Here’s a confession: back in 2012, we saw Refused and Nickelback play New York in the same week – and enjoyed each show equally. I mean, they were enjoyable for entirely different reasons. We’d never seen Refused play, as the’y’d broken up in the ’90s just after releasing super-influential album The Shape of Punk to Come. It was amazing to see them bring 14 year-old songs back to life at a sold-out Terminal 5. Nickelback was a whole different thing. Roadrunner had offered up tickets to their show at Madison Square Garden, and they were already a punchline by then. However, knowing what we were getting into, I got pretty drunk before the show and enjoyed it for what it was: a stadium show with lasers, pyro, a floating stage, and songs that the whole arena sang along to like their life depended on it.
Did that show change my opinion of Nickelback? No, they’re still kinda cheesy, if not deserving of all the hate they get. One thing that many people overlook is that they’re actually kind of heavy at times. Pantera didn’t let them use a Dimebag Darrell solo on a song about him for nothing. Which brings us to their new song that was released today. “Feed the Machine” probably won’t make you a fan of the band, necessarily, but it’s not as generic and boring as some of their bigger songs (“Photograph” comes to mind). Chad Kroeger’s vocals distract a bit from the surprisingly heavy riffage that’s going on, but it’s all in all a surprising song. This is the second time we’ve written about Nickelback today, and for that, we sincerely apologize.