Release Date: Nov 21, 2011
Record label: Roadrunner Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Post-Grunge
Left to their own devices on Here and Now, Nickelback have done the unthinkable: they’ve embraced who they are. Chad Kroeger’s brow is no longer furrowed, treating rock & roll as an ordeal; he’s stepped back a bit, allowing himself to have a good time. This doesn’t quite mean he’s left his misogyny behind -- it lingers, infecting otherwise innocuous songs -- but it does mean that Nickelback no longer rely solely on heavy-footed power chords set to lumbering rhythms.
To a generation of Gaga-averse rock fans, Nickelback have become the inspirational torchbearers of postgrunge. That’s not just because the Canadian foursome sold a combined 21 million copies of their last six albums when no one was buying records. It’s also that, for every ode to girls or parties or pharmaceutical-filled Pez dispensers, there’s a song that doubles as a sermon (”If Today Was Your Last Day,” ”Gotta Be Somebody”).
Maybe Nickelback fans are right: the rest of us hate the band because we're jealous. While cool, critically approved bands struggle to reinvent themselves each album and keep up with the trends, Nickelback sell a bazillion records and fill stadiums by making the same record over and over. Their radio-friendly post-grunge sound hasn't been fashionable for well over a decade, but they wear that as a badge of honour, spinning it as proof of their authenticity.
Nickelback has, in recent years, proven itself virtually bulletproof against a slew of negative reactions, including some on this very site. The band wins industry-certified awards, yet it still invokes the petitioning wrath of a state known for giving the world the Insane Clown Posse. Regardless of who you’re rooting for musically, when a pseudo-rap group in carnival face paint gets a yearly festival in its honor, and the Detroit Lions ask your band to leave, well…best get to riding out.