String Quartet Tribute

String Quartet Tribute

The String Quartet Tribute to Nine Inch Nails


Tribute albums annoy the hell out of me, perhaps because if I like a band enough to listen to their tribute CD, I’ll almost certainly think that the covers on a tribute record are vastly inferior with no individualistic merit. And most of the time, the tracks really are — poorly recorded and rearranged (if arranged at all), mind-numbingly boring and shoddily packaged together with tacky cover art. So I approached a tribute to Nine Inch Nails with trepidation and my cynicism well and truly intact.

I was pleasantly surprised. The brainchild of Eric Gorfain (Violin 1, arrangements and production), The String Quartet Tribute is an invigorating musical experience. Gorfain tends to stick close to the melody lines of the genuine NIN tracks, which is a shame when the calibre and freshness of his arrangements is taken into account. More radical melodic reworkings of some of these songs would have allowed them to stand apart from the originals and avoid moments such as the opening of “Closer,” in which subtle rhythmic experimentation makes the strictly-followed vocal line grate.

The quartet is crisp and cohesive, with a great deal of proficiency on display from everyone. The clarity and separation of the recording is excellent. A slightly more vibrant sound would have been beneficial in some places, but to record solo strings and make the result sound intimate is enough of an achievement to overshadow any other production shortcomings.

Standouts are “Piggy” (I can’t tolerate the original, which says something for the tribute version), “The Fragile,” and “Something I Can Never Have.” Reworking “Into The Void” was an interesting choice when one considers that a string line dominates the original anyway. The first minute was “What is the point of this?” territory for me, until the arrangement expanded nicely and I was impressed again.

If you’re a fan and avoid being any more hostile than me when you approach this disc, you’ll take away a refreshing look at some of NIN’s repertoire. Plus, you get to play the “Why didn’t they cover that song?” game, which is fun in itself, and there’s sure to be at least one selection on here that you’ll hate, fueling much ideal-tribute-album-choosing hijinks.

Vitamin Records:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

From the Archives