Chris Vrenna, founding member of the pioneering band Nine Inch Nails, played drums for this groundbreaking rock band. Who would have known he was also a competent songwriter? Vrenna’s new release 2 a.m. wakeup call, recorded under the name Tweaker, is the follow-up to his debut album The Attraction of All Things Uncertain.
On this sophomore effort, Vrenna enlists the vocal talents of some big names including Robert Smith of The Cure, The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser and singer-songwriter Will Oldham. Oldham sings on "Rudy," the album’s opening track, in an uncharacteristically moody and somber tone reminiscent of Tool’s Maynard Keenan, while Smith sings on the track "Truth Is," bringing an almost tongue-in-cheek sarcasm to his vocal line and lyrics.
Vrenna has said that a total departure from NIN was his goal with this new project, yet the music is still laden with electronics reminiscent of his industrial roots. On the whole, however, Vrenna seems to have created an album that both old-school NIN fans as well as new listeners will enjoy.