The 2011 Grammy nominations were announced last night, and as ever, there are countless baffling things to sort through. Ray LaMontagne could potentially win an award for Song of the Year for a song no one has ever heard? There is a category called Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Drake isn’t nominated in it for doing both all the time? Some country dude recorded a cover of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)”?
Of special interest to me this year, though, are the nominations for Best Hard Rock Performance, and not because I have any real emotional investment in the genre or anything, but because, oh my god, Hard Rock doesn’t seem to be doing very well right now, as evidenced by the fact that nominees in the category include two first-wave grunge bands, one second-wave grunge band, a 62-year-old and a band featuring a member of fucking Led Zeppelin. This is bad. After the jump, we will listen to the nominated songs to find out just how bad.
Alice in Chains — “A Looking in View”
Aside from the very obvious problem that there is some guy pretending to be Layne Staley, this song also contains the line, “…a rundown broke machine that steals your peace of mind before you know it’s gone,” which doesn’t make any sense because, of course it steals it before you know it’s gone. Not even a rundown broke machine can steal something when it’s already gone.
Ozzy Osbourne — “Let Me Hear You Scream”
Here we get Ozzy going on about needing “blood and sweat and skin and bones” and making really mean faces and stuff. He also actually sings the line “go hard or go home,” which makes me feel like I’m watching an X-Games commercial or something. Bonus points, though, for the part of the video where Ozzy’s head appears on the body of a mechanical spider.
Soundgarden — “Black Rain”
For a certain portion of the population, hearing Chris Cornell’s voice will always feel at least sort of awesome. For everyone else, this is just a crazy long, stupid song with some guy screaming some unintelligible crap at the top of his lungs, hitting notes you didn’t think humans were even capable of hearing. Sadly, we are. Also, did he just say something about a “blonde bitch running from a black guy”?
Stone Temple Pilots — “Read Between the Lines”
Real talk? I kind of like this, maybe. Oh wait, no I don’t. He just said, “You always were my favorite drug, even when we used to take drugs,” but, like, no, I’m pretty sure heroin was his favorite drug.
Them Crooked Vultures — “New Fang”
Well, fuck, will you look at this? I’m officially rooting for Them Crooked Vultures.