The Top 10 Songs … IN ACTIVE ROCK!

1. Seether, “No Resolution”

Seether are a “post-grunge” band from South Africa. “Post-grunge” just seems to mean the type of radio-friendly grunge that was everywhere in the ’90s. Seether supposedly named themselves after the Veruca Salt song “Seether,” which is both baffling and illuminating.
Grade: B
Best YouTube Comment: “This song makes me want to drive…Don’t ask why…Speeding btw…” — HemiRam98

2. Shinedown, “Bully”

Certain power chords always sound majestic, even under a mountain of rock crunch compression. Shinedown formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2002 and lead singer Brent Smith has Criss Angel hair and alt-porn star facial expressions. Why do anti-bullying songs always sound like a meathead screaming at you in the locker room about how he’s going to beat you up in the parking lot after school?
Grade: A-
Best YouTube Comment: “only creatures that can adapt in this cruel world we live in, will survive” — metalscrapper12

3. Redlight King, “Bullet in My Hand”

Neil Young let Redlight King sample “Old Man” for a song, the first time he ever officially sanctioned a sample of his work. I wonder how Neil would feel about this military propaganda-invoking video and the goofy aggro-rock that goes with it. I’m a lot like you were (Canadian).
Grade: C
Best YouTube Comment: “this band sucks! Mtv sucks! you are brain washed into thinking for some reason this song is any good! There is no meaning to this song. It sucks accept it and move along!” — Sins55

4. Halestorm, “Love Bites (So Do I)”

“That bitch can eat her heart out!” Lita Ford hard rock metal realness from lead singer Lzzy Hale.
Grade: A-
Best YouTube Comment: “The fact that she’s hot is just a bonus, because this song kicks ass anyways.” — YoCrunchiness

5. Theory of a Deadman, “Hurricane”

Theory of a Deadman have a hit called “Bad Girlfriend” and a follow-up song called “Bitch Came Back.” All of their songs have the familiar sound of alternative rock “jug jug jug jug jug” guitar; this one is elevated with some strings.
Grade: B+
Best YouTube Comment: “oh gee a theory of a deadman song about the lead singer having a falling out with his girlfriend that’s a new one” — PhallusPhoenix

6. Foxy Shazam, “I Like It”

“The band name originated from a slang phrase used by students at vocalist Eric Sean Nally’s high school. ‘Foxy shazams’ meant ‘cool shoes’ e.g. ‘Those are some foxy shazams!’ In a Rockline radio interview in 2012, Eric stated that this was not the case, saying that the truth is not as interesting. He had been lying about it for 5 years and it just stuck.” Funny how things stick when you’ve been lying about them for a few years. Seventies cock rock can be so good, but things that imitate it are often the worst. This song is just horrendous, and I’m not even sure how it exists. They might be a joke band? I hope so for their sake? The lead singer is the love child of Russell Brand and Sonny Bono, with fake freckles dotted on his face. There is a trumpet toss, casual racism, and a general air of embarrassment. Consider my love of campiness temporarily destroyed.
Grade: F
Best YouTube Comment: “the kid was raised by wolves and was fed nothing more but energy drinks” — SwallowMyScream

7. Chevelle, “Hats Off to the Bull”

In a category full of bands that formed in the early ’00s after the TRL vogue for hard rock and nu-metal had already peaked, Chevelle are old hands with a fair amount of street cred. Their first album was produced by Steve Albini (!) and Albini co-starred with the then-unknown Fred Armisen in a Chevelle electronic press kit. They formed in ’95 and were once on a Christian rock label. Their primary influences are “Helmet, Tool, and The Cure.” For some reason this reminds me of the time in my life when I listened to a lot of Stabbing Westward.
Grade: A
Best YouTube Comment: “Am I the only person that blares this song as they buy and sell stocks?” — TimWarrior

8. Soundgarden, “Live to Rise”

Chris Cornell is one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time. This song, from the soundtrack for The Avengers, is a little sluggish and faint for a superhero anthem.
Grade: C+
Best YouTube Comment: “You know planet earth is going to be okay when Soundgarden is BACK!!” — usamitch

9. Nickelback, “This Means War”

Chad Kroeger got a haircut! He got the rockabilly flattop that a lot of K-Pop singers have and Adam Levine had during the first half of this season of The Voice. This is Nickelback on their late-era Metallica grind, proving they can get heavy. The shredding is on point, but Kroeger’s trademark scraggle-voice grates.
Grade: C
Best YouTube Comment: “yeah it really pumps you up, it’s heavy, raw, and fast just freaking awesome!!!” — G3ntlemaniac

10. Five Finger Death Punch, “Remember Everything”

I know there’s a ballad in there, but all I hear is “RARR RARR RARR” like a dinosaur is trying to tell me something.
Grade: D
Best YouTube Comment: “I am from a music man and it runs in my blood and into my children…metal IS RAW EMOTION…It is the anger that no one wants to hear but it is so real that when you do hear it no one wants to understand or even try to…Life Is a Beautiful fucking tragedy!!” — rucrazy4lisalove

Filed Under: Grading the Charts

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert