A new Friday means a new DLC announcement for Rock Band. A good batch of variety with lots of first-time groups and the return of a band we’ve not seen in the game for quite a while.
Coming next Tuesday/Thursday:
HIM – “Heartkiller” +
HIM – “Ode to Solitude”
HIM – “Wings of a Butterfly”
KSM – “Distracted” +
Marilyn Manson – “The Dope Show”
One Night Only – “Just For Tonight” +
The Police – “Walking On the Moon” +
+ = Lego-compatible
HIM is a Finnish alt-rock group that leans a little bit toward the harder side. They’ve been around since the early 90s, though all these tracks are from their most recent albums. “Heartkiller” isn’t anything overly spectacular, though the drums do sound fun. Almost as fun as saying “killer” in that Scandinavian accent. “Ode to Solitude” fares better, setting up series of tempos that sound like they’ll be varied enough to keep you alert throughout, being a little more energized on the guitar, and with an interesting rhythm with the lyrics. (Did you know that “ode to” sounded so good with “solitude”? Well now you do.) The last track in the HIM pack is “Wings of a Butterfly”, a much slower song, almost hard rock ballady. It’s more digestible than the previous two, sounding like the sort designed from the start to be a radio-friendly single, complete with catchy guitar hook.
“Distracted” is by Disneyfied girl group KSM. Despite this, it’s not a bad song, though when I hear it I can’t help but wish that women rockers could breakout of this “grrl punk” rut they seem caught in. It lacks some of the charm that it seems to promise in the beginning and doesn’t manage to exceed any expectations. That having been said, it stays solid enough throughout, and would feel right at home in LEGO Rock Band.
Marilyn Manson, well you’ve probably already got opinions on that front by now. I’m not the hugest fan myself, but there are a handful of his songs that I like, and “The Dope Show” is one of them. I doubt it’s coincidence that it skirts the edge of his industrial style, sounding more like something Bowie would do. This song is actually more intricate than you might initially expect, switching gears pretty dramatically between the verses and the chorus. I think it’s the most musically interesting offering this week.
“Just For Tonight” is by British indie group One Night Only. It’s a heartfelt song that doesn’t necessarily push any envelopes but does what it does very well. It’s an anthem really, a song mean to be played with banners waving and dramatic montages playing, probably in slow motion. It’d be fantastic at closing out a long session of Rock Banding.
Interestingly, I just heard “Walking on the Moon” the other day while listening to Slacker Radio and playing “guess this song” with myself. I pegged that it was The Police within five seconds, between the bright guitar chord and the reggae beat. As with all Police songs in this style, I’m not always in the mood for them. As such I’m sort of on the fence about getting this one, but I can guarantee on thing: drumming with Stewart Copeland is always a bitch. Better have your overdrive ready.