Grading the Top 10 Songs in … ROCK!

1. Shinedown, “I’ll Follow You”

Ugh. No.

Grade: D

Best YouTube Comment: “Was going to dedicate this song to my girlfriend then before I could she broke up with me … ” — storm92jk

2. Black Sabbath, “God Is Dead?”

Black Sabbath go back to their Paranoid roots to remind you that Ozzy can still be a scary Satanist priest when he wants to by putting out a shred-heavy nine-minute single that slays all their imitators.

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “This song just keeps growing on me. Probably because Iommi is still the best god damn guitarist in metal.” — PatrickDuggan

3. Taylor. Grohl. Nielsen. Reeder. “From Can to Can’t”

A supergroup made up of Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Dave Grohl (Probot), Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), and Scott Reeder (Kyuss). No, this doesn’t make any more sense the more you think about it. Rick Nielsen is fucking amazing but even he can’t save this from Corey Taylor’s turgid compressed nu-metal vocals. This comes from the soundtrack to Sound City, Grohl’s fuzzy ode to old-school recording studios, but it sounds totally overprocessed. I’d be way more interested in a live version of this, with rawer vocals from Taylor on the chorus. Dave Grohl, you’re not going to win any arguments about EDM by putting out dreck like this. Actually, can Skrillex remix it?

Grade: B-

Best YouTube Comment: “‘Our houses are haunted, dark and deserted. They’re made of my secrets and shame.’ That’s some dark and heavy shit right there.” — SurfingBullDog

4. Alice in Chains, “Stone”

The reformulated Alice in Chains have a new album called The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. Singer William DuVall channels the band’s deceased former vocalist, Layne Staley. It’s eerie. DuVall is a 45-year-old veteran of the Atlanta hardcore scene who has bounced around between punk and metal bands. The Claymation circus horror video for “I Stay Away” gave me nightmares forever. Friends don’t let friends get Friends haircuts.

Grade: B

Best YouTube Comment: “GRUNGE is back.” — IPlayInMyCar

5. Pop Evil, “Trenches”

All you really need to know about Pop Evil is that one of the guys in it is named Chachi Riot (but his real name is Josh). And that they’ve toured with Whitesnake, Papa Roach, Drowning Pool, 3 Doors Down, and Judas Priest. Kanye is here to save rap rock from … this.

Grade: C+

Best YouTube Comment: “your fucked up in my home or backyard..I crank this ..you pussies will all rock to it. no matter how hard you think you are. Minor Threat, CroMags, Iron Maiden, Testament, SLAYER … FUCkING Slayer. Megadeath, ,Wasted Youth … just to name a few I rocked with … .this song jams..fuck your comments and rock.” — RobThemarine

6. Soundgarden, “By Crooked Steps”

OK, chalk up a point for Dave Grohl, who directed this video. It’s hilarious, even if it makes Soundgarden seem like Kiss. Chris Cornell is one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time. OF. ALL. TIME. This trampling psychedelic jam is ideal headphone listening material.

Grade: A

Best YouTube Comment: “This is honest-to-God the best music video I’ve seen from anyone. Ever.” — HannahChristineNicholson

7. Volbeat, “Heaven Nor Hell”

Volbeat are Danish, and they play metal-schlager fusion. What is schlager, you might ask? Why, it’s the syrupy sentimental ballad style popular in the Balkans and Northern and Central Europe that always dominates at Eurovision. And guess who just won Eurovision? Denmark!

Grade: F

Best YouTube Comment: “This song makes me feel like kid in a puddle happy as Fuck!! I don’t know why :D” — oscarruizoz666

8. Slash, “Anastasia”

SLASH RULES. Singer Myles Kennedy is a Robert Plant sound-alike who’s honestly not half-bad and counts Jeff Buckley and k.d. lang among his other influences. No offense to Kennedy, but if this song were an instrumental it would be perfect.

Grade: B

Best YouTube Comment: “SLASH IS THE NUMBER ONE IDOL FOREVER MY MAN I RESPECT.” — Kittapongphakeechay

9. Young Guns, “Bones”

Alt-metal from England. Since the U.K. is saturated with tweeness from the likes of Coldplay and Mumford & Sons, there’s probably a market hungry for this kind of JUG JUG JUG pounding rock. It’s already crossed the pond to be a theme song for WrestleMania XXIX. Good chorus. Can Skrillex remix this, too? I ate the bones.

Grade: B-

Best YouTube Comment: “CM Punk vs Undertaker! WM29″ — WWWIsBest13

10. Three Days Grace, “The High Road”

Canadians do it better. This sounds like a theme song for Wolverine? Lead singer Adam Gontier left the band earlier this year due to a health issue. Although maybe it’s lead singer’s disease.

Grade: C-

Best YouTube Comment:SLENDERMAN BRO” — MayoNeza

Filed Under: Dave Grohl, Grading the Charts

Photo on 2014-01-10 at 12.58 #3

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert