Many bands have released seminal albums; pieces of art. The Beatles released "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and captivated rock fans abroad. The Pixies released both "Doolittle" and "Surfer Rosa," two albums that would come to define alternative rock as a genre. Oasis dropped "(What's The Story) Morning Glory," easily one of the best albums of the past 25 years.
A lot of these bands have an impressive discography as well, but there is one band that would be classified as alternative rock that regularly makes my stomach churn: Nickelback, the epitome of manufactured music.
First, the sound. Yes, distortion sounds cool. The drums sound nice and refined. It seems to fit the definition of post-grunge (ick) slash hard rock. You know who else does? Creed and Theory of A Deadman. Seriously, listen to any of these groups. Sonically, all three bands have the same sound; slightly distorted, slightly muddied sound, with gruff vocals and drum sounds that are very poppy in sound. Every single band seems like they are ripping off one another, whether it be the vocals or the instrumentals. It is a shame and we need to stop supporting it. This isn't like rap; there are no samples. It is regurgitated often.
Let's just talk about the lyrics. Boring, superficial, filled with nothing other than the skin deep words of a band that seems more like an industrial plant. Prime example; "Rockstar." Why glorify a lifestyle that prioritizes the most superficial things in life? Oh my, you got into a club. You know some socialites. Wow. "Photograph," the most remarkably "fake-deep" song in existence. Look, nostalgia is a wonderful feeling, but the most that song has produced for our society is a perfect video with a perfect moment for memes. There are songs with far more sentimental value. That isn't even touching on the filler that comprises the majority of their work.
LASTLY, the vocals. AWFUL. We can just talk about the sound of Chad's voice. It's grating. It's consistently repetitive, never really changing much from song to song; low pitch, high pitch, low pitch. Repeat. Seriously, take a deep listen to "Photograph" or other songs, like "How You Remind Me." You cannot tell me that the voice is different from song to song. Don't get me wrong, I know artists cannot vary their voices that significantly. HOWEVER, when two songs sound essentially the same, and this is repeated from album to album? No. His voice is one of the most grating voices in rock.
Post-grunge is a genre that has been bastardized by so many artists, and Nickelback making radio-friendly rock with little deviation epitomizes this. Bland lyrics, bland sounds, bland vocals. The band dominated rock with a radio-friendly formula. Hat's off to them for finding what worked, but they are not an entertaining band. That's why a brewery in Ann Arbor refused to be associated with them. If I want post-grunge, I'll go listen to the Foo Fighters. Not the Canadian 3 Doors Down. Thank you and good night.