Feb 262010
Rock Band DLC

It’s Friday! (What!) And while I’m uncertain that anything can ever come close to the sheer WTFery of the now-legendary Disturbed/Jimmy Buffet release week, this one makes a valiant effort.

Disturbed – “Meaning of Life
Disturbed – “The Game
Disturbed – “Voices
The Mother Hips – “Third Floor Story
The Mother Hips – “White Falcon Fuzz” +
Silversun Pickups – “Panic Switch
Silversun Pickups – “Sort Of” +
TRUSTcompany – “Downfall” +

+ = LEGO-compatible

I’m not sure how much my opinion on the Disturbed tracks is going to matter (my mother loves them and will probably make me download all the tracks when she next comes to visit) but an opinion I have regardless. Disturbed, of course, not strangers to Rock Band, so probably not strangers to you either. It’s heavy stuff, definitely not tracks to pick when you’re wanting a lift to your day. Still, of the Disturbed tracks we’ve downloaded before, I will say that they’re pretty fun to play, at least on vocals and guitar. The hip-hop influenced flow of the lyrics — pretty much what saddles Disturbed with the “nu” part of their “nu metal” genre — makes them fun to sing, and the guitar is challenging without driving me to frustration.

Obviously I can’t say how these three new DLC are to play just yet, but I will point out that since all three are from The Sickness (a tie-in to that album’s remaster and rerelease in about a month I’m sure) you’re going to have a much harsher sound which is doubtless going to translate to a more difficult play experience. “Meaning of Life” is pretty much anger set to music. David Draiman is a lot more melodic in “The Game” while still throwing out plenty of rough, fast passages lest you forget that he’s still plenty pissed off. And finally there’s “Voices”, which I find structurally very similar to “The Sickness”. So theoretically if you bought Rock Band 2 you already have this song.

The Mother Hips make a return to Rock Band, and are certain to be as polarizing as ever. I’m going to make my stand here and now and say that I love The Mother Hips. If you have not downloaded “Red Tandy” and “Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear” you are doing yourself a huge disservice. It’s sixties rock for a modern time. The music is clean, exciting and real. And fun as hell to play on plastic instruments, I might add. (Seriously, if you never picked up “Red Tandy” you need to do it. Do it right now.) I expect no less from these new tracks. “Third Floor Story” is just a solid rock song – no real hook but there’s nothing here to not love. “White Falcon Fuzz” goes in another direction with a more folky sound that reminds me vaguely of The Eagles but in a good way. This one will take a few run-throughs on vocals to learn where to breathe; I predict much gasping for air at the end of phrases.

You know Silversun Pickups from “Lazy Eye” on Rock Band 2. If you hated listening to that song then you probably aren’t going to care too much for “Panic Switch” either; the root sound is pretty much identical and dripping with the group’s 90s alt-rock influences. It takes a bit to really get going but it’s worth hanging in there. Damn those drums sound crazy fun. “Sort Of” by contrast doesn’t have much going for it in my opinion. It’s certainly different from the ones before it, but it’s also sloppier; the movements between versus feel more like indecision than design. That said, I’ve found many SSPU songs have to grow on me, and it could be that this one will too.

“Downfall” has the distinction of being this week’s “Oh that song!” A bit more nu metal to … round us out, I suppose. I think this one is more accessible than any of the three from Disturbed though, being no less hard but more melodic. You could actually sing along with the chorus to this one and not rip your lungs out. Fun for the whole family!

  • JawaKing

    The main songs that interest me are the Silversun Pickups songs. The only reason I’ve still been hanging on to my copy of GH5 was “Panic Switch.” (That and “Band on the Run” which is EPIC) And now that both are in RB2, I really don’t need it anymore. And Lazy Eye really isn’t the best song from the 1st SSPU album, the later dlc of “Well Thought Out Twinkles,” is so much better. Well, I think so anyway.