Nine Inch Nails – “Came Back Haunted”

By Michael Nelson / June 6, 2013 - 8:04 am

Considering the insane scope of Trent Reznor’s influence, it’s actually kind of hard to remember precisely the sound that made him famous — sleazy, aggro, wounded industrial pop-metal — and the last time he wrote music in that style. He’s certainly done it no more recently than 1994, via Nine Inch Nails’ towering classic The Downward Spiral, but even that album was a couple degrees removed from his platonic ideal: NIN’s 1989 debut Pretty Hate Machine. Last week, Reznor issued a promise that a new NIN record was forthcoming and it would be “fucking great,” but for some time now, his projects have been not much better than “fucking decent.” Today, though, Reznor produces some evidence to back up his boast: NIN’s new single, “Came Back Haunted,” as well as tour dates and album details. The new NIN record will be called Hesitation Marks, and it will drop on September 3 — NIN is touring alternately with Explosions In The Sky and Godspeed (!). “Came Back Haunted” is probably the best and most accurate song title I’ve heard this year: The new single is a ferocious return to the “classic” NIN style, and it is totally the sound of a man possessed. In the details it’s far lusher and deeper than Pretty Hate Machine — Reznor has accumulated a Pentagon-esque arsenal of black-ops technology over the last two and a half decades, and the dude is basically a studio perfectionist/genius of Steely Dan proportions — but the bile and kick are absolutely primal. Ghosts in the machine, for real. Listen, tour dates below.

NIN tour dates:

07/26 Niigata, Japan @ Fuji Rocks Festival
07/28 Ansan, South Korea @ Ansan Valley Festival
08/02 – 08/04 Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/09 – 08/11 San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands
08/15 Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop
08/16 Biddinghuizen, Holland @ Lowlands Festival
08/18 Hockenheim, Germany @ Rock ‘n’ Heim
08/21 Belfast, Northern Ireland @ Belsonic Festival
08/23 Leeds, England @ Leeds Festival
08/24 Paris, France @ Rock en Seine
08/25 Reading, England @ Reading Festival
08/28 Milan, Italy @ Mediolanum Forum
08/31 – 09/01 Philadelphia, PA @ Made in America Festival
09/28 St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center *
09/30 Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center *
10/01 St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena *
10/03 Montreal, Quebec @ Centre Bell *
10/04 Toronto, Ontario @ Air Canada Centre *
10/05 Cleveland, OH @ Wolstein Center *
10/07 Auburn Hill, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills *
10/08 Pittsburgh, PA @ Petersen Events Center *
10/11 Boston, MA @ TD Garden #
10/14 Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center #
10/15 Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center #
10/18 Washington, DC @ Verizon Center #
10/19 University Park, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center #
10/21 Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena #
10/22 Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena #
10/24 Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena #
10/25/27 Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
10/30 Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center
10/31 Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
11/01/03 New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Music Experience
11/05 San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center *
11/08 Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center *
11/09 Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center *
11/11 El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center *
11/13 Broomfield, CO @ 1st Bank Center *
11/15 Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint *
11/16 Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint *
11/18 Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena *
11/19 Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena *
11/21 Vancouver, British Columbia @ Rogers Arena *
11/22 Seattle, WA @ KeyArena *
11/24 Edmonton, Alberta @ Rexall Place
11/25 Calgary, Alberta @ Scotiabank Saddledome
* with Explosions in the Sky
# with Godspeed You! Black Emperor