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#RealLife: Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral

on March 07, 2014, 3:33am
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#RealLife is a new, monthly feature where Consequence of Sound staffers join forces with a diverse cadre of writers to share personal stories inspired by one legendary album. Some may be inexorably linked to the album itself, others may just share its themes, tone, and atmosphere. Regardless, they’re all real.

Teenage rage is entirely different from teenage angst. Elliott Smith made us cry, but Trent Reznor made us mad. And The Downward Spiral, a concept record about the destruction of man, probably pissed us off most. There’s no doubt it’s a nasty piece of work–hell, it was recorded on the property where Charles Manson and co. slaughtered Sharon Tate–but, for so many confused, pent-up, and pissed off listeners, it was a call to arms, a tangible expression of their own inner rage.

The Downward Spiral is a record for punching walls, for smashing bottles, for scaring your parents. It’s the kind of record that brands you, that inexorably weaves itself into the fabric of your memories. Today, in celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary, we’re revisiting those memories. This is #RealLife.

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