Nine Inch Nails: Trent Reznor (vocals, various instruments). Additional personnel includes: Richard Patrick (guitar); Chris Vrenna (drums). Although Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor became the poster boy for industrial rock in the early 1990s, his '89 debut, PRETTY HATE MACHINE, actually has a stronger foothold in '80s synth-pop. The guitar-heavy opener, "Head Like a Hole," is the most aggressive track on the album and proved to be the signature song for Reznor's initial breakthrough, but much of the disc sounds like Depeche Mode in a particularly bad mood. All of the tracks on PRETTY HATE MACHINE are based on synthesizer lines and programmed beats, with other elements--such as the distinctive bass on "Sanctified" and sampled explosions on "That's What I Get"--filling out the sound. Despite Reznor's morose lyrics, a number of HATE MACHINE's finest moments are energetic dance tunes, particularly "Down in It" and the surging "Sin." Oddly enough, Reznor's fiercer--and seemingly less accessible--subsequent work (the BROKEN EP and THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL) led directly to his mainstream success, but PRETTY HATE MACHINE reveals where the Nine Inch Nails aesthetic started out.