Last night, HBO aired the first episode of Watchmen, the new series from Lost/The Leftovers mastermind Damon Lindelof. The show is ostensibly an adaptation of the classic Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons comic, but it’s really more of a continuation. It takes place in the same world as the Watchmen comic, 30 years after those events. And at least judging by last night’s premiere, it is going to be fucking intense. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have at least something to do with that.
Last night’s episode started with a terrifying depiction of the racist massacre that happened in Tulsa in 1921, when local white people burned down the most prosperous black neighborhood in the country. And the episode went in heavy on racial tension, taking place in a 2019 Tulsa where a new army of white supremacists takes inspiration from the right-wing Watchmen vigilante Rorschach. As we learned last year, Trent Reznor and his longtime collaborator Atticus Ross are scoring the series. Last night’s episode was heavy on the ominous, clanking tones that they’ve perfected.
Soon, we’ll get to hear that score by itself. Reznor and Ross have just announced a series of vinyl-only Watchmen soundtrack albums. Over the show’s first season, they’re planning to release three albums, each of which are currently being kept as secret as possible. Those albums will feature the show’s score, of course. And according to the Nine Inch Nails website, they’ll also have “artwork and packaging exclusive to this vinyl release that explores the culture of Watchmen America and provides revealing insights into the saga’s mythology and mysteries.”
Watchmen is clearly guarding its secrets tightly, and the covers of those three albums, as well as the tracklists, are currently being kept secret. The first of those albums is called How The Rest Was Really Won, and it’s out 11/4. The other two don’t yet have titles, but they’re out 11/25 and 12/16. You can pre-order them here.
Reznor and Ross have been working furiously in the film-score space even though they accidentally spent half of 2019 at #1 on the Hot 100. They’re also scoring the upcoming Pixar film Soul. In related news, I watched both Midsommar and the first Watchmen episode last night, and I really fucked myself up. (If the Watchmen comic had come out a few years later, Nine Inch Nails could’ve been the band playing at Madison Square Garden when the squid apocalypse happens.)