Review: Nickelback - Here and Now
There's nothing truly spectacular about them. Bottoms Up and Holding on to Heaven are songs that sound perfect for radio stations to play to justify that they play rock music, or to make things worse they will state these songs to be their "metal" songs and play these tracks alongside some stuff from Staind's self-titled album. Lead single When We Stand Together features some very strange vocal styles in the chorus from Kroeger and in my words, "weird" translates as "country influenced". But the Southern American attitude of Nickelback's music makes this something expected, so the inclusion of such an influence will hardly bowl anyone over in surprise, which judging by the song overall, seems to be an intention it had in mind.
At the same time, there isn't anything on this album that could make it viewed as truly worthy of all our despise. Some riffs manage to be quite catchy. Midnight Queen features a fairly rough and classy hook. You almost forget it's part of this album, with the exception of the cringe-worthy lyrics which are trademark Nickelback lyrics. With such lyrical gems as "I'm in a bar full of bikers and a handful of junkies/ It's a fifty-fifty chance that they're planning that they're planning to jump me." and "Well, she walks like a model and she talks like a trucker/ Doesn't want a lollipop, but she showed us a sucker," Midnight Queen has clearly put decent music over any sense of class or decency.
So, because Here and Now isn't lovable or worthy of genuine hate in any sense (apart from closer Don't Ever Let it End, where they've actually achieved what many thought impossible and made a song worse than Rockstar!!! Congratulations on achieving a new low guys!) so it just sits perfectly on the line of blandness and being easily forgettable.
Really, the idea of expecting anything else would be preposterous. I can't fully complain about it's repetitiveness though. There are plenty bands I love who have been accused of releasing the same thing over and over again; AC/DC, Slayer, Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch etc. but at least these bands and their ilk still manage to create a real sense of energy and passion with each release. Nickelback have always sounded tired, sloppy and emotionless from day one and Here and Now is no exception.
Nickelback's Here and Now is out now via Roadrunner.