The internet has conditioned us to hate Nickelback, but despite the widespread disdain, the Canadian rockers keep chugging along. They’re doing pretty well, in fact: The two albums they’ve released this decade, 2011’s Here And Now and 2014’s No Fixed Address, peaked at No. 2 and 4 respectively on the Billboard 200 chart. They have a track record of success, and today, they’re hoping to extend it with the release of their ninth studio album, Feed The Machine.
The record was preceded by the singles like “Song Of Fire,” which is one of those “Far Away”-style ballads that definitely has a time and a place. The other two advance tracks were “Feed The Machine ” and “Must Be Nice,” which lean more towards the heavy hard rock side of their sound and feature some slick guitar work that ought to please Zakk Wylde fans.
This is also a sort of comeback album for the group, considering they had to cancel a bunch of tour dates in 2015 so Chad Kroeger could have a cyst removed from his vocal cords. His singing on the album sounds about as good as it ever has, though, so there’s no need to worry about him losing a step on that front.
Without having listened to the whole album, the best moment to convince non-fans that Nickelback isn’t so bad might be the instrumental “The Betrayal (Act I).” It’s an acoustic and melodic album closer that has major shades of Coheed & Cambria and, if you listen hard enough, perhaps a bit of Led Zeppelin. At the very least, it’s definitely not a song that Canadian police should use as punishment for drunk drivers.