1994 was a pivotal year for music in my life and realizing this NIN gem is 20 (thanks Billboard) was a slap of old man to my face. Many people know Trent Reznor now as the bulked up award winning musician but back then he was a scrawny industrial musician form Mercer.
Everyone knows the song Closer quite well but it was Mr. Self Destruct that sucked me in as an 18 yr old. I was going through a transitional time in life and while grunge would always be my go-to music selection there was something about the deep thumping mix of this track that made me ask “holy crap, how do I do this?”.
As I entered college I would play this CD to death as my playbook on adjusting to being away from home for the first time in my life. Nice choice, eh? My girlfriend at the time was big into NIN, the elders in my dorm were fans and, as I would find out, helped me make a lot of friends.
In November of this year I would go see NIN live at the Mellon arena and I would end up being the ticket broker for people in my dorm. Turns out that this show would also be the first time my future best man and I would hang out. I don’t remember much of the trip there or back but I do recall opening the show was Jim Rose Circus and some unknown freak band named Marilyn Manson plus they had the greatest tour t-shirt ever which won me many complements at my old Erie coffee shop hangout, Cuppuccinos.
It’s rare today to put on headphones and go on a journey from start to finish of a CD. TDS takes you on a methodical trip into the darkness of one man’s mind and by the end you’re left exhausted.
1994 was the last great year for meaningful music and looking back I had no idea how unique it really was.