Closure

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Closure

It's been a while since Trent Reznor has released anything new, but the demand for Nine Inch Nails product is as strong as ever. "The Perfect Drug" gave a quick peek at the kind of stuff the master of mock misery has been up to lately, but the song was essentially just a teaser for Nine Inch Nails' upcoming disc. Hence Closure, a collection of videos and live footage meant to tide over the teaming throngs of Nine Inch Nails devotees until Reznor can get it together. Packaged as a specially priced two-tape set, Closure serves as a fine bookend for all of Nine Inch Nails' work to date. Since Reznor has been promising a radical change in direction, Closure compiles a permanent record of where the man/band has been so far, albeit with no indication of where he/it might go next. The first tape features a handful of hectic live footage, shot with a handheld camera that hardly captures the well-orchestrated chaos of the band's "Self Destruct" tour. Yet it's also interspersed with unintentionally hilarious backstage material showing group members putting on make-up, hanging out with tourmates Marilyn Manson and Jim Rose, and trashing green rooms across the country—in general, acting like big, generic rock stars. Not since This Is Spinal Tap have band members so willingly allowed themselves to be portrayed as fools. It's tape two that makes Closure worth seeing. Nine Inch Nails videos have become influential these days (the famed opening credits to Seven surely owe something to Mark Romanek's "Closer" clip), and a few nastier promos (such as the evisceration/castration fantasy of "Happiness In Slavery" directed by Jonathan Reiss) have been relatively hard to come by, for good reason. The budgets may have risen with Reznor's fame, but the videos are pretty consistent in their gloom, intensity, and willingness to shock. Of course, any cynics put off by the blatant publicity-by-way-of-controversy that Reznor actively encourages will have trouble keeping a straight face through much of this intentionally confrontational collection. But for the avid fan who wants all of his or her (uncensored!) Nine Inch Nails footage in one handy package, Closure is both complete and convenient.