If there is one thing the Internet loves more than trolling, piracy and pornography it would have to be hating on Nickelback. Arguably the most hated “rock band” in existence, yet they seem to sell out shows and sell music: how do they do it?
Believe it or not, there once was a time when Nickelback was a liked band (well not as hated as they currently are). When they released their third full-length Silver Side Up in 2001, the track “How You Remind Me” was played non-stop for most of the year on every radio station in the western world.
While I am not a Nickelback fan nor consider their flavour of rock to be my kind of rock, I thought I would listen to their latest album non-objectively and give it an honest chance and review it after a few listens.
My first impressions of their latest album No Fixed Address are they have definitely attempted to push themselves in a new direction, but ultimately fall into their own trap of crowd-pleasing, stadium, cock rock. As much as I tried, I honestly struggled to listen to this album even just once.
The production is at what you would expect on a big budget Nickelback rock record. Compressed to hell, sterile drums, sterile guitar work and Chad Kroeger. There is no human aspect to No Fixed Address, no emotion, just business as usual. If there was a slogan you could use to describe Nickelback’s ability to sell records it would be: shut up and give us your money, you low IQ rednecks.
Lyrically, Chad is still talking about the same things he always does. There are songs about sex and drugs here amongst a sea of catchy lyrics and other drivel the masses copiously guzzle down like it were Chad’s own jizzum being sprayed into their abused throats.
While their new album sees the band going in a somewhat new direction, I am still not a fan and never will be. Just because they are not my thing does not make them a bad band. I know people like Nickelback and I will not hate on them for it.
I doubt that Nickelback set out to intentionally write bad songs, in-fact, I would argue their success in spite of the hate actually proves the fact they are a decent band. Front-man Chad Kroeger actually writes a lot of the bands songs, which for a band as big as Nickelback is a feat not to be sneezed at in itself.
The questionable inclusion of Flo Rida on second last track “Got Me Runnin’ Round” had me actually saying aloud: what the fuck. While the track would have still been bad without Flo Rida, it was made considerably worse by his useless cameo.
There are some things in life beyond repair, one of those things is Nickelback. I do not agree with the hipsters sipping their foamy lattes who hate on Nickelback for the sake of hating on them, but for a band whose earlier material was not that bad at all, it is interesting to see the transformation of a band who caved into the hypnotising glow of the mainstream.
Their latest effort is a step in the wrong direction which for a band who have been going in the wrong direction for 13 years now is nothing new. The band sound more poppy as they attempt to nest themselves in the crevice of the ever-changing body of commercial radio which favours the likes of Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.
No Fixed Address gives the haters even more ammunition to hate on them. But having said that, we all know this album is still going to sell well and Nickelback will keep laughing all the way to the bank.
Rating: 3 out of 10.