In my decade of writing about and reviewing music, one thing has become apparent: Nickelback is like Marmite – people either love or hate them.
In the early 2000s, they earned huge success with several radio and arena-friendly hits, including “How You Remind Me”, and it could be argued that they’ve never quite had that success since. Nevertheless, they’re a band who have outlasted many of their artistic counterparts, and their new album Get Rollin’, their first in five+ years, offers just a few hints as to how and why.
Opening number “San Quentin” is a highlight of the entire collection; with its super-catchy riff, it’s a song that highlights the heavier side of the band, but yet works brilliantly as something that can be played on repeat either on the radio or while jamming in your bedroom. “Skinny Little Missy” is similar, perhaps a little darker, so it’s just as well the group veer ‘off course’ with “Those Days”, delivering an enjoyable, albeit incredibly nostalgic, rock ballad while they suddenly go a little country via “High Time” – no one can call this band one who doesn’t know how to mix things up, that’s for sure.
Nickelback works best when the music they create is powerful and catchy; “Vegas Bomb” is a testament to this, led by Chad Kroeger’s impressive vocals. It’s a shame, therefore, that the album nosedives sharply after it. “Tidal Wave” is OTT in all the worst ways – make of that what you will – while the considerably slushy acoustic ballad that is “Does Heaven Even Know You’re Missing?” sounds like it belongs more on a Taylor Swift or similar artist record than this one.
“Steel Still Rusts” fares a little better, though not much, “Horizon” returns things to more stable ground, which “Standing In The Dark”, though very similar sounding, builds upon while closing number “Just One More” rounds things off with more of a sizzle rather than the bang “San Quentin” kicked things off with.
As with all bands and all albums, Nickelback and their latest release have highs and lows. Get Rollin’ feels almost like, after so long away, they’re unsure about who they are as a group and what they want to say with and through their songs. However, at the same time, they also provide a little something for everyone – fans of heavier rock, country and pop-folk alike - and that in itself is something they should feel good about and proud of - it’s undoubtedly one of the reasons why they’re still around today.