U.S. politicians debate the relative popularity of Nickelback

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      It's not often that Nickelback gets brought up in the U.S. House of Representatives. In fact, until yesterday, the number of times this has happened was probably zero.

      It seems, however, that—despite the best efforts of Slipknot's Corey Taylor to establish Imagine Dragons as rock 'n' roll's official punching bag—Nickelback's name is still shorthand for "something that sucks". (We here at the Straight have long argued that this is grossly unfair; our own Mike Usinger once quite accurately described the band's breakthrough single, "How You Remind Me", as "one of the greatest songs to ever come out of these rain-soaked parts".)

      On Thursday, Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), noted that, of 77,000 people polled about new voters'-rights provision, only four said they were in favour of it. Pocan said that was “probably about the percent of people who think Nickelback is their favourite band in this country. It’s pretty low.”

      Representative Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) defended Nickelback. “Why would you criticize one of the greatest bands of the 1990s?” he asked. Davis has a shaky handle on rock history—Nickelback didn't really experience much mainstream success until the early 2000s—but he did go on to say that he included a Nickelback song on his running playlist, so he evidently is an actual fan of the Vancouver-based act.

      Trying to calculate percentages is a fool's game, but suffice to say that Nickelback is plenty popular in the United States. The band reached its commercial zenith in 2005, back when people were actually still buying CDs, with that year's All the Right Seasons moving some 7,910,000 units in the U.S. alone. Nickelback's most recent album, 2017's Feed the Machine, peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200, which suggests the boys from Hanna, Alberta, still have plenty of fans south of the border.

      Suck on that, Rep. Pocan!