“Well I don’t remember all the songs on your list, but I was like, ‘I’ll do it cause it’s Nine Inch Nails and it’s the weirdest thing we could do.'”
That’s Kurt Vile’s explanation for picking Nine Inch Nails’ “Down In It” in the AVClub’s covers series. Even though he’s correct about it being weird, Vile still does a hell of a job with it, offering a more subdued take on the “white rap” (as he calls it) than Reznor’s version. It works so well though, because of how stripped down Vile and his fellow Violator, Rob Laasko make it — which says a lot when you consider the spartan arrangements that made early Nine Inch Nails so distinct. Here there’s just a simple drum machine beat, Laasko’s keyboard, and Vile’s guitar, and it all comes together really well. Watch it below.