It’s probably the most adventurous, experimental and ballsy album released on a major label since Green Day’s revelatory American Idiot, which also happens to be its closest kin, in spirit at least. Because for all its growling electronics, squelching guitars and plinking African kalimbas, Year Zero is essentially a punk-rock album, one born of the same bold attitude that drove Green Day to jettison traditional thinking while making Idiot.
But that’s about as far as those comparisons can go. Because there’s no jaunty, nine-minute rock-opera pieces to be found on Zero, nary a ballad on par with “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Shoot, there are barely any discernable guitars. Instead, almost every sound you hear on the album has been chopped, ripped, pulled, flayed, destroyed, flattened, squeezed or smashed beneath the massive, ominous bit-mapping of Reznor and co-producer Atticus Ross. Sixty-four minutes of disorienting, pummeling Sturm und Drang roiling atop a rumbling, certifiably bone-chilling layer of white noise that recalls the wind whipping through a war zone.
The article is pretty good preview of what’s coming… Argh! I need this album now dammit! 🙂