Jul 232010
Rock Band DLC

Coming at you a bit late today due to other writing work and Harmonix spending most of my morning playing “Guess the group in Rock Band 3!” over on Twitter. And there’s some stuff of massive awesome. Look for a post updating the RB3 setlist tomorrow when they announce the new batch of on-disc songs.

But first there’s today’s announcement. Something old and something new coming to the game next week. For the first time Rock Band will have Spanish language music with a six-pack from Colombian artist Juanes. And for those who would bitch if all we got next week was Spanish language music, there’s a three-pack from hard rockers Avenged Sevenfold.

Avenged Sevenfold – “Nightmare
Avenged Sevenfold – “Scream
Avenged Sevenfold – “Seize the Day
Juanes – “A Dios le Pido
Juanes – “Fíjate Bien
Juanes – “Gotas de Agua Dulce
Juanes – “La Camisa Negra
Juanes – “Mala Gente
Juanes – “Yerbatero

No tracks marked for LEGO compatibility

“Nightmare” is from Avenged Sevenfold‘s upcoming album (releases the same day as the DLC); this is its first single. What mostly stands out to me at first is how much M. Shadows sounds like James Hetfield at times, which I’m not sure has struck me before. Overall though, while being decent enough, I can’t say that I hear much more in it that we don’t already have in their songs offered for DLC. It doesn’t sound terribly unlike “Afterlife”, with the driving verses and melodic chorus. I do like the video a lot though, and think it works well as a tribute to The Rev, their late drummer.

“Scream” never quite clicked with me. Listening to it with an ear to Rock Band I still can’t say I hear much in it that I’d personally want to pick up. The group usually manages to balance the angry with the music, but this one leans a bit too out of balance for my tastes.

And finally for A7x we have the ballad “Seize the Day”. By virtue of its nature, it’s much different from the other songs by this band that have been in Rock Band previously, and so stands out more to me. I really like the wordplay here, and the chorus has an interesting little hook to it as well. I’m not sure if I’d actually make the leap to put it in my RB setlist, but I’m glad that it goes in a different direction; variety and all that.

Moving now to Juanes. I’ve not heard anything by him before, but a long history with way more J-Pop than I’m comfortable admitting at least means I’m quite comfortable listening to and enjoying a song where I have no idea what the eff is being said.

First up is “A Dios le Pido”. Perhaps not surprising, it’s got a nice rhythm to it and I quite like the guitar. It sounds just about what you’d expect to hear were someone to tell you they were about to play some latin pop – whether that’s good or bad is a personal call. I wouldn’t immediately commit my $2, but it’s not out of the question either.

On to “Fíjate Bien”. I didn’t care for this one anywhere near as much as the previous. It could very well by the language barrier there, but the lyrics sounded mostly like the same thing, and the flow of them didn’t appeal too much. It also seemed to be lacking in some depth of other instruments. The only thing for me to latch onto was vocals, and as previously stated, they didn’t appeal much. This is a definite pass for me.

Of the three so far, I’d probably put “Gotas de Agua Dulce” in the middle. It wasn’t as immediately catchy as the first but it did have a much fuller sound. I like the path the singer’s voice takes as he moves through this song. It’s all very smooth, like a perfectly chilled drink on a warm day.

Unfortunately “La Camisa Negra” didn’t click either. Probably the best thing going for it was my complete lack of understanding what he was saying. There wasn’t anything wrong with it per se, but it was altogether average as a song, whatever its language. (Also, wtf with that video? Did he just send his flygirls to accompany his blind agent of guitar to fuck with time and collect souls?)

“Mala Gente”. Okay first he is Antonio Banderasing the hell out of this video. Alright, so this one was much more interesting to me. More of the smooth latin beat than the quicker pace we started with, but it’s a busy song – the lyrics go lots of places, and there’s a surprise guitar mini-solo at the end there for bonus points.

And finally there’s “Yerbatero” and … I’m not sure about this one. The vocals are fast and busy, which is always a plus, and the guitar hook isn’t a bad one. I’m just not sure how much I actually liked. I think I’d need to listen to this one a few times before I made a decision one way or the other.

Overall, nothing here that’s an immediate must-buy. I might put a couple of the Juanes songs on my rainy day list, but mostly I’m more inclined to put my points toward RBN. And Death Spank. I really want that game.

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