Aug 132010
Rock Band DLC

We return to form with six DLC tracks this time over the three from last week. When it comes to me being into the bands featured though, we’re about equal. Possibly slipped a bit in fact as I don’t think I’ve heard of either Neon Trees or The Black Keys before.

But part of what I love so much about the game is how it introduces me to new music. Can’t get much more “new” than “never heard of”, so on to the listens!

The Black Keys – “Strange Times
The Black Keys – “I Got Mine
The Black Keys – “Your Touch
Neon Trees – “Animal