In a year of unmitigated and unprecedented disaster, little snippets of good news are sprinkled in the cauldron of 2020 nightmare soup. Cats rescued from trees, folks coming to the rescue of neighbors in need and Nickelback cancelling their 2020 summer tour. It’s heartwarming stories like these that inevitably lead us to optimistically wonder, “It can’t get any WORSE right?” Well buckle your seat belts and cover your ears, because rumors are brewing from the cold depths of Alberta, Canada that Nickelback might end their hiatus and release a new album before the end of the year.
A Nickelback release right now would be like an angry cat living under the dumpster fire that is 2020, waking from its slumber to release its wrath upon us. The rumors began after an interview with Australian Media site, Wall of Sound, in late 2019 where the band expressed interest in returning to record a metal album, which got their fan base excited but was dismissed by others as just another idea.
Unfortunately, the rumor was a herald for what was to come. Nickelback released a new single last week, a metal cover of the Charlie Daniels song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Originally a bluegrass song, this cover was recorded in honor of Daniels’ recent passing, but it might be for the best that he never heard this track. Immediately, it had all the hallmarks of that Nickelback sound—an over-compressed drum set, a flatline and bloated EQ’d electric guitar and that half edited mix of Chad Kroeger’s rusty voice that’s slightly too loud and clearer than the rest of the instruments.
Fortunately for Kroeger and the boys, Nu-metal band KORN released a cover of the same track with trash rapper Yelawolf a month prior that would make even the dumpster cat shudder. This is a bad sign for things yet to come. A metal album from everyone’s least favorite Canadian rock “band” is really the last thing the music industry needs right now. The long and arduous quarantine has proved to be a fertile bed of free-time and inspiration for artists to flourish. Artists like Charli XCX, Laura Marling and 100 gecs released some of their best work in this extended quiet time, but in every bed of roses, there are always some weeds.
Nickelback has long planned to release the 15th anniversary edition of their platinum selling album “All The Right Reasons,” and let’s hope that is all they choose to release for the rest of the year. Otherwise I don’t think my heart can take it.
Written By: Tony Le Calvez