Nickelback: Chad Kroeger, Ryan Peake (vocals, guitar); Mike Kroeger (bass); Ryan "Nik" Vikedal (drums).
Recorded at Greenhouse Studios, Burnaby, British Colombia and Mountainview Studio, Abbotsford, British Colombia.
Thanks to their smash number one hit "How You Remind Me," Nickelback became the poster boys for neo-grunge in 2001. Throughout that year and into the next, the band and its lead singer Chad Kroeger were omnipresent as they peddled their cleaned-up, streamlined amalgam of Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam. Those three bands were unpredictable and, in various ways, shunned success when they received it. Nickelback courts it through their audience-pleasing grunge pastiche, which treats the style as just another variation of hard rock. Of course, on the surface grunge was just modern hard rock, but upon further inspection it was an interesting, unruly beast, fueled by genuine passion and angst, which is why each band had a distinct sound and a different way of fleeing from the scene when it all became too much. 2003's The Long Road, the follow-up to their 2001 breakthrough, Silver Side Up, suggests that they really are just heavy-rock hucksters. After all, this is an album that ends with "See You at the Show," the neo-grunge "We're an American Band" that invites their audience to come along on the Nickelback bus and party down it. Perhaps a flat-out party song would have been a welcome change of pace, but it, like every other song here, is performed in the band's inimitable style -- loose rhythms, distorted guitars, power harmonies, and topped off by Kroeger's gruff vocals. It's the same sound as Silver Side Up, but it's a little bit more professional and polished, which does have the neat trick of sanding down some of Nickelback's more strident tendencies, leaving behind a sleek album of theatrical angst. So, Nickelback is more palatable here. The set-closer, "See You at the Show," offers a slight change of pace. With a little more time in the studio and a little more time to indulge themselves, Nickelback can now afford to turn out a more polished effort. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock
- Genre: Pop
- Released: 07/07/2017