Trent Reznor may be known for many things (angst-ridden guitar distortion, introducing Marilyn Manson to the world, ridiculously amazing light shows, terrible lyrics, a witty twitter account), but early on in my life musically it was the depth of his sonic creations that attracted me to Nine Inch Nails. Much maligned by many, ‘The Fragile’ and its intricately layered songs and piano-led instrumentals kept me enamored for years as a teenager. The scope was vast and the songs quite dense, but there was a certain battered elegance to it that probably informs my taste to this day more than I realize.
Naturally, my interest in Reznor’s projects has waned in the past decade, but while watching ‘The Social Network’ those feelings came rushing back as the opening scene scattered a lone piano melody amidst a peripheral drone that was equally indebted to electronic processing as an orchestra’s strings. That track, ‘Hand Covers Bruise,’ is understated and slight, but unquestionably memorable as the deep bass penetrates and the piano notes strike the same melancholy chord that affected me so many years ago. Reznor, along with his studio companion Atticus Rose, won a Golden Globe for best original score Sunday evening and I was reminded that the past will continue to follow you one way or another.
Hear ‘Hand Covers Bruise’ below.