An University of Finland doctoral student, Salli Anttonen, author of a paper on the deplorable, diet rock Canadian band Nickelback, has attempted to answer the burning question of why exactly the ensemble is considered the worst band in the world.
The thesis, entitled "'Hypocritical Bullshit Performed Through Gritted Teeth': Authenticity Discourses in Nickelback’s Album Reviews in Finnish Media," documents numerous reviews in the Finnish press hoping to discern why the group is globally considered the worst pile of sonic garbage since ... ever?
In an excerpt from the paper, Anttonen concludes:
Nickelback is too much of everything to be enough of something. They follow genre expectations too well, which is seen as empty imitation, but also not well enough, which is read as commercial tactics and as a lack of a stable and sincere identity.
The group is pitted against such genre luminaries as Nirvana, drawing parallels between the sound and admitting that Nickelback owes much to the grunge forebears – which seems like an even-handed attempt at casting a decent light upon the band – but lacks everything that made Kurt, Krist and Dave's artistic accomplishments, well, art.
They are also chided for being perceived as a band for juvenile, art-ignorant girls. One reviewer rather harshly commented, "The teenage girl is the most contemptible fan of all, and the mere suggestion that a band is popular with ‘the girlies’ may suffice to conjure the whiff of artistic failure.” Sorry, young ladies, you may have secured the success of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but lately, like, since 1966, you've been slipping, hard.
The study also concluded that the aspartame quartet from the grating, oh-so-white north is held in such low regard due to their being perceived as hypocrites for singing songs about drinking but never actually visibly consuming alcohol onstage. Which, as long as you're gonna put down the feminine tween market, falls dangerously close to being something that a senior cheerleader would care about. I mean, there are a plethora of better, much more sound reasons to hate the band. Like their sound.
Either way, love them or ... just kidding. We all hate them – it's just so easy – and now we know why. Scientifically, empirically, resolutely.