I had to take a few days off due to some pesky allergies … is it allergies? is it Covid? You know the routine. We’ve all pondered it with even the slightest deviation in health.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about how this ongoing crisis continues to continue, and I thought of this Nine Inch Nails’ track from 2005, aptly titled “Every Day is Exactly the Same.” I doubt Trent Reznor and co. wrote this song with the current crisis in mind. But it sure feels on point, given the seemingly endless cycle of home confinement, whether it’s sheltering in place, working from home, or just plain lacking the resources, monetary or spiritual, to do anything but.
The song itself is more of an edgy meditation on life’s trappings, mental and spiritual, a state of depression that frames the moment as a stagnation of one’s station. It’s a bit dark and bleak, in terms of any light at the end of the tunnel. But I wouldn’t call it a total downer – no more than any other Nine Inch Nails track that deals in the angst and struggles of human existence. Instead, it’s more of an indirect process of recovery and rehabilitation, a self reflection if you will, working through the trials and tribulations of a life interrupted.
“Every Day is Exactly the Same” comes from the album “With Teeth,” their fourth proper studio release, and marks the introduction of Atticus Ross, who’s become Reznor’s main collaborator, the pair earning an Academy Award for their soundtrack to David Fincher’s Facebook film “The Social Network.” The album also featured longtime collaborator and audio mixing engineer Alan Moulder, who some might recognize as the influential talent behind much of the early ’90s British shoegaze scene – Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Curve, Swervedriver, and a whole slew of others.
As such, this third single from “With Teeth” leans in a more straightforward rock direction, still taut with underlying tension, sidelining the aggressive onslaught of past industrial pressings in favor of a more measured pace. A lot of “With Teeth” is like this, still characteristically Nine Inch Nails, but more forthright and immediate in its excursions. For these very reasons, I still consider this album to be one of Nine Inch Nails’ most consistently listenable efforts, even if it’s not their most experimental nor hardest stab at the angry and tormented.
While Covid continues to trap our lives in a seemingly endless cycle of questionable tomorrows, let Nine Inch Nails provide another worthy entry in the quarantine chronicles with “Every Day is Exactly the Same.” Perhaps, one day it won’t be the same … and with any luck, it’ll be better. Although, honestly, I think November will ultimately be the deciding factor in that. For now, enjoy this fine offering and stay safe.
“Every Day is Exactly the Same” from the 2005 album “With Teeth.”