Friday 14 July 2017

Album Review: NICKELBACK - Feed The Machine

Nickelback - Feed The Machine

01. Feed The Machine
02. Coin For The Ferryman
03. Song On Fire
04. Must Be Nice
05. After The Rain
06. For The River
07. Home
08. The Betrayal (Act III)
09. Silent Majority
10. Every Time We're Together
11. The Betrayal (Act I)

Nickelback have received a lot of shit over the years. They've become the token un-cool and embarrassing band linked with the Metal scene. If Beavis and Butthead were created today, I'm certain that Stewart would be wearing a Nickelback T-Shirt instead of a Winger one. Like most of those Post-Grunge, mainstream sanitised bands from the late 90's/early 2000's, Nickelback have had plenty of hit singles despite the occasional cringe-worthy lyrics and videos. However, they seem to have been punished more than most for their musical indiscretions. I'm familiar with a large chunk of their back catalogue, and to be fair I think they have loads of great songs. 2008's Dark Horse and 2011s Here and Now were particularly good albums in my opinion, both full of heavy slamming riffs and oozing hit singles.

So fuck the cool kids. I like Feed The Machine. Musically, they've evolved over the years away from the world of Nirvana plagiarism (unlike Seether- see my review here) and have become a quality mainstream Hark Rock act. Their production is really impressive and pretty heavy too, giving it a contemporary feel. The title track is a slice of contemporary Metal that shows their ability to pen a catchy tune whilst maintaining a nice heavy sound. Coin For The Ferryman and For The River are also impressively heavy slabs of Hard Rockin' Metal. Even the Power Ballads are generally on point, with a little less cheesiness than anticipated, and a bit more raw emotion. Silent Majority and Home are particularly good.

I reckon that this is the kind of album Metallica wanted to make during the Load and Re-Load sessions, but didn't manage it. OK, I may have gone a little too far with that statement, but if you exclude Feed The Machine's Power Ballads and look at the 'Rockers', the similarities are undeniable. If either Load or Re-Load had sounded like this, I'm sure they'd have gone supersonic. And that's an issue with Feed The Machine. The public's perception of Nickelback is still not a positive one. If a number of other modern Metal bands had released this record, I'm sure it'd win awards and they'd be headlining festivals off the back of it. At best, I think Nickelback will be viewed as slightly less lame than they were before. I'm sure they couldn't care less though. They already have a large loyal following that are impervious to losing street cred, very much like Bon Jovi fans, and Nickelback will continue to sell out arenas regardless. At least the quality of Feed The Machine is enough to shut the naysayers up for a while.


1 comment

  1. Yes! I'm glad there's a band I enjoy that enjoys Nickelback 😂 they don't deserve a lot of the shit they get and they are always brilliant live. Feed the Machine was different from previous Nickelback and it's a good change. :)


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