
7.5-7.9: Above average; enjoyable
7.0-7.4: Not brilliant, but nice enough
6.0-6.9: Has its moments, but isn't strong
5.0-5.9: Mediocre; not good, but not awful
4.0-4.9: Just below average; bad outweighs good by just a little bit
3.0-3.9: Definitely below average, but a few redeeming qualities
2.0-2.9: Heard worse, but still pretty bad
1.0-1.9: Awful; not a single pleasant track
0.0-0.9: Breaks new ground for terrible