10 Dad Rock Songs for a New Generation


Image of the rock band Nickelback with a blue background.

Nickelback has one of the best dad rock songs – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Richard Beland

Here are 10 of the best dad rock songs for a new generation, from Seether to Shinedown to Nickelback

Call it dad rock, dude rock or something else, but whichever way it’s coined, the term “dad rock” often refers to hard-hitting rock jams from yesteryear. Dad rock used to be comprised of bands such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Doors. But, now the term has shifted to the radio rock and post-grunge of the early-2000s. When did these dad rock songs officially become retired to “dad rock” status? There isn’t a hard date, but if you scour TikTok, you’ll see them listed among many of the viral dad rock videos.

These are songs that Gen Z have likely heard blasting out of their dad’s (or mom’s) stereos. Bands such as Nickelback, 3 Doors Down and Staind come to mind. Many of these are also post-grunge bands that are still around, 20 years later. But, don’t worry. These aren’t granddad songs yet.

So, let’s pretend it’s the mid-2000s and crank up these dad rock songs that still rule. Reach out to us with your favorite dad rock jams here.

Dad Rock Songs for a New Generation

10. Breaking Benjamin, “The Diary of Jane”

Breaking Benjamin are on the dramatic side of the dad rock bands, with raging rock anthems about heartbreak and the world being “So Cold.” The band’s big breakout hit, “The Diary of Jane,” topped the charts in 2006, and we’re guessing some kiddos remember their dads rocking that one upon its release.

9. Puddle of Mudd, “Control”

Wes Scantlin’s Kurt Cobain-sounding vocals were a familiar sound to fans of the grunge genre. That said, Scantlin and Puddle of Mudd are the quintessential post-grunge band. Their 2000 release, “Come Clean,” is choc-full of dad rock, with “Control” being the hardest hitting. It’s a “banger,” as they say.

8. Three Days Grace, “I Hate Everything About You”

Three Days Grace are on the heavier side of dad rock. Their songs are blasting, angsty and furious, with lyrics that are often rebellious against parents. How iconic that the songs that call out mom and dad are now dad rock, right? “I Hate Everything About Out” ruled the airwaves in 2003, and it’s most certainly dad rock.

7. Hinder, “Lips of an Angel”

Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel” was the “November Rain” of it’s era. It’s a touching, poetic rock ballad featuring emotional vocals and beautiful instrumental backings. It might sound like a love song, but lead singer Austin John Winkler is actually singing about going out on his current girlfriend with an ex. Not very nice, but it’s a great-sounding dad rock song.

6. Theory of a Deadman, “Say Goodbye”

Theory of a Deadman are a lot like fellow dad rockers Nickelback. In fact, Nickelback vocalist Chad Kroger is even responsible for jump-starting their career. To this day, Theory make fantastic post-grunge songs that are catchy and always top the charts. Of their early singles, 2005’s “Say Goodbye” stands out, with 2008’s “Bad Girlfriend” as a close second. Dad surely used to jam to that back in the day.

5. Chevelle, “The Red”

Chevelle were one of the first bands to become popular in the post-grunge landscape with their dramatic, epic jams. “The Red” started it all. The song was the first single released off their major label debut, 2002’s “Wonder What’s Next.” It’s dad rock at its finest.

4. Stone Sour, “Bother”

Stone Sour were the melodic alternative to Corey Taylor’s other band, the metal-leaning Slipknot. They were more mainstream than Slipknot, but still had that hard edge, making them ideal dad rock players. “Bother” arrived in 2002 and featured Taylor telling all, singing emotive rock vocals over sparse guitars.

3. Seether, “Remedy”

Post-grunge behemoths Seether released their major-label debut in 2002, “Disclaimer.” Songs off the set such as “Gasoline,” “Fine Again” and “Driven Under” quickly shot up the modern rock radio charts. Then, “Remedy” came on their next album, 2005’s “Karma and Effect.” It offered a banger of a rock track, with sharp guitar riffing and Shaun Morgan’s aggressive vocal style.

2. Shinedown, “45”

Brent Smith and the guys of Shinedown were in the same graduating class, so to speak, as Seether and many of the others on the list. Shinedown’s major-label debut arrived just months after Seether’s with 2003’s “Leave a Whisper.” The album was a smash out the gate, and debut single “Fly from the Inside” really caught fire. Then, things really got big for Shinedown when another track off that record, “45,” hit the airwaves. Moreover, with Smith’s thick, powerful vocals and that catchy, hooky rock chorus, “45” is the perfect dad rock jam.

1. Nickelback, “How You Remind Me”

Sure, people like to poke fun at Nickelback, but they’re one of the biggest rock bands in the world. What’s more, the band really knows how to write a great song that will catch on with the masses. They have numerous No. 1 rock hits, and their melodic, hard rock flavor has total dad rock vibes. Arriving in 2001, “How You Remind Me” was Nickelback’s first major hit and set the stage of the post-grunge of that decade. Hence, we’re making it our No. 1 on our list of the best dad rock songs for a new generation.

Find Audio Ink Radio’s list of 10 post-grunge songs that should have been huge here.

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Features, Grunge, Music, Rock