The world of HBO’s Watchmen sequel is a bizarre one that is both contemporary and, technologically speaking, trapped a few decades in the past. So in that regard, it makes sense that the fantastic soundtrack for the show, by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (of Nine Inch Nails fame, of course), is being launched exclusively on vinyl before it hits other formats.
There was a lot to love about Watchmen’s premiere last night, as it danced around a jaw-droppingly kickass Regina King — and how deeply uncomfortable that kickassery is in the context of our own 2019 — and a relentlessly blunt examination of white supremacy and race relations through its masked vigilante veneer. But punctuating it all with a dizzyingly tense and eclectic, synth-tinged pulse was Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ downright gorgeous original soundtrack.
It’s just oozing with style, a soundscape that is almost off-putting in the uneasy tension its rhythmic pacing evokes — and yet at the same time it’s weirdly hypnotic, lulling you with a false sense of security with its slick beats (and even slicker basslines) as it burrows its way into your head.
I’ve been listening to that end titles piece all day, and readers, I believe this is what the scientists categorise as “a jam.”
Suffice to say then, it’s very good news that Reznor, Ross, and HBO announced today through the Nine Inch Nails website that it won’t be all that long until we actually get soundtrack release... with a bit of a twist. First, it’s releasing in three volumes, and the Watchmen score will be made available in batches “at strategic times,” reflecting the progression of the show itself.
The first volume will release on November 4, volume two on November 25, and volume three on December 16 — that is, if you buy the LPs. Watchmen’s score will debut exclusively on vinyl on those dates, first through orders made directly on the NIN storefront and then in wider release when the digital version of the soundtracks will also be made available online. Secondly, that’ll be the only physical release: You either get the digital copy or you get the vinyl.
To further incentivise going analogue, each volume of the score ordered from NIN directly will feature exclusive artwork and packaging designed in collaboration with the producers of the show. Although said packaging has yet to be revealed, it’s mean to explore “the culture of Watchmen’s America, and provides revealing insights into the saga’s mythology and mysteries.”
Given what we’ve heard of it so far, it’ll also sound fuckin’ incredible. You can head on over to the NIN website and order the Watchmen score now, for around $40 a volume.