Music Lists

2000's Rock Bands That Sounded Like Nickelback (but Better)

Whatever happened to all those rock bands that kinda sounded like Nickelback but weren't Nickelback?

Remember when rock and roll ruled the airwaves?

I'm not talking about The Rolling Stones or Motley Crue. I'm talking about that clean-cut modern rock from the beginning of the 2000s, when every rock band that popped up appeared to be just carbon copies of Nickelback. Rock had been heading in a more commercial direction for a long time, but 2005's All the Right Reasons was a special kind of basic and propelled the genre into a bottomless pit it never really crawled out from.

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Why Is No One Talking About Nickelback's Lyrics?

It seems Chad Kroeger and President Trump have a lot in common.

Nickelback, now experiencing an all time career low, got an unexpected boost in popularity this week thanks to Trump inaccurately using the band's "Photograph" meme, which samples the sextet's 2005 hit of the same name.

The band's label, Warner Music Group, stepped in and hit the president with a quick copyright infringement claim, but the band themselves didn't seem to realize the underlying joke behind it all: that they are similar to Trump in that they gained international fame despite being detested by almost everybody. "People in the meme-generating depths of the Web did not make Nickelback memes because they liked Nickelback. They made Nickelback memes because they did not like Nickelback, and because Nickelback was everywhere anyway," wrote The Washington Post. "Nickelback didn't exactly become famous for being famous. It became famous for being famous despite being horrible. That makes Trump the Nickelback president."

Politics aside, Trump's antics inspired Popdust to take a deep dive back into Nickelback's long and distasteful discography. It turns out, the band and our president have more in common than initially reported, such as a misogynistic view of women. Let's take a look back at some of the band's most distasteful lyrics, and revisit the question that plagues us all: Why was Nickelback ever a thing?

Figured You Out

"I like your pants around your feet
And I like the dirt that's on your knees
And I like the way you still say please
While you're looking up at me"

Right out the gate we have "Figured You Out," off of 2003's The Long Road. The song describes multiple sexual encounters with a woman that "wasn't that hard to figure out." "Sometimes you get into a little fling and you think you know the person," said Chad Kroeger of the song's meaning, "and the next thing you know, you're dating a cokehead who's interwoven into some underground drug world with Hell's Angels and movie stars and models." Regardless of that awkward statement, the single's cover art, which depicts visibly nervous cheerleaders sitting in a row in a locker room, paints an incredibly predatory picture. Chade Kroeger was 29 at the time.

Metal Injection

Back in 2017, Nickelback's irrelevant frontman Chad Kroeger decided to try to inject some life into the bloated corpse that is his career.

"How good can your music be if you've gotta beat each other up on stage, throw up in your mask every night?" Kroeger said of Slipknot, Nickelback's equally irrelevant "rival." Frontman Corey Taylor was quick to respond to the childish allegations and accurately described Kroeger as having "a face like a foot," adding that Nickelback is to rock "what KFC is to chicken."

Yesterday, Taylor stopped by Steve Jones radio show to clarify his statement. "Nickelback is the scapegoat of rock and roll," Taylor said. "However, they are passing the baton to Imagine Dragons right now, and I love it."


"They're awful, so that's cool. And they're from Vegas, so I'm gonna go home to protest...people are slowly coming back to appreciate Nickelback and then just turning their irksome ire towards Imagine Dragons."

Again, while every band aforementioned has struggled for relevance since the early 2000s, we can't deny the truth behind Taylor's statements. Nickelback is equivalent to a chewy, stale breaded chicken thigh, and "Thunder" is probably the worst song to emerge in recent memory. I mean, it took a quartet to churn out a song that could have been made by a teenage boy on his iPad mini. Just use this awkward Jimmy Fallon performance as an example of how seriously these guys take themselves.

For your information, they say "thunder" over 70 times.

While the members of Imagine Dragons haven't responded to Taylor's criticisms, we really hope they do, but they're Mormons so they probably won't. Check out the full interview above, or you could go drink some water instead; the latter will probably have a better payoff.

Mackenzie Cummings-Grady is a creative writer who resides in the Brooklyn area, Mackenzie's work has previously appeared in The Boston Globe, Billboard, and Metropolis Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @mjcummingsgrady.

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The days of Avril Lavigne's superstardom almost feel like a fever dream.

We all remember where we were when we heard "Sk8ter Boi" for the first time, how much we treasured and related to the mindless exultation of "Complicated," and our legitimate dismay at her divorce from Chad Kroeger after only two years of marriage.

Yet, like a fever dream, Lavigne disappeared, leaving us cold, clammy, and left to wonder what became of her. Five years later, Lavigne seemingly returned. Over the last year, the singer has announced a new album, released two singles, and attempted to silence those who thought she was a clone. But are we sure it's Lavigne who's doing the talking?

Let me back up: according to a Brazilian blog titled Avril Esta Mora (Avril is Dead), the real Lavigne committed suicide back in 2003 after the death of her grandfather. Her label at the time, Arista Records, apparently knew that they were dead in the water after losing their top selling artist, unless…


The singer was replaced by Melissa Vandella, an Avril Lavigne look-alike that can do everything the original could do. But America can't be fooled so easily: "Those who support the [conspiracy] on Twitter back their claim with inconsistencies over the years in the appearance of the star's skin, jawline, eye corners and fashion style as well as handwriting," wrote the BBC. Another supposed give away was a promotional Vandella did in 2017 for Slim Secret Snacks. Fans were quick to see through this facade. "Avril Lavigne would never promote a Slim Secret bar," one Twitter user wrote. "The jig is up Melissa."

Fast forward to 2018: the internet rumors have cooled down, and Vandella feels it's the right time to return to the spotlight as Avril Lavigne. She released her first single in five years titled "Head Above Water," claiming that her disappearance/hiatus was due to a crippling case of Lymes disease. "I was able to write songs from my bed, and 'Head Above Water' is a song that I wrote a night that I felt like I was actually dying and had kind of accepted it," Lavigne – I mean Vandella – told Billboard Magazine. The single, which is melodramatic and awful, is currently the singer's highest-charting song since "Complicated." She followed it up with another perfunctory single titled "Tell Me It's Over," which is exactly what the world has been begging of Vandella for years now.

"Yeah, some people think that I'm not the real me which is so weird!" Vandella (posing as Lavigne) told the Australian radio station KIIS 106.5. In another interview with Entertainment Weekly, Vandella stood by her claim, calling the conspiracy "just a dumb internet rumor." She added, "It's so dumb, and I look the exact same. On one hand, everyone is like, 'Oh my god, you look the same,' and on the other hand people are like, 'Oh my god, she died.'" Please note that Vandella did not directly deny that she was a clone at any point in either interview.

And finally, Vandella announced yesterday that she would release another single with Nicki Minaj, continuing to pose as late singer Avril Lavigne. The track, titled "Dumb Blonde," dropped today, and it's the last single to be released ahead of Vandella's next album Head Above Water, which drops Friday. "I am a f*cking cherry bomb, I ain't no stupid Barbie doll," Vandella sings, "watch me prove you wrong." It seems the clone is trying to tell us she's not a clone, but who are you gonna believe? A clone, or the Internet?

Dumb Blonde (feat. Nicki Minaj)

Mackenzie Cummings-Grady is a creative writer who resides in the Brooklyn area, Mackenzie's work has previously appeared in The Boston Globe, Billboard, and Metropolis Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @mjcummingsgrady.

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R.I.P Moviepass pt. II: an Update

It's a Slow, Painful Passing

A couple weeks back I wrote an article excoriating the Moviepass company, for having run their business into the ground--for having such a great product, and managing it with such poor execution.

Here's that article. Two weeks later, the question is: if Moviepass was bankrupt in July, why are they still around in August? It turns out, Moviepass is dying like any good movie character: slowly, painfully, with plenty of room for last words. For anyone who's stuck with their subscription and is wondering what in the world is going on, here, below, are some of the highlights--from the bad to the so bad it's funny...

[WARNING: Videos containing movie spoilers below--click at your own peril!]

GOOD: Going bankrupt will make even the most ardent businessmen reconsider their strategies, and Moviepass has tried to come up with some novel ideas about how to stay afloat. For instance, they've proposed charging theaters and studios to market specific movies to their subscribers. In my last article, I referenced a statistic that suggested Moviepass accounted for 3% of domestic ticket sales on average, but 10% for movies they marketed through the app. That data was published by Moviepass, internally. Evidence now suggests they may have been loose with the numbers. With no good data out there, it's hard to say.

BAD: The company keeps setting records for how much money they can lose in how short a period of time. In my last piece I described their stock dropping by orders of magnitude. Now, Moviepass' parent company--Helios and Matheson Analytics--is trading at less than a nickel per share. You really couldn't sell this company for a ham sandwich right now. At least ham has some value.

WORST: Every day the Moviepass app is changing its own rules. On any given time of any given day, you might find zero screenings available in your area, all screenings available in your area, or only two movies but all of their available screenings in your area. Most days, the service is up and running in the morning, then back down by late afternoon time. From a skeptic's point of view, it seems Moviepass would like to create the illusion that they're still alive and kicking, but only during those times of day when people don't actually want to see movies. When it comes to the evening and weekends, the app always seems to be conspicuously, conveniently down...

The creepiest days come when the only movie you can see with a Moviepass card is Slender Man. Search any theater in your area, and each one will only show Slender Man showings. It's already happened more than once. Perhaps this is some kind of message?

UGLIEST: There's desperate, and then there's purposely un-canceling user accounts. If you tried canceling your subscription this month, you may have gotten an email like this: "Please note: if you had previously requested cancellation prior to opting-in, your opt-in to the new plan will take priority and your account will not be cancelled." The best part: if you didn't accept the terms of this new, zombie subscription: too bad! Many users opened their apps to find a message titled "Updates to your Moviepass plan" with only an "I Accept" prompt at the bottom of the screen, no "I reject" or "F*** you!" options.

If you canceled your Moviepass subscription this month, it may be worth your time to call the company and square away the details of the breakup. Chances are, if you get charged again for next month, the company won't have any money for reimbursements.

FUNNIEST: Moviepass, graciously, has given us, the people, one final gift. Have you seen their Twitter lately? @MoviePass has been, arguably, one of the best Twitter accounts all month. Every day, they post some bland marketing material, and every day, hundreds of followers come out of the woodwork to just ceaselessly slam the company for their poor service, turning every otherwise innocuous post into a cesspit of angry complaints, insults and venting. There's even a poor person (or group of poor people) whose job it has been to reply to all of these comments.

If you've become fed up with Moviepass lately, or just enjoy trolling on the internet, I recommend spending 15 minutes on this timeline. Unlike their app, their social media never fails to disappoint, day after day.

Nate Nelson is an NYC-based writer and podcast host.

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