Content Warning for discussion of drug addiction, depression, self-harm, and suicide.
Nine Inch Nails has always been a band that I liked a lot but never truly considered myself a fan of, if that makes sense. It’s impossible to deny that I really enjoyed the music (and, in middle school, was utterly fascinated by the Year Zero alternate reality game), but I could never bring myself to commit to their massive catalog, in part because so much of it consists of remixes. Just take the era surrounding The Downward Spiral as an example— with the March of the Pigs and Closer to God “singles” (the latter of which is almost as long as The Downward Spiral itself), not to mention Further Down the Spiral, it’s a time commitment three times as long as the actual album to dive into all the radically different reinterpretations of the original songs, and if you were to get involved in NIN’s online community without having listened to, say, the dub mix of “Down In It” or whatever at least fifty times, you were a casual at best.
Now that I’m a little older, I’m completely comfortable describing myself as a “casual” Nine Inch Nails fan, which for me, means that I’m absolutely obsessed with the first four major NIN releases: Pretty Hate Machine, Broken, The Downward Spiral, and The Fragile (to say nothing of the remixes, B-sides, Queen covers, live cuts, Quake scores, and soundtrack contributions produced by Trent Reznor and the occasional collaborator throughout the first ten or so years of NIN’s recorded output). I’m not sure if it’s a cliche for twentysomething hardcore kids to all of a sudden get super into NIN’s early years but if it is, fuck it, I’m launching myself into that cliche with gleeful abandon.
A few weeks ago, my partner went out of town to visit her parents, leaving me alone for about five days. Because I actively view mental health as an enemy I decided to use that time to consume extraordinarily bleak media (for example, I played Doki Doki Literature Club and then I watched the French film Inside for the first time and goddamn that was a breathless several hours) and decided to soundtrack that time with the aforementioned NIN material. By no means do I wish to slight Mr. Reznor’s significant contributions after this period— it’s common knowledge now that he’s excellent at scoring films, I think With Teeth and Year Zero are both flawed masterworks, and I think NIN’s recent artistic renaissance has been a joy to behold— but nothing hits like those first four records, even setting aside all the remixes. (I will admit that the contributions to the Natural Born Killers, The Crow, and Lost Highway soundtracks are all essential to one degree or another, but not necessary when powering through this one-two-three-four punch.)
When I first started brainstorming this piece, I had a kind of half-assed thesis in mind that these four NIN records represented different parts of the grieving process: Pretty Hate Machine is denial; Broken is anger; The Downward Spiral transitions from bargaining to depression; and The Fragile is acceptance. I still think this kind of works, but it’s also a bit of a dishonest reading since really all of these records are about the push and pull between angst and dance, sex and violence, good drugs and bad drugs. You can watch Trent Reznor grow from talented provocateur to genuinely transcendent, and you can watch his lyrics grow from “bad but ignorable” to “excellent.” Kurt Cobain was the voice of Gen X, sure, but if that makes Nirvana the ego then Nine Inch Nails was assuredly the id, as primal and messy and gross and atavistic as that implies, even beneath the progressively more sophisticated song structures and layering. But what the fuck do I know? I’m only 24.
PRETTY HATE MACHINE
This was the NIN record that I was most into in middle school/early high school, and looking back on it now, that makes perfect sense because it’s the horniest NIN album, and it’s the one where that sexuality is the most confused and distressing. I mean, you could talk about “Closer” all day (and we’ll get to that), but every song on Pretty Hate Machine is about sex, whether Reznor knew it or not. From the slow-burn penetration anthem that is “Sanctified” to the frantic handsiness of “Sin” to the broken, fucked-up, simultaneously-dated-and-ahead-of-its-time record scratches on “Ringfinger,” Pretty Hate Machine feels like the moment right before you start coming down from molly— terrifying and erotic and entrancing all at once, and if you stop dancing you might just die.
I just want to make it known that as a point of fact, Pretty Hate Machine sounds amazing for 1989. More than 30 years on, it still sounds exactly the way it’s supposed to, which is music that could be made entirely on board the Nostromo. And if that doesn’t sound sexy to you, you must have not looked at Sigourney Weaver in that movie because fuck. Anyway, the plastic artificiality of the guitar tone is the point; where other underground releases at the time were striving for warmth and power (see Doolittle by the Pixies or even Nirvana’s Bleach), NIN’s aggression comes from the screeching inhumanity, which blends perfectly with the throbbing dance beats and Reznor’s flawed but articulate and eminently flexible voice to create something completely unlike anything else happening in alternative rock at the time, let alone industrial (which, it should be noted, Reznor has never liked as a label for NIN’s music). If anything, I would say that Pretty Hate Machine is the heaviest synthpop record ever made.
