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Hear Nine Inch Nails’ Patiently Searing ‘Copy of A’

Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor, "Copy of A," 'Hesitation Marks,' studio version, stream

The concept of “a copy of a copy” is somewhat quaint in a time when digital files can be copied limitlessly without any discernible drop in quality. That underlying irony helps drive “Copy of A,” the second studio track to emerge from Nine Inch Nails’ upcoming Hesitation Marks and a song the band has used to open recent live sets. As a minimalist opening of crisp drum-machine stop and jittery synths gradually escalates in intensity, adding overlapping vocals and smeared tendrils of fuzzy noise, Trent Reznor sounds like nothing so much as himself. “Just doing everything you tell me to,” he sneers. Yeah, right.

Other songs NIN have been playing live include self-lacerating “Disappointed,” the more gently paced “Find My Way,” and first single  “Came Back Haunted” (which also boasts a David Lynch-directed video). By our reviewers’ judgment, the Reznor-led crew ranked among Outside Lands Festival 2013’s best and Lollapalooza 2013’s best as well. Hesitation Marks arrives on September 3, and a remix-packed deluxe-edition track list surfaced online last week.