Canadian rockers, Nickelback may be safe and secure in their own homeland, however their lyrics could easily apply to what some people are referring to as the tyrannical government in which they are touring, the United States. Their newly released album, Feed the Machine is packed full of content discussing the roller coasters of life in which we experience specifically in our own personal lives or due to the governments that control us. From lyrics about jaded love to lies and deception, Nickelback writes about every day trials and tribulations to which we all can relate.
Nickelback as a whole, have had many obstacles themselves before the release of this album. The problems began when Chad Kroeger had to have surgery due to a vocal cyst. As a result, the band had to cancel a part of their No Fixed Address tour in 2015, which mainly impacted the European leg of the tour. Nickelback was not able to complete the dates until approximately a year later. In 2016, they toured Europe successfully completing the rescheduled dates.
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While successfully overcoming their obstacles, Nickelback were able to release their first track off of the album, also titled Feed the Machine. The song was released in February of 2017, months before the complete album release date in June 2017. It sets the stage for the entirety of the album. With aggressively heavy guitar riffs, combined with a haunting vocal chorus about a demanding, overpowering leader, “Addressing those beneath from high above. Convincing his belief for what you love. Baiting every hook with filthy lies. Another charlatan to idolize”, the song is a powerhouse of lyrics about the current state of society, not just in the United States, but in many nations. To enhance the lyrics to help tell the story, the official video is about a dystopian society, in where the government manipulates and suppresses its people.
Continuing the theme of deception, “Must Be Nice” talks about people who deceive others, by pretending to be someone they are not. “Oh it must be nice, to spend each day in paradise. You wonder why you’ve never failed. You’re life’s a goddamn fairy tale. You’re life’s a goddam fairy tale.” Throughout the lyrics are familiar nursery rhyme references to tie in the point of being a fairy tale. “One step, two step, electric slide. Red fish, blue fish, blow your mind. Engine, engine, number nine. Stick your diamond ring where the sun don’t shine.”
Nickelback are currently on tour with Shaman’s Harvest and Daughtry. Inspired by the tour or coincidentally, the new Nickleback sound is hauntingly familiar to the overall Daughtry sound. Vocally, Chad Kroeger of Nickleback channels Chris Daughtry in some of the ballads on the album. “Home” on the Feed the Machine album and Daughtry’s “Ghost Of Me”, have similar tones and lyrical meaning. Both songs describe the pain of regret and the past.
Nickelback have been heavy hitters for over twenty years, racking up spots on the Billboard charts. Billboard ranked Nickleback the most successful rock group of the decade, with the biggest hit being “How You Remind Me.” Feed the Machine feels like it has more of solid core sound then previous albums and will will draw new listeners who might not have been fans before, due to the heavier, more rock centered and less pop music centered sound than heard on previous albums.