The two signature tracks from Pretty Hate Machine are obviously “Down In It” and “Head Like A Hole.” The former was released as an advance single before the record came out but didn’t get traction until the latter started making the rounds on college radio and late-night MTV, and it’s easy to see why— “Head Like A Hole” is a loud-quiet-loud master class with a powerful, anti-authoritarian chorus and a snaky, infectious rhythm, while “Down In It” dabbles in the sound of early drum’n’bass and even incorporates a subtle rap-rock vocal delivery long before it would become en vogue. Both are classic songs, but I find myself returning to “Down In It” more and more the older I get, partially because that climax— the adolescent, sing-song “rain, rain, go away” juxtaposed with an increasingly desperate and loud scream in the other channel— feels so much more visceral and raw.
That being said, at ten tracks, this is NIN’s most succinct full-length, and the only one from The First Ten Years that is under an hour long. Part of this has to do with how long Reznor had been demoing and polishing these songs (as the old saying goes, you have a lifetime to write your first record and a year to write the follow-up), but it also comes from the songwriting economy that goes hand-in-hand with a lack of economic privilege. As a working-class musician, engineer, and handyman, Reznor recorded this album entirely during downtime at his local Cleveland studio, and it feels exactly like that: a drug-addled janitor getting out his sexual frustrations whenever he has the opportunity. Every song is good, but my favorites are probably the probing throb of “Sin” and the irresistibly catchy “Kinda I Want To.” If there’s any slow or less-than-compelling aspect to the record, it’s that “Something I Can Never Have” sometimes plays as a bit long in full-album sittings, but in my opinion, the slow-build and Reznor’s vocal delivery transcend mediocrity and repetitiveness and make it into the desperate plea for intimacy and affection that it is.
Now, if I were to affirm that there are any real drawbacks to this record, it’s that these are easily Reznor’s worst lyrics yet. Taken without the musical accompaniment and his palpable conviction— ie, just sitting and reading them— “Sanctified” is a particularly bad offender. But it’s really hard to care when the style elevates the substance like it does here. As a side note, I think Reznor might have been the true pioneer of that melodic-scream vocal style, which again, comes through the most during the primal climax of “Down In It”— you can thank him for everyone from Chester Bennington to Ned Russin, in that regard. (I like both Linkin Park and Title Fight, so that’s not a diss.) I think that, aside from The Downward Spiral, this is generally regarded as the best NIN album, and while I disagree with that assertion, I completely understand where it comes from.
Now, in my opinion, this should be regarded as a full-length album, but NIN and everyone else have decided to refer to it as an EP. I come from a punk and hardcore background, so eight songs at over 30 minutes is more than enough for me to consider it an LP, but I’ll respect their wishes. That said, this is an extraordinarily good and tight record that deserves to be viewed as its own entity in NIN’s stylistic evolution.
To start, this is the beginning of NIN’s association with industrial metal and, truly, heavy music in general. And while there had been heavy industrial acts before (for example Ministry, Godflesh, and Throbbing Gristle, an early NIN influence that, in my opinion, looms as heavy over Reznor’s early ouvre just as much as, say, The Cure), for 1992 this was probably the most abrasive that electronic-based music had ever sounded while still retaining that all-important factor of accessibility.
According to Reznor, the speed and aggression on this record came from the way that his live band would play with him on tour, and there’s a definite sense of “this is meant to be heard live” all over this record, particularly in the stomping verses and comparatively soaring chorus of early hit “Wish,” but the two covers that close the record (Adam Ant’s “Physical” and a reworking of “Suck” from a project that Reznor had briefly been involved in, Pigface) feel genetically engineered to get the crowd moving in a way that I’ve heard in no other music from that time other than hardcore. (As far as I know, Reznor doesn’t have any hardcore roots, but I find parallels between, particularly, this version of “Suck” and Pailhead, the industrial/proto-digital-hardcore side-project of Ian MacKaye and Ministry’s Al Jourgenson; hell, you could even argue that it’s a template for some of what Atari Teenage Riot would end up doing.)
