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August 2, 2010 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

How to Destroy Angels


The name How to Destroy Angels conjures images of a big, long-haired bogan screaming over a deathly guitar riff—for me at least. It’s with some relief that How to Destroy Angels is nothing like that at all. In fact, they’re oddly quite amiable. Not in the post-Juno, twee boy/girl acoustic-indie couplet way, but with the harder edge that their name suggests. How to Destroy Angels is the latest project from Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, along with wife Mariqueen Maandig. While Reznor’s influence is distinct on this self-titled EP, he takes a (slight) step out of the spotlight with Maandig taking on chief vocal duties. Though she doesn’t have a particularly distinctive voice, that’s not to say that it’s insipid or no good. Quite the opposite. The pairing of Maandig’s vocals over blustering guitars and abrasive electric drum loops complement each other, and she shows she can hold her own alongside Reznor as they share the mic on ‘Parasite’.

Though How to Destroy Angels’ six tracks give it a teasing length, it is well structured and progresses soundly. Opener ‘The Space in Between’ is gratifyingly menacing, with drums that sound like the hammering of weapons to… well… destroy angels. It is a worthy starting point, building the sinister atmosphere before unexpectedly ditching you into the aforementioned ‘Parasite’. A reprieve from doom comes midway through the EP, with the irrepressible swagger of ‘Fur Lined’ and ‘BBB’, which not only welcomes you to strut along, it all but demands it. But the fun has to end somewhere, and ‘A Drowning’ makes for a satisfying conclusion, blending many of the elements thus far explored on the EP but pulling the reigns on the swagger and submerging it in a bit of despair. Thus as a whole, this EP sounds less like a choir of angels and, aptly, more like their impending destruction. Hopefully it’s a taste of what is to come.

Band: How to Destroy Angels
Album: How to Destroy Angels
Label: The Null Corporation


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  1. Jess–I agree with you on this–and I love how TR said NIN was done, but this record sounds more NIN than anything he’s done in recent years–it gets that glorious balance of crunchiness and Pink Floyd stadium anthems…and, of course, adorable pop beats. i hope it’s a taste of what’s to come too!

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