Breakdown, Make Up
2 Out Of 5 Stars
Released as a companion piece to the already abrasive "Broken," Nine Inch Nails' "Fixed" is almost as caustic. Six songs (five remixes) are given a Cuisinart of studio trickery and often pair little resemblance to their sources. For instance, the remix of "Gave Up" tears apart the vocal track into some sort pastiche and stutters most of of the song into disconcerting fragments. "Throw This Away" is a remix of both "Suck" and "Last" that manages to not sound anything like their origins. "Fist F***" is one of two mixes given to "Wish," just with a nastier title and a lot more guitar and no actual use of the actual title.
One of Reznor's best (and most vitriolic) songs, "Happiness In Slavery" is also given a double dose, fist with a semi-standardized remix like you might have expected given the multiple remixes he released from "Pretty Hate Machine." It's almost a dub remix with more industrial sounds. The second, "Screaming Slave," is just what its title would reveal it to be. A total sandblaster musically, with a ton of agonized screams punctuating towards the end. Probably the least interesting track on "Fixed."
"Broken" is obviously the better of the two EP's as it represents Reznor's original vision of the songs, but "Fixed" makes an interesting curio. Reznot would tread this road again, soon after "The Downward Spiral" was released, a near full length LP of remixes called "Further Down The Spiral" would appear. I'd call "Fixed" an EP for completists only.