On a macro level, Broken also represents the moment where Reznor went from “underground troublemaker” to “provocateur.” The sexual references on Pretty Hate Machine ranged from veiled to explicit, but it’s well-known that Reznor’s hope is for his epitaph to read: “REZNOR: Died. Said ‘fist-fuck’ and won a Grammy.” That’s not even mentioning the video accompaniment for Broken, which is a short horror film that weaves together music videos for most of the songs for Broken with a snuff-film framing device. When I first discovered this video circa 2005 or 2006, it freaked the hell out of me and absolutely whetted my appetite for more stuff in this vein— without it, I doubt I would have had the guts to seek out something like Cannibal Holocaust (although it would still take me several years to work up the guts to watch something like the August Underground trilogy), so with that in mind, I think it’s important to note NIN’s influence on my own personal interest in extreme horror. (It’s also worth noting that in the version I first got my hands on, a video of Budd Dwyer’s suicide video was tacked onto the end, which I am fairly certain was an unofficial addition made by a third party since “real death” has never been Reznor’s bag.)
More to the point, the controversy and banning of these music videos only added to NIN’s notoriety, and I suspect it’s one of the main reasons that my father, who was otherwise always very supportive of my fascination with extreme music, was fairly disapproving of Nine Inch Nails (although another factor in that regard is almost certainly Reznor’s forthright and occasionally transgressive sexuality, which teased my little bisexual heart in more ways than one). On a somewhat lighter note, my dad also thinks Filter’s “Hey Man, Nice Shot” (about Budd Dwyer's suicide) is a hilarious song and exclusively sings along to it as “that’s why I say hey man, nice shirt.”
But when you strip all that outside context away, what remains is 30 minutes of lean, mean, industrial-tinged alt metal, and it remains the best of its kind even in a post-White Zombie (funnily enough, a dad-induced discovery) world. My favorite cuts include “Last,” “Gave Up,” and “Happiness Is Slavery,” but the two covers at the end are always the ones that make me lose my mind. And thanks to the influence of Code Orange, I’m pretty sure Broken-core is going to become a Real Thing in the near future.
THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL
Reznor’s first true masterpiece, in the high-minded auteur sense. Having gotten his confused sexuality and edgy fist-fuck-isms out of his system, Reznor spent several months in borderline-seclusion living in the house where Sharon Tate was murdered, and the combination of that bitter, ghostly locale, the pressure of newfound fame, a slowly-growing social consciousness (this is the first NIN album that could be said to explore explicitly sociopolitical themes, an aspect of Reznor’s work that would slowly come to figure heavily in future work such as Year Zero), lots and lots of drugs, and his still unexamined mental health issues resulted in 65 minutes of pain both sublime and terrifying.
Where Broken was angry, The Downward Spiral is an analysis of anger projected both within and without. Depression is commonly noted to be “fury turned inward,” and it’s interesting to observe that in those outward-facing songs, the music is some of the most propulsive and heavy of Reznor’s career, while the songs with the most bitterly self-lacerating lyrics luxuriate in a kind of moody, textured layering that NIN had explored only rarely in the past. Industrial and metal are still the sonic backbones for many songs, but the synthpop of Pretty Hate Machine is also artfully blended into the stew, as are elements of ambient electronica, trip-hop, and even mournful acoustic ballads.
If you’re listening to these four NIN tentpole releases in order, The Downward Spiral is where you start to feel the most dissociative and oppressed. There’s a sense of hyperreality to the proceedings, where anger and depression are the only things that feel grounded, and sex becomes a surreal, cruel mockery of the concept of comfort. I would assume that many people reading this have fucked to “Closer,” which is one of the sexiest songs ever recorded, but within the context of the record it’s nearly seven minutes of the central theme of “Something I Can Never Have” laid bare; far from a respite, it’s one of the saddest, bleakest, and most honest moments on the record, an acknowledgment that sex can be as much of a break from a hostile reality as some good smack. (For the record, taken on its own, “Closer” is still a really, really hot song, which is a testament to the versatility of Reznor’s songwriting as well as the strength of The Downward Spiral’s central conceit.)
