This year’s race in the Rock field is rather weak. Ironically speaking, despite rock/alternative is the kind of music I’m into, I’ve never been good at predicting nominees for this field: Primarily because the Academy rarely considers non-mainstream rock bands here. On the other hand, it’s also been a very “weak” year for rock music so who knows what the voters have in mind.
Best Rock Performance: This year’s top rock tune and the strongest choice is without a doubt Imagine Dragons (“Radioactive”). If there’s another shoe-in here most be Vampire Weekend (“Diane Young”). The other possible contenders here are Kings of Leon (“Supersoaker”); Phoenix (“Entertainment”); and Paul McCartney with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic (“Cut Me Some Slack”). Other songs with some chances are: David Bowie (“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”); Queens of the Stone Age (“My God is the Sun”); Fall Out Boy (“The Phoenix”); Paramore (“Still Into You”); The Civil Wars (“I Had Me A Girl”); Stone Temple Pilots (“Out of Time”); Pearl Jam (“Mind Your Manners”); Nine Inch Nails (“Come Back Haunted”); Tame Impala (“Elephant”). Consider the same songs for Best Rock Song, which indeed could have the same nominees considering the lack of potential entrants. Just for the record a perfect addition to the Best Rock Performance/Song could have been The Black Keys (“Little Black Submarines”) but it runs ineligible since El Camino won Rock Album last year.
Best Metal Performance: So now that the Academy decided to cut off hard rock recordings from this category we won’t see any new or underground “hard rock” bands here and this category will be reserved for metal veterans only. Contenders include: Black Sabbath (“God is Dead?”), Alice in Chains (“Hollow”), Soundgarden (“By Crooked Steps”), Megadeth (“Super Collider”), Queensryche (“Fall Out”).
Best Rock Album: There are no strong competitors here as I said it’s been a weak year. The only lock here is Kings of Leon (Mechanical Bull). The other three certain bets come from veterans Black Sabbath (13), David Bowie (The Next Day) and Queens of the Stone Age (…Like Clockwork). Other albums to look at: Fall Out Boy (Save Rock N Roll); Paramore (Paramore); Eric Clapton (Old Sock) and Green Day (¡Dos! OR Tré).