Nothing/Interscope/Atlantic

Trent Reznor continues to play techno-noise kingmaker on Prick, an eponymous debut written and performed principally by one Kevin McMahon. Reznor, for his part, has released the album on his vanity label Nothing, as well as “engineering” four of the tracks. Not surprisingly, then, Prick bears a fairly strong resemblance to Reznor's own Nine Inch Nails, fusing groovy rhythms with cavernous distortion to produce bouncy tunes that feign unlistenability. Like his benefactor, McMahon is more interesting when he's showcasing his hatred (as on the gleeful “Communiqué” and the anthemic “I Got It Bad”) than his sensitivity (as on the taciturn “No Fair Fights”). Fortunately, the latter is kept to a minimum: Prick reverberates with steaming drums and tense keyboards, and McMahon affords guitarist Chris Schleyer numerous opportunities to showcase his own remarkable noisemongering.

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