But of course, The Downward Spiral is much more than “Closer.” In contrast to that song’s slurry, unsubdued sexuality and slowly growing sense of tension and discomfort, “March of the Pigs” is a Broken-style barn-burner that whiplashes in sudden fashion to a quavering piano portion, re-emphasizing the rest of the song’s heaviness. “Heresy” and “Big Man with a Gun” are perfect examples of Reznor’s use of sonic aggression as an accessory to social critique: the former is a snotty takedown of organized religion, while the latter is a condemnation of gun violence and toxic masculinity that was often (bafflingly) misconstrued as the very thing it was satirizing.
The real evidence of The Downward Spiral’s sonic variety and Reznor’s mastery of his craft lie in the three-track suite that closes the record. The smothering, mechanical atmosphere of “Reptile” grinds along for nearly seven minutes, its mid-tempo anxiousness almost driving the listener to the point of insanity, before it breaks down into the ambient, comparatively comforting mood piece that is the title track. I’ve always thought of “The Downward Spiral,” the song, as that moment of cold calm when depression fully takes hold of the sufferer’s psyche; at the risk of sounding cliche, it’s the tranquility that comes with knowing the end is in sight. And nowhere does that end feel more in sight than in the album’s phenomenal closer, “Hurt.”
“Hurt” is a storied song for many reasons, but chief among them is Johnny Cash’s cover of it, which achieved fame and recognition to the point where it is famously thought that Reznor is the one who covered it. Reznor himself has noted that hearing Cash’s cover for the first time made him feel like his girlfriend had been stolen, that the song belonged to Cash now, with him bringing a lifetime of regret and experience to the track that it made it feel poignant and vital. However, while it is an incredible cover, I would still argue that Reznor’s original is the definitive version of the song. An exercise in hushed, languid disquiet, “Hurt” slowly rises and falls from verse to chorus in a way that represents all the cursed emotionality of deciding that your life should be over. Its lyrics, which some read as forced or phony, reflect a desire to push away all the people in your life that you’ve come to know for a fact you will disappoint, while sonically its ability to escalate into the hair-raising, spine-tingling chorus without sacrificing the restrained power of the verse is something to marvel at in and of itself.
“Hurt” climaxes with the musical equivalent of a jump scare— an out-of-nowhere panic chord that is then followed by an ambient, uncomfortable calm. I’m far from the first person to read it this way, but I’ve always felt as if that moment of sudden fear symbolizes the suicide of The Downward Spiral’s protagonist, with that extended calm afterwards representing the full weight of that decision, for better or for worse.
The Downward Spiral is a definitive album of the 90s, not just because it fully embodies the doom and gloom often associated with the pop culture of that generation, but because it so ably manages to synthesize all the different sonic threads that defined that era’s zeitgeist— from the heavy rock of the grunge set, to the dancy, grimy sexiness of the emerging rave subculture, to the rhythmic intensity and poetic social commentary of the soon-to-be-dominant force that was hip-hop (it’s no coincidence that Reznor would go on to produce songs, albums, and remixes for artists like Zack de la Rocha, Saul Williams, El-P, and N*E*R*D*, let alone that he would eventually receive an award for being sampled by Lil Nas X). Is it a perfect record? Not quite— at 65 minutes, it sacrifices some of the concise immediacy and pop accessibility of Pretty Hate Machine, not to mention the arch intensity and white-knuckled horror of Broken— but it is undeniably an album of significance, weight, and emotional resonance.
The five year wait between The Downward Spiral and The Fragile is often characterized as a time of frustration for NIN fans, but with the benefit of hindsight, it’s not difficult to conclude what an overreaction that is. Not only were there plenty (and I mean plenty) of remixes to tide fans over— including the noisy, radical deconstructions and reinterpretations of Broken’s counterpart Fixed and the icy, forward-thinking menace of The Downward Spiral’s companion piece Further Down the Spiral, arguably the only NIN remix album that I would actually consider essential— there were several morsels thrown to the Reznor faithful over that period of time.
Reznor began to produce and contribute to soundtracks, for one, including Natural Born Killers (to which Reznor offered “Burn,” which matches the uneven-yet-shocking-and-vital tone of that film perfectly), The Crow (on which the lilting slow-burn Joy Division cover “Dead Souls” coexists with The Cure’s “Burn,” a perfect bit of synchronicity and one which proves, in my mind, that those two artists are far more simpatico than their wildly diverging sonic identities would lead one to believe), and in 1997, Lost Highway (NIN’s nugget here, “The Perfect Drug,” is one of their best and most underrated songs, which neatly coincides with my opinion that Lost Highway is one of David Lynch’s most underrated films— we don’t have time to get into it here, but I would go so far as to rank it higher than Mulholland Drive). NIN also wrote and performed an hour of industrial-tinged ambient which became the soundtrack to the 1996 first-person shooter Quake, which I’ve never played (but I’ve listened to the soundtrack while playing Doom 64, which I feel like is basically the same thing).
But none of those songs and mood pieces, well-constructed as they may be, were a substitute for a full-length Nine Inch Nails album, and so when The Fragile dropped as a mammoth-length double-disc set in 1999, the response was as polarized as you might expect. Fans were rabid for new material, and at 103 minutes, The Fragile more than met that need, but the wait had made fans fickle, critics who were intimidated by its length and ambition responded with mixed reviews, and the pop music landscape of 1999 was a stark, far cry from that of 1994.
While that year had seen the suicide of Kurt Cobain and a renewed height in social consciousness about everything from the AIDS epidemic to depression and drug addiction to gang violence and police brutality (remember, 1994 was still, in pop culture terms, only a hop, skip, and jump away from the Rodney King verdict), 1999 was a year in which boy bands and Britney Spears had taken over the charts, the sensitivity of grunge had given way to the (perceived) lack of nuance and masculine posturing of nu-metal and Eminem, and, in the wake of Columbine, a new wave of moral guardians who thought that entertainment for the youth should reflect a sunny, squeaky-clean attitude that was anything but reality. Add in the combination of optimism and skepticism that bloomed from the dotcom bubble and fears of Y2K as well as a sense of exhaustion with themes of angst and depression after years of the faux-sensitivity of post-grunge, and Nine Inch Nails delivered The Fragile during a period when it was probably the least welcome.
And, as time and critical re-evaluation has proven, that’s a crying shame, because The Fragile is arguably (and certainly in my opinion) the best album that Nine Inch Nails has to offer. 30 or so years removed from the critical and commercial peak of art rock, NIN had crafted a Pet Sounds for the Gen X set, as grandiose in ambition and presentation as it was down-and-dirty in delivery and aesthetic. It fuses the cinematic soundscapes of David Bowie’s Brian Eno collaborations with the kind of driving rock and dancey pop sensibilities that NIN had already made their name with, and adds their most sophisticated, textured, and moody sonic layering and thematic cohesion yet.
Ambient instrumental pieces abound on this record, neatly collecting and organizing the more straightforward songs with a sense of major-motion-picture scale that even The Downward Spiral didn’t have the capacity to strive for. If I had to make a comparison to another seminal 90s album, it would be Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness, but where Corgan & co. indulged in maximalism and forgot to bring in an editor, everything on The Fragile feels deliberate and carefully-considered. Pretty Hate Machine was sex and drugs, Broken was rock’n’roll, and The Downward Spiral was a rumination on the emptiness that indulgence in those vices brings; The Fragile is a studious, emotionally vibrant exploration of all of those facets as they relate to the human experience. If that sounds pretentious, it totally is, but those five years had gifted Reznor both the focus and the experience to bring those ideas to fruition.
The opening one-two punch of the record lays out that open-ended broadness for all to see; while “Somewhat Damaged” is the kind of roiling, screaming throwback that any fan of The Downward Spiral could connect with, it’s immediately followed by “The Day the World Went Away,” a clever bait-and-switch that elides simple aggression in favor of a placid beauty that takes up the entire latter portion of the track until it feels overwhelming. NIN’s fascination with the cosmic glue (and human goo) feeds songs like “We’re In This Together,” a brittle, emotionally-exhausted pop song that oxymoronically extends itself into seven minutes without ever feeling longer than three.
Songs on disc one frequently find themselves with warped mirror images on disc two: “We’re In This Together” is twisted into the isolationist bump-and-grind of “Where Is Everybody?”; the antisocial high of “No You Don’t” is transmuted into the amelodic acoustic guitar-based coke-nose-rub of “The Big Come Down”; the spacious glimmer of “La Mer” becomes the dank cave of “I’m Looking Forward to Joining You, Finally.”
And through it all, Reznor never forgets the fundamental outsider piss-and-bile that made NIN such an exciting project in the first place, with his definitive statement in that regard coming in the form of fast-paced furioso “Starfuckers, Inc.” (which is about either Courtney Love or Marilyn Manson, depending on who you ask). If “Sanctified” is Reznor’s sexuality in its rawest, most confused and personal form, “Starfuckers” turns it into an active weapon, with lines like “When I suck you off not a drop will go to waste/It’s really not so bad, you know, once you get past the taste” at once condemning talentless fame-chasers while also channeling the sexy shame of sucking a cock for something you deeply want (although I’m sure my read of that line says a lot more about me than it does Reznor).
The climax of the record is, fittingly, another extended and ambient instrumental, “Ripe (With Decay),” which is built on yet another minimalist acoustic guitar piece, but builds and builds in dramatic intensity until it tapers off and becomes something else altogether. It’s an apt metaphor for NIN’s career up to this point— after building something of a brand based on increasing hostility and darkness, pivoting into a long-winded, defiantly artsy and conceptually dense double album was the sneakiest trick Reznor could pull off.
Even with all the artistic freedom in the world, Reznor never has (nor, I’m sure, would he want to), replicate an experience like The Fragile. Following a six-year hiatus, NIN exploded with a flurry of activity, beginning with With Teeth, a relatively compact throat-clearing that felt like Reznor proving he could write a NIN record again.
Following that up with Year Zero (a dystopian concept record that does for the Bush administration what Green Day wished it could with American Idiot, accompanied by a truly fascinating and challenging alternate reality game that would influence ARGs and viral marketing acutely over the next fifteen or so years) felt like a logical stretching of his experimental legs, and he further developed that impulse with the airy and eerie Ghosts I-IV (which ranges from atrophied autopilot to bracing and eclectic mood pieces) before demonstrating he could improvise a “classic” NIN record in his sleep with The Slip and putting the project on hiatus for another five years.
Since resurfacing in 2013, NIN material has run the gamut from xx-esque depressive pop (Hesitation Marks) to a thematically spurious but bracingly energetic trilogy of short releases (Not the Actual Events, Add Violence, and Bad Witch) to a return to theatrical ambience that nonetheless incorporates his formidable melodic muscles (Ghosts V and VI), but even those releases combined with all the Christopher Nolan scores in the world aren’t enough to make me feel the same way as The Fragile or, indeed, the rest of those early NIN releases did ever again.
You could maybe put it down to nostalgia, and if I’m in a certain mood, that’s what I’d happily do, since I would never be one to claim that Reznor has ever released anything truly lazy or even bad (the near-totally-extraneous remix of The Fragile, Things Falling Apart, aside). A theme that haunts nearly every artist in every field is the fear that you’ll never be able to match up to your earlier work, and far be it from me to feed into that fear. But at the same time, it’s true that there’s a certain hunger and desperation to any artist’s early work that, at its best, mingles ably with the confidence of anyone who knows they’re good enough at their craft to pursue it, and that’s what I feel in these four NIN releases. The fact that they’re able to reflect the darkest moments of my own personal experiences is just a bonus, but it’s one that makes my personal connection to them even stronger.
If you’ve managed to read this far, you have my endless thanks and appreciation. I write about underground music, horror media, and pop culture, and it always brightens my day to know that other people care about my thoughts on any of it. If you liked this and you want to offer me some love, feel free to send me a tip on Venmo at xyoudontneedmapsx, or subscribe to my Patreon, where first-tier contributors receive an extra essay every month (last week’s essay, on quintessential episodes of adult animation, is available to everyone for free), and second-tier contributors are able to suggest topics on a monthly basis. And even if none of that interests you, I genuinely do want to thank you for hearing me ramble about a band whose meaning to me I’ve only recently come to truly understand.
In the meantime, I hope everyone is staying safe. I love y’all, and I’ll see you in August for Gamer Month.
Thank you so much for reading. Please don’t forget to hit that subscribe button on my Patreon, or hit up my Venmo at xyoudontneedmapsx if you’d prefer to show your support with a one-time donation! If you’re interested in a band bio or some freelance writing, email me at email@example.com to hash out the details. If you’d just like to read dumb jokes, follow me on Twitter.