Song of the Week: Nine Inch Nails – “LESS THAN”

At this point, whatever Trent Reznor writes for Nine Inch Nails, the only constant will be a sinister vibe. Otherwise, all bets are off. Take “LESS THAN,” from the band’s upcoming EP, Add Violence.

The song starts like a more electronic throwback to NIN’s debut, Pretty Hate Machine. If Reznor was obsessed with New Order instead of Ministry, that record might have sounded more like the glitchy synths here. It’s part synth-pop, part video game soundtrack groove, like flying a spaceship through an asteroid field. But to top it off, he throws on layers of distorted, destructive guitars. They fall over everything, engulfing the track like an avalanche.

“Go and look what you gone done/Welcome oblivion,” Reznor shouts over the chaos, adding apocalypse to the crush. It’s a welcoming to the end of the world. From Nine Inch Nails, you shouldn’t expect anything less.

Add Violence is out on July 21.