While performance is one thing, the production and clarity of the rock song is how the song really comes alive. Here are the nominees for Best Rock Song:
Greta Van Fleet: “Black Smoke Rising” – While this band got nominated for best rock performance with “Highway Tune,” “Black Smoke Rising” has everything you look for in an electric stomper, while still having a foundation that makes it feel like an acoustic track. Frontman Josh Kiszka really evokes Robert Plant on this one by giving manic screams that will leave your ears raw.
Twenty One Pilots: “Jumpsuit” – One of their heaviest songs to date, it still has Tyler Joseph’s trademark melodic sensibilities behind a pummeling bass riff.
St.Vincent: “Masseduction” – St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, has been one of the more unique alternative artists of the 2010s and this single shows her embracing a synth-heavy sound very reminiscent of the 1980s. But her sense of melody combined with sonic experimentation is just another reminder of why she was able to hold her own next to members of Nirvana at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame jam.
Bring Me The Horizon “Mantra” – While this song may have outraged previous fans of the group with its electronic style, this cut from their latest release amo shows that these guys definitely know their way around a hook.
Ghost: “Rats” – Frontman Tobias Forge has come under fire in recent years for accusations of not paying his band royalties (along with the other satanic themes in his music), but “Rats” was one of the catchiest songs of last year and reminiscent of the glory days of metal from Deep Purple to Def Leppard.
Most Likely to Win:
Ghost or Greta Van Fleet. Greta are the current darlings of rock and roll, but Ghost winning would be further proof that the Recording Academy loves a good throwback.
Who Should Win:
Twenty One Pilots. While Ghost had catchy hooks and Bring Me the Horizon showed a healthy cross between rock and electronica, Twenty One Pilots’ riffs are too irresistible to ignore and has been the one that I haven’t been able to shake all year.
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