This week’s Doubting Thomases (in the form of Monsters of Folk and U2) have been rather polite in their lashing out at a God they’re having difficulty believing in. Today’s artist goes in quite the other direction.
Nine Inch Nails released its debut, Pretty Hate Machine, in late 1989 and this furious, gaping wound of an album was a perfect antidote to the superficial decade it left behind. Front man Trent Reznor (actually, he’s the only member of the band) poured his anger and pain into ten industrial rock songs that tore a hole in your heart as well as your head.
As reviewer Steve Huey writes for AllMusic.com, “perhaps the greatest achievement of Pretty Hate Machine was that it brought emotional extravagance to a genre whose main theme had nearly always been dehumanization.”
‘Terrible Lie,’ Reznor’s blistering attack on a cruel god, is one of the album’s highlights.
Am I not living up to what I’m supposed to be?
Why am I seething with this animosity?
I think you owe me a great big apology
I really don’t know what you mean
Seems like salvation comes only in our dreams
I feel my hatred grow all the more extreme
Can this world really be as sad as it seems?
Don’t take it away from me
I need someone to hold on to
There’s nothing left for me to hide
I lost my ignorance, security, and pride
I’m all alone in this world you must despise
I believed your promises, your promises and lies!
You make me throw it all away
My morals left to decay
How many you betray
You’ve taken everything
My head is filled with disease
My skin is begging you please
I’m on my hands and knees
I want so much to believe