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| 14 August 2017 | Reply

June 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Ahhh, Nickelback: the band so many people love to hate.

With the release of ninth album Feed The Machine, we have to ask the burning question: Are Nickelback really that bad? Is there so much difference between them and, for instance, Foo Fighters?

The answer is a complex one…

While Dave Grohl’s Nicest Man In Rock public image is adored by just about everyone, Chad Kroeger is reviled by almost as many. Maybe it’s his association with vapid pop punker Avril Lavigne? To some, Nickelback are seen as corporate sellouts in every way, yet there’s even a US university study which says their lyrics are more intelligent than Foo Fighters.

Listening to Feed The Machine on its own merits, it’s clear that there is a lot of diversity at play – and a lot of talent, make no mistake – but the quality is hot and cold.

The post-grunge metal of The Betrayal Act III, and balls-to-the-wall heavy rocker Coin For The Ferryman impress, but after it’s bluesy intro Must Be Nice degenerates into cheesy territory. The ballads Every Time We’re Together and Song On Fire are so premeditated to hit radio appeal that their vapid blandness is insulting, but then they get Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt to shred a wicked solo on For The River.

So it seems that everyone is right: Nickelback are radio friendly; heavy rockers commercial sellouts; metal legends; and everything in between. If only they would focus and forget about the damned radio, they could surprise everyone.

Category: CD Reviews

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