Album Name: Feed The Machine
Released: 16th June 2017
Genre: Alternative Rock/Metal
Nickelback are: Chad Kroeger: Lead Vocals/Guitar. Ryan Peake: Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals. Mike Kroeger: Bass. Daniel Adair: Drums/Percussion/Backing Vocals
Hello, everyone, it’s Lewis here, and I am back with another album review, for my Top 10 Favourite Albums Of All Time, but I am jumping ahead with this album to the fourth spot, rather than run down the list, because this album will be out a full year on Saturday 16th June 2018.
Now, you are probably thinking, why haven’t I chosen one of Nickelback’s classic albums for the list, like ‘Silver Side Up’, ‘The Long Road’, or ‘All The Right Reasons’ or their recent albums, ‘Dark Horse’, ‘Here And Now’ or ‘No Fixed Address’ or even their first two albums ‘Curb’ and ‘The State’, for that matter, well the thing is, I do like the other Nickelback albums, particularly the classics and their recent albums, and I don’t want to make it too obvious by choosing a classic Nickelback album as one of my favourite albums, but, even though on some from their albums, there are songs on them that I don’t really like, particularly on ‘Dark Horse’ and ‘No Fixed Address’ and the same with ‘The State’ and also ‘Curb’ which have songs on them that sound so sloppy and dull, there are many of their songs I don’t like, because of mostly of how boring they are.
‘Here And Now’ was my recent favourite Nickelback album until ‘Feed The Machine’ dropped last year, and I was more than excited and I absolutely loved it, definitely one of Nickelback’s best albums in years.
This album was one of those where Nickelback have gone back to their old ways, but still adding in the stuff that was on ‘Here And Now’ and some of ‘No Fixed Address’ but not so much. It’s not better than ‘Silver Side Up’ or ‘All The Right Reasons’, by any means, but this album was a step up from ‘No Fixed Address’ by a long shot. However, I have been a Nickelback fan a long time, but I haven’t jumped on to the bandwagon for Nickelback being one of the ‘most hated’ bands in rock. (See the list in my review of ‘Weathered’ by Creed, so it saves me doing this again). I get very annoyed by the people who keep saying that they hate Nickelback, and in some cases, I can see their point, but if they have written sleazy and dirty songs, (a majority of their songs are, but) most of them don’t actually bother me.
This album though, we hear less of the sleaze, and hear more power, intensity and an album we can actually rock out to. Let me explain why this album and these songs are so good:
Track By Track Review
1. Feed The Machine
This was the first single from the album and it’s the title track of this album too, released February 1st 2017, on YouTube as a lyric video and Digital Download, soon followed by an official video in April 2017. Nickelback always do this on every new album, by releasing a heavy song, then followed by a softer song. However, I enjoy this starter of a song, because the lyrics don’t start until about 40 seconds into the song and it is very tense in the verses until the choruses kick in, and the repeated ‘Get back in line, get back in line’ part, almost at the end of the song, it’s fantastic and I never really seen any Nickelback songs that reached five minutes, except for ‘Good Times Gone’ from Silver Side Up.
The guitars on this song are very strong, the bass has a great get up and go sound, and the drums are fantastic on this song too. It makes for a great song.
2. Coin For The Ferryman
Now, this song, well is another long song, but twelve seconds less than ‘Feed The Machine’ itself, at 4:50, but it’s good that this album has two songs that keep you rocking and rolling for almost ten minutes before the album actually gets going with the other songs.
The title didn’t make a lot of sense until I heard it, but this song, kind of follows ‘Just To Get High’ from Dark Horse, and possibly ‘Get ‘Em Up’ from No Fixed Address maybe, it’s possible, but there are other songs from this album that sound like they might come from the other albums too, and this one feels like it comes from ‘Dark Horse’ and ‘No Fixed Address’ in different ways, but without the pop influenced sounds like the latter had.
I do like how they play this song and I did think from the first time I heard it, ‘Are Nickelback pretending to be Metallica?’ as like a reaction, but then again, it’s Nickelback, not Metallica, but it has influences from Metallica and some other Metal and Rock artists that made them become who they are, and I love how the guitars, the bass and the drums make this song really good.
3. Song On Fire
This song was the second single and it became my top favourite song from this album and now, possibly my top favourite Nickelback song of all time. This song was released as a lyric video on 28th April 2017, and digital download on the same day, followed by the official video, in the week the album was released.
I love this song for two reasons, because of the guitars, bass and drums and how well it’s been made with its instrumentation and production. I also have a story relating to this song, because I have had people who treated me horribly in the past, throughout my school life, and the first three years of having a job and then I got pulled away from those thoughts when this song was dropped as I had the idea to write those thoughts down and burn them away and they disappear from me. I know they sometimes play on my mind, but this song makes me feel better and then I throw it away to the back of my mind. However, I did and it has really helped and if you do hear this song, I hope it makes you do the same and I understand if it doesn’t.
4. Must Be Nice
Now, this song gets highly criticised because of how it feels very cringeworthy and awful it is, and it was the album’s third single. I do like the song, but I don’t always play it, that often. However, it kind of follows the same songs like ‘Shakin’ Hands’ from Dark Horse, ‘Kiss It Goodbye’ from Here And Now and possibly ‘Next Contestant’ from All The Right Reasons maybe, because it does make me feel that you want to be better than everyone else, but really you are not. I like how the guitars, the bass and drums on it, but the lyrics can be a little off-putting at times, but it’s OK.
5. After The Rain
This song came as the album’s fourth single and it is a brilliant song. This song came to me on the first listen, because this album was out when my Great Grandad died the week before, and I picked up this album to keep myself calm and help to make myself better again. This song made me feel like a stronger person after all that happened, because of the lyrics made me think of how I felt after he died and before his funeral, when it actually rained for three days and on his funeral day too, and a bit after too, until eventually it got warmer and dry, and made me feel better again.
I feel that this song follows ‘Savin’ Me’ and ‘Far Away’ from All The Right Reasons, ‘I’d Come For You’ from Dark Horse, and obviously ‘Lullaby’ from Here And Now, with possibly ‘Miss You’ from No Fixed Address, all rather well, and it feels like this song could come from Here And Now, and it feels like it has that vibe from it.
6. For The River
This song, is possibly a little different for Nickelback, because the song, well it’s heavy, but my first reaction, when I first heard this song was, ‘Have Nickelback gone all punk rock, or something?’ Then I realised it’s actually really good and to me, it comes around a bit with sounding similar to ‘Animals’ from All The Right Reasons, possibly, and I think this song would possibly fit on that same album, and also to me, this is what ‘She Keeps Me Up’ from No Fixed Address should have sounded like. This song makes me think, that you could be a successful person with everything you need to keep running for. I love the guitars and bass on this song, as well as the drums too, but surprisingly as well as in ‘Coin For The Ferryman’, ‘Song On Fire’ and a little bit in ‘Must Be Nice’, you get to hear Ryan Peake vocalising on some parts, including on this one, where as on the other albums, you don’t really hear his voice, except when he is behind Chad’s lead vocals, so that is a nice surprise on this album. This song is amazing and I always find this one, the best song to jam along to.
This song is currently the final single from the album (at the time of doing this review) and when I first picked the album up, last year, I read the track listing on the album, and I originally thought now is this going to be a cover of Daughtry’s ‘Home’ or Michael Buble’s ‘Home’ even, because it didn’t make a lot of sense, by just saying ‘Home’ as the title. I listened to the song, bearing in mind, I picked it up as of the death of my Great Grandad, and with ‘After The Rain’, this song made me feel about what happened to him and I felt lost without him for a while, but this song saved me from all that I felt, and even though it was hurtful, I did feel that he was a ghost in my life, because his house is now belonging to someone else and is now gone from our lives and it’s empty, with builders renovating it at this point, but it’s still scary by thinking he is still here, but he’s not.
This song makes me feel better about that situation, but I felt that did this song come as a coincidence, because of my Great Grandad dying or was it just one of them things? It turns out it was just one of them things and just passed it off.
8. The Betrayal (Act III)
Now, this song… WOW! I wasn’t expecting this from Nickelback at all. This is the heaviest song that they have done, in fact the heaviest since many of the songs from the classic albums and ‘This Means War’ from Here And Now, and just found myself jamming to this song from when I first heard it and just ran around my house and pretending to rant and rave along to the song! (Luckily my parents weren’t at home at the time.) I love this song, because it feels like a song that has a Metallica feel to it, something like ‘The Unforgiven’ or maybe ‘Megadeth’ with ‘Rust In Peace’ or maybe ‘Pantera’ with Walk or something like that. I also think that if you play Nickelback songs like ‘Side Of A Bullet’, ‘Where Do I Hide?’, ‘Throw Yourself Away’, ‘Just To Get High’, ‘This Means War’ and ‘Get ‘Em Up’ from the other albums along with this song, it sounds like you could make a story out of those songs and it might be really good. I love jamming along with this song and if this was a song that had a collaboration with Metallica or something, it probably would be amazing. It’s highly unlikely, but it’s what I think, anyway.
9. Silent Majority
This song, well, it’s commonly political and I feel that this song could easily be placed on Dark Horse, as of how the guitars and the bass are played and Chad Kroeger’s vocals are more on a softer note, despite the song is heavy.
It was written, apparently, during the time of Trump’s presidency in the US and the Brexit negotiations in Europe, and even though I don’t listen to that stuff anymore, as I am fed up of hearing about all of it, this song makes me think on the same lines of the ‘Silent Majority’ of people that don’t believe in what these politicians are saying and get fed up of hearing about them. I’m sorry that this might sound political here, but this is what the song is basically going on about. It’s a good song, but it’s the subject that they are singing about, that might put some people off, but for me, I agree with what they are saying here.
10. Every Time We’re Together
This song is the final song on the album, where as the final track which you will see in a moment, is an instrumental track. However, this is a nice song to end the album off, with sounding similar to ‘If Today Was Your Last Day’, ‘Photograph’ and ‘Don’t Ever Let It End’ from Dark Horse, All The Right Reasons and Here And Now respectively. It’s a nice little song that tells a nice story, despite the fact, Nickelback’s story songs get very controversial, like ‘Photograph’ for example, but I actually enjoy those songs, because they give me nice memories of how I loved growing up in my life and all the friends that I have, many of whom have gone now, this song is one of those that is nice to listen to, so you can remind yourself of the good times you had at a young age.
It’s a nice song to blend the acoustic guitar at the beginning and then the electric guitars just jump straight into it, with the bass and the drums on the song. It has more of a softer feel to it, but is more of a mature song, than what the other Nickelback’s stories seem to be, so that’s just great.
11. The Betrayal (Act I)
Now, the closing track isn’t really a song, it’s more of an acoustic instrumental with an acoustic guitar, which was a nice surprise, because I never seen or heard Nickelback do this before on any of their albums. It’s actually really good that they have done something different by putting an instrumental on this album, but I do have a couple of gripes with it though. The thing is, I don’t have a problem with instrumental tracks, no problem whatsoever, but I think it would have been so much better and made a little bit more sense to either put this at the front of this album before ‘Feed The Machine’ starts or possibly put it before ‘The Betrayal (Act III)’ and it will possibly be a lot better like that, because bands like Coldplay do a pretty good job with some instrumental tracks and the second gripe is the one that bugs me the most is that you have an Act I and an Act III to The Betrayal, but where is Act II? It kind of feels that Act II, doesn’t exist, it feels that there is nothing whatsoever. Is it gonna be on their next album or something?
I don’t know. Metallica have done a similar thing by using The Unforgiven over the course of three albums, but not consecutively, they did it on one album, skipped one album, then put it on another album and then skipped one again and put it on another one again by using I, II and III and that was over the course of three albums and seventeen years, and that’s fine. Those are my only gripes, but it’s fine, it’s nice that Nickelback have done something different and it closes the album nicely in some cases, but I wish it could be in a different place, as it feels a bit disjointed at the end, but all in all, it’s a good way to end the album on a different note.
Well, what can I say? It’s Nickelback. Most people may like their music, most people won’t. I actually enjoyed this album, because this was brilliant! Even though, my first Nickelback album was All The Right Reasons, followed by Silver Side Up, soon followed by Dark Horse, then The Long Road after over a year between albums, over the course of 2008-2011, and then Here And Now dropped at the end of 2011, I picked that album up that Christmas, and then followed by Curb and The State after that, and then I downloaded No Fixed Address before Christmas in 2014, and before with listening to Here And Now and No Fixed Address, I kinda avoided picking them up on their first day, because I thought about them in a prolonged fashion, thinking are they going to be good albums or bad albums, and I did listen to them two or three weeks after they have been out, and one of those two were better than the other, but with Feed The Machine, I was really excited about picking it up and listening to it.
It’s really, really good, and I absolutely love it, definitely Nickelback’s best album since Here And Now, All The Right Reasons and Silver Side Up. It’s also the album that put me straight again after the death of my Great Grandad, the week before the album was dropped and even though I was still hurting with anger and stress from it all, this album made me feel more comfortable and at ease within myself and within my mind.
It was a hard thing to get through, but this album made me feel a lot better than I had ever been in my life after all that. If you are a Nickelback fan or just curious, it’s definitely worth checking out, and if you’re new to Nickelback and only just picked up on their stuff, you could pick this album up and also listen to the classic albums too, but don’t bother with Curb, The State or No Fixed Address unless you are really keen on them. This album is great to listen too.
I am going to give a rating for this album: 9/10
Thanks a lot for reading this review, if you still like to follow me on Twitter (@lewcarty) and Instagram (lewisclancarty), I’ll be more than grateful. I have a few more albums to do, but don’t worry, they will be done in time. If there is anything I can do to improve my presentation, I’m all ears and you guys are welcome to your own opinions as these are my own.
Thank you so much and I hope to see you again real soon on the Quixotic group!!!