Print Edition: January 7, 2015
It felt like a lifetime since Nickelback’s Here and Now was released in 2011, and as a die-hard Nickelback fan I was eager — salivating if you will, like a five-year-old at Dairy Queen. I waited patiently for Nickelback’s eighth release to be released in November. But like a five-year-old kid, I felt the same utter disappointment as dropping a sundae after only a few bites. As soon as I had gotten past the opening two tracks, I felt like dropping the CD and smashing it into thousands of pieces. The opener, “Million Miles an Hour,” sets you up feeling like the album will in fact take you a million miles an hour, only for you to crash land after the second track. Frontman Chad Kroeger sings, “I like this everlasting pill,” but whatever everlasting pill he took made him go off the rails and somehow think this album was any good at all.
I understand that many rock bands are following in the musical style of Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, Hedley, and Simple Plan, but it alienates not just Nickelback’s fan base, but rock fans in general (think Halestorm with its influence from Eric Church, doing country collaborations and going on tour with him). In the case of Nickelback, the drop-D guitar, the turned-up bass, the profane lyrics about promiscuous women, and the band members handing out glasses of Canadian Club to fans at concerts was what sold out arenas. In the 2000s Nickelback was the second best-selling foreign act in the United States.
If the band’s purpose was to change the crowd at concerts from mid-20-year-olds to screaming tweens who are found at a One Direction concert, then I would say job well done. All your old fans will wait until 2018 in the hopes the bass is turned up loud enough to shake house windows.