Roundtable Talk: “Feed the Machine”

“Why must the blind always lead the blind?
Why do I feel like the fault is mine?
Why must the weakest be sacrificed?
No more questions, get back in line!”

Artist: Nickelback
Song:
“Feed the Machine”
Album:
Feed the Machine
Year:
2017

Song Meaning

Stop giving power to what oppresses you.

Well, Well, Well. Look Who Found Their Edge

Where did this come from? It’s like the Nickelback from 2001 stormed out of a time machine, kidnapped the 2017 Chad Kroeger and gave him hair extensions with a perm.

People harbor a profound hatred for Nickelback. The disdain is so collective, it has become its own meme without reason. But the Canadian rockers also have a huge following (18.5 million Facebook fans!). It’s bizarre. Why do people hate this band? I’m not saying the argument is invalid, but I have never heard anyone give specific examples of why they want this Nickelback wiped off the face of the Earth.

As a depends-on-the-song Nickelback fan and foe, I can only give my perspective: They mix messages and that makes me feel dirty for liking the good stuff. For example: “If Everyone Cared” longs for world peace in the purest of forms. Despite the track’s improbability, its heart is in the right place. Two tracks later on the same album, you hit the butt-rock anthem of “Rockstar.” I pick up what the song is laying down, but tongue-in-cheek does not translate well in this genre, especially when your fans are usually the type who don’t look past the lyrics. And the worst part is that it’s catchy.

Nickelback’s archive hovers between competent rock anthems and drivel for the masses. Stick with the “Never Agains” and skip the “Something in Your Mouths.” The lapses of insight are bewildering. Do Nickelback fans know the difference? How should I know?

Here’s a solution to butt rock everywhere: Instead of getting super niche or raunchy, write something we can all latch on to. We know you can do it, just don’t ruin your pedigree with extra cheese, drug, sex or alcohol references on other songs. Perhaps you will remember it by the three Ms: Make Music Meaningful.

Make me feel something.

“Feed the Machine” is the solution to every hated band’s woes: It’s good. This is what a solid rock anthem sounds like. I’d pay five dollars to see this live, but they charge like 20 times more than that and throw in a bunch of other songs I don’t like.

Random Notes

  • A reality show host is president, news is fake and Nickelback is good again. What a world.
  • Remember the greatness.
  • Ten years ago, I never thought I would like a new Nickelback song more than a new Linkin Park and Maroon 5 single. But here we are.
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