Nine Inch Nails ~ We’re In This Together [1999]

An earliest memory of four or five. Alone on a beach with Mom on an unsummery day. Father had gone in search of more wood to build the fire, while Mom earnestly demonstrated its creation by building a teepee of kindling over crumbled napkins or newspaper, whatever had been handy. The miniature pyre was lit and smoldering, crackling pleasantly as she smiled. Father returned, and angrily smoted the tiny tent with a single swift kick. That isn’t how to make a fire you moron, “how fucking stupid are you?”

I’ve become impossible, Holding on to when
When everything seemed to matter more
The two of us (All used), All used and beaten up
Watching fate as it flows
Down the path, we have chose

Nine Inch Nails has been featured here before with their single “Came Back Haunted” delivering an alluring breathy blow. Main-man Trent Reznor has riven his own trail through trials and tribulations aplenty. As a younger man, he knew he had music in him, yet remained unsure of whether it was anything anyone would want to listen to. Unsure he would want to listen to it. A possible impending disappointment that he barreled onward and over, a mountainous terrain of depression and addiction wended to triumph.

.

The lyrics seem to be inspired by David Bowie’s song “Heroes”, such as with the line “You’re the queen and I’m the king” and describing two people trying to fight against an ominous and seemingly unstoppable force. Bowie, who is recognized as one of Reznor’s greatest influences, is given a special thanks credit in the liner notes.

~ Wikipedia

Trent has a (now-obvious) gift for delivering furiously impactful music. Sometimes juxtaposing the sweet with the sour, sometimes spurning that ill-pairing, opting instead for a layering of brutality with deeply entrenched and intentional scarring. Here lies the latter, with verses that seemingly crank forward, dragging percussive bodybag behind, to a chorus bemoaning a calamitous result with steely guitars that churn and burn brightly in blazing conflagration.

Well, they’ve got to kill what we found
Well, they’ve got to hate what they fear
Well, they’ve got to make it go away
Well, they’ve got to make it disappear

Taken from their album The Fragile, “We’re In This Together” seems to speak of an impending ending, known and disquieting, being met head-on with angry resentment by the under-accounted. As if in an alternate reality it could have been knowingly avoided. A deliberated blindness that would eventually cleave the “us” to the “we”, finally ending with the “one”.

You and me
If the world should break in two
Until the very end of me
Until the very end of you

~

Nine Inch Nails’
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Cover Art “breakable” © 2023 – disturbedByVoices – All Rights Reserved

15 thoughts on “Nine Inch Nails ~ We’re In This Together [1999]

      1. “Judith” was just released as a single…I distinctly remember the older guy behind us saying “this Dude sounds like the singer from Tool” hahaha.
        “Mer De Noms” is such a great album

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Nine Inch Nails was at a very low point…I remember they had campaigns to get it *StarSuckers* on MTV2. The Fragile fell out of the top 100 after 6 weeks…Trent put on weight and a lot of the shows didn’t sell out. Was never a Manson fan but find it a little funny that Trent “distanced himself” long before “The Fragile” yet he was in that Shitty video and with performed it Live as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trent is one of those artists that openly shares his missteps and failures. He is a shining example of someone with high-enough inner security to inspire others without fear of rejection or condemnation. Thanks for the kind words, jai, they mean a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

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