The nominees for Best Rock Album at this year’s GRAMMYs can easily assure fans that hey hey, my my, rock and roll will never die. With newcomers who have earned their right to share nominations amongst prestigious rock royalty, this year’s nominees represent the wide range of the genre’s spectrum.
Considering they are up for 2 other awards, I’m surprised that Foo Fighter’s “Concrete & Gold” wasn’t nominated in this category and feel they got a bit robbed. (Listen to “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” or “Run” for proof.) There are some other bands I could mention that got overshadowed in this year’s awards ( : coughs : Greta Van Fleet) but I absolutely think some of the most deserving bands are nominated.
Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
I have to start with some of the original fathers of all that is rock, Metallica. Love them or hate them, these guys never fail to absolutely BRING IT and have done so again with their tenth studio album. (Just TRY not to bang your head!) One of their best album in years, their ferocious thrashing proves that just because you get older, your love for the music doesn’t go away. Music lives in your blood and is a part of who you are. James, Kirk, Lars & Robert (and Cliff & Jason) will forever be legends, having created some of the most unforgettable songs in rock & roll history.
With Hardwired … to Self-Destruct, it’s hard to imagine the Grammys NOT awarding Metallica but it’s not my personal choice for Rock Album of the Year.
Queens of the Stone Age – Villans
Where do I even start with Queens of the Stone Age? Their new album is just so good and unique, bringing something new and oh-so-fresh to the rock & roll table. As a result of the pairing with producer Mark Ronson, to say their new music is fun is an understatement. They really played with the meshing of rock and pop, creating an original album with an invigorating sound.
Out of those nominated, Villans is my second choice for the Rock Album of the Year, as it is a rejuvenation of rock & roll in all the right ways.
The War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
When I think of rock & roll, this band is not the first to come to mind. I consider this category more suited for the loud & heavy side of rock but that doesn’t mean that A Deeper Understanding isn’t deserving of an award. This is a dream-like indie rock album that is simply a beautiful collection of music and a sentimental journey from start to finish. I love when you can tell a band’s influences yet they still have an original sound. The likes of Dylan, Springsteen and Young are interwoven throughout but The War on Drugs have created something all their own.
I know a lot of folks are pulling for this album but it’s up against some pretty tough (and LOUD!) competition.
Nothing More – The Stories We Tell Ourselves
Having been a fan of Nothing More for a few years, watching their success continue to rise is an incredible thing to watch. Hoping they could live up to the near-perfection of their 2014 self-titled album, The Stories We Tell Ourselves exceedingly surpassed my expectations. It’s certainly heavier than the previous record but still takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions that anyone can relate to. The power of the lead single, “Go To War” is undeniable but there are so many other songs that should have a light shone on them, like “Tunnels” and “Funny Little Creatures“. The sheer talent of this band is recognizable within the first :11 seconds of the album, creating music that is intensely chaotic yet full of purpose & meaning, all the way until its epic, grand finale.
Every song on this album is special and if you haven’t guessed, this is by far my top choice for Rock Album of the Year. There’s no way that anyone who not only sees their live performance but really listens to the music of Nothing More, won’t become a fan for life. The fact that they are nominated makes me extremely happy but I’ve got my fingers crossed that they get the recognition they 110% deserve.
(Not to mention, they are nominated for 3 Grammys, more than any other Rock artist! Be proud, NoMo!)
Mastodon – Emperor Of Sand
Lastly, we have the lords of Mastodon, who are ever evolving but never forget where they came from. Their seventh studio album, Emperor of Sand, focuses heavily on themes of death and survival but despite the somber tones, it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s the most diverse record from the band and also has a more appeal-to-the-masses approach. Some fans prefer the bands earlier metal albums but there’s no denying those exquisite guitar riffs and spectacular vocals are some of the band’s most dynamic to date.
Ultimately, as good as it is, I can’t see this album beating out it’s competition but the Grammys never cease to surprise me!
Which album gets your vote? Tell us in the comments below!