For All The
Of A Bullet
October 4, 2005
Sam taught him to shoot
Maybe a little too well
Finger on the trigger, loaded bullet
He hit the stage so full of rage
And let the whole world know it
Six feet away, they heard him say
"Oh God, don't let him pull it"
God, don't let him pull it
How could you put us through it?
His brother watched you do it
could you take his life away? (What made you think you had the right?)
How could you be so full of hate? (To take away somebody's life)
And when I heard you let him die
And made the world all wonder why
I sat at home and on my own I cried alone
I scratched your name
On the side of a bullet
Lyrics from "Side Of A Bullet"
know all about the rep that this band has in the metal circles. Nickelback
is considered to be "pretty boy" metal, often dubbed as a "passing
phase" or wimpy pop radio fodder. Let me tell you, when the band
delivers lines like the one's above, they are a legitimate force of rock
'n' roll bombast. Written for their fallen comrade, ex-Damageplan / Pantera
guitar legend Dimebag Darrell Abbott, "Side Of A Bullet" is
a song that should completely bury a lot of the "prettiness"
attached to the Nickelback name. There is an authentic, pissed off, burning
anger inside of singer Chad Kroeger that comes smashing through on this
tune. I think it's time we start to give this band the respect it deserves.
Don't get me wrong, they get caught in the snafu of writing the radio
hit again on this record, but let's face it; these guys can rock out with
the best of them for a majority of the time.
I was about to write that Nickelback is at their best when they play the
heavy groove, but I had to stop myself. Nickelback is just as good when
they write the radio hits like "Someday" from their last release,
"The Long Road," and "How You Remind Me" from their
breakthrough album, "Silver Side Up." They have perfected the
art of balancing melodic radio rock with fist pumping heavy metal. Nobody
does it better. I think the band shows its small weaknesses when they
start getting simple and adolescent with their lyrics.
that your hand on my girlfriend?
Is that your hand?
I wish you'd do it again
I'll watch you leave here limping
There goes the next contestant
Lyrics from "Next Contestant"
lyrics come across as "tough talk" when the band is powering
them, but they just sound like an episode of "General Hospital"
or some schoolyard banter when they stand alone. They had something similar
to this kind of amateur-ish writing with their hit "Figured You Out."
Talk like "I like your pants around your feet" gets you placed
in the Old School Metal doghouse real fast. You must ask yourself, "Would
Black Sabbath or Metallica, or even newcomers like Disturbed and Godsmack,
ever utter these words?" Uhhhhh, ....no. So, we've figured out why
the old school, "true" metal fan have turned on these guys;
now let's find out why these guys have turned on almost every other fan
of rock 'n' roll out there. It's really very simple - they can write catchy
songs, and they can play.
The disc starts off by rattling off a few heavy, grinding rockers that
really show that this band is capable off dishing out the meat and potatoes
metal. The tight, aggressive grooves make "Follow You Home,"
"Fight For All The Wrong Reasons," and "Animals" three
of the heavier songs in the Nickelback catalog. To hear the Bon Jovi-type
radio single "Photograph" sandwiched between these hammering
tunes, is like feeding the family Chihuahua to a hungry bear; you love
your Chihuahua, but you also like to feed that bear. Now, this is where
the album goes a little south. We get two more of those Bon Jovi-types,
and it just seems to slow down the record a bit. "Savin' Me"
and "Far Away" are both good songs, but I think it's a case
of enough is enough. I love you, I miss you, yadda yadda yadda; we used
to call them "chick tunes" back in the day. Two in a row is
two too many for this band. Now that we have plenty of food for that hungry
bear though, it comes back by way of "Next Contestant" and "Side
Of A Bullet." But the band quickly returns to churning out another
Kidz Bop destined radio tune called "If Everyone Cared." they
go on to give us "Someone That You're With," which is more of
a straight forward rock song that, like almost all of Nickelback's material,
is well written with great structure and hooks. It isn't until the final
track of the record that we get a new look from Nickelback. "Rock
Star" is a song with enough lyrics that just might qualify it as
a novel. They're all creatively pieced together to form a sort of Country
rock rap about the rock star lifestyle, with a hint of Kid Rock-influenced
attitude thrown in on the choruses.
we all just wanna be big rock stars
And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat
And we'll hang out in the coolest bars
With the VIP's and the movie stars
Every good gold digger's gonna wind up there
Every Playboy bunny with her bleach blond hair
And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary of today's who's who
They'll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody's got a drug dealer on speed dial
Hey hey I wanna be a rock star
Lyrics from "Rock Star"
you're a Nickelback fan, and have enjoyed their previous albums, I see
no reason why you wouldn't find this to be to your liking. Nickelback
is a regular hit machine that has found the perfect delicate balance of
hard rock and radio rock. If nothing else, they prove that they are consistent.
They have been popping out their brand of catchy rock songs for quite
some time now, and they show no signs of slowing down here. I'm just hoping
that the next record is full of those hungry bears, 'cause I hate Chihuahuas.