New reels: ‘She Keeps Me Up’ by Nickleback

Canadian rockers Nickleback display new disco/dance sound on latest single.

It’s hard to think of too many bands who inspire the kind of dedicated and committed level of derision that Nickleback do, and yet you can’t help thinking that they are having the last laugh. After all, here are a band who’ve sold some 50 million records and filled countless stadiums in the US and beyond. None of this matters though to the legion of people who love to hate Chad Kroeger and his chums.

Why do we love to hate Chad Kroeger and co?

Of the main accusations leveled at Canada’s 11th best selling act of all time is that they represent the kind of safe, derivative, endlessly repeatable rock music that seems in some way to be the inevitable consequence of the late capitalist drive to homogenize cultural markets and make them easier to control. That, and the fact they’re a bit pants. Shouldn’t underestimate that second one in fact.

However, it seems that Chad and co. are knowing enough and humble enough to have a bit of fun with their image and make the last record anyone would expect of them. This big thumping slice of disco-pop that mines Maroon 5 and maybe a little Hot Chip comes paired with this not-unenjoyable video which shows the band looking a bit Maroon 5-ish too. Whether this is some kind of intentional style joke, or a more serious move towards different musical territory remains to be seen. Of course, it won’t stop people making fun of them, but at least they seem to be in on the joke this time around.

I think possibly the best thing I can say about this is that it doesn’t sound much like Nickleback, and without wishing to sound unnecessarily cruel this can only be a good thing. At least they managed to surprise us a little, and also show a previously unseen sense of humour about themselves. They ought to be careful, people might start to like them and that would be no fun for anyone.

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