Vancouver’s Nickelback has ventured into the States to release The State on indie label Roadrunner Records. After four years of touring in Canada and the northwestern United States, and a top 20 modern rock track up north, the band decided it was time to sign and get their act on the road. So they have brought themselves to America, where the market for their brand of post-grunge, modern-era rock is seeing a boom thanks to bands like Creed and 3 Doors Down. The State is a collection of emotionally charged riffrock and sobering melodies scattered with acoustics and Chad Kroeger’s soothing voice.
The first single, “Leader Of Men”, is the track that grabbed everyone’s attention a while back, and is currently climbing Billboard charts because of its solid song structure and catchy vocals. “Breathe” and “Old Enough” showcase the band’s talent for writing Pearl Jam-esque tunes that sound better than anything we’ve heard from Seattle’s grunge gurus as of late. “Deep” rocks with a heavy groove, which shows the band can be aggressive at times, though they don’t rely on a fierce approach to capture their audience. “Not Leavin’ Yet” is another standout because of its simplicity and sincerity, but doesn’t really sound generic because of their unique dual guitar sound, which is present on almost all of the tracks on the album.
The State is another fine example of what Canada has to offer. The US has basically ignored The Tea Party and The Tragically Hip and cast them off to remain north of the border. Nickelback could have the same fate in store, but this release might just break through if pushed upon the right audience. It’s modern rock, and it’s what people are asking for, so their only problem would be exposure. A little touring never hurt either, and Nickelback has already figured that out. That’s why they have decided to come on down to where the masses can be fed practically anything, especially with a sound as good as this one.
+ rick hinkson