This is how they remind you to not drink and drive.
A Canadian police department is taking proactive steps to keep this holiday season safe by threatening to punish drunk drivers with its Nickelback cassette tape.
The Kensington Police Service in the Prince Edward Island province posted a message on Facebook last weekend encouraging holiday revelers to divvy up driving duties, jot down the number to a cab company or plan to sleep at a friend’s house.
But “for those dumb enough” to drink and drive, the department has a plan.
“[W]hen we catch you, and we will catch you, on top of a hefty fine, a criminal charge and a years driving suspension we will also provide you with a bonus gift of playing the offices copy of Nickelback in the cruiser on the way to jail,” the post reads.
“Now, now, no need to thank us, we figure if you are foolish enough to get behind the wheel after drinking then a little Chad Kroeger and the boys is the perfect gift for you.”
Kensington police said that they did not want ruin their “perfectly good unopened copy” of “Silver Side Up,” the Canadian postgrunge band’s third studio album, which was a juggernaut commercial success in the early 2000s — going platinum many times over.
The police department’s statement went viral swiftly after it was posted on social media Saturday. Online distaste for the band has built up over the years to the point where an otherwise routine post poking fun at a rock group can catch on this quickly. But why do people resent and mock Nickelback so much?
In March, Salli Anttonen, a doctoral student at the University of Eastern Finland, published an academic essay in the Metal Music Studies journal titled, “‘Hypocritical bullshit performed through gritted teeth’: Authenticity discourses in Nickelback’s album reviews in Finnish media.”
She analyzed reviews of Nickelback in Finnish media from 2000 until 2014 to discover what it was about the group specifically that singled them out for hatred. She found that much of the initial criticism had to do with rock critics’ value of subversiveness, authenticity and originality. The group’s perceived inability to fulfill these criteria combined with their extraordinary success made them an easy target for critical barbs.
Anttonen said rock music critics have traditionally been seen as a gatekeeper and guardian of taste. It could be argued, she continued, that rock journalists started to harp on the band’s flaws as a way of legitimizing themselves.
“In my analysis, I got the feeling that some reviews were ‘making an art’ out of mocking Nickelback, trying to find the most clever way to insult the band,” she told Yahoo News.
When asked about the Kensington Police Service threat, she said, “Based on my research, this type of joking around Nickelback doesn’t seem very surprising at all, although I was a bit surprised that it’s still happening. I thought the heyday of the joke had passed a bit already.”
Soon enough, Nickelback hatred took on a life of its own. The general consensus among Nickelback haters is that the band’s music is bland and derivative, a pastiche of the work of beloved hard rock bands, but without the grit or soul that made them enjoyable.
But the group has mustered up some pretty solid comebacks, after British rock duo Royal Blood joined in the Nickelback-bashing. In October, Royal Blood tweeted that Donald Trump plus Hillary Clinton equals Nickelback with an American flag (despite the fact that the group is Canadian).
— Royal Blood (@royalblooduk) October 7, 2016
Nickelback’s response was straight fire.