Thanks to their hit "How You Remind Me," Nickelback
became the poster boys for neo-grunge in 2001, but 2003's The Long Road
suggests they're really just heavy rock hucksters. After all, this album ends with "See You at the Show," a neo-grunge "We're an American Band" that invites their audience to come on along and party down, but like every other song here, it's performed in the band's inimitable style -- loose rhythms, distorted guitars, power harmonies, and Chad Kroeger
's gruff vocals. It's the same sound as Silver Side Up
, but a little bit more professional and polished, which does have the neat trick of sanding down some of Nickelback
's more strident tendencies, leaving behind a sleek album of theatrical angst.