Nine Inch Nails "Broken"
1992's Broken afforded the already angst-ridden Reznor the opportunity to vent his ample frustration over the imbroglio. Where Pretty Hate Machine had a few moments of reflection and sardonic humor, Broken is a concentrated blast of caustic, naked rage. Given how draining it is, a full-length album in its style would unquestionably have been wearisome, even self-parodic. So, Broken is the rare EP that's conceptually focused and complete unto itself. Production-wise, it's also a step up from Pretty Hate Machine, and a showcase for Reznor's flowering studio acumen. While Pretty Hate Machine was primarily electronic, Broken is loaded with heavy, jagged guitars, processed through a veritable meat grinder of effects into a massive wall of distortion. Each song one-ups the viciousness of its predecessor; even the two relatively subdued instrumental interludes are full of abrasive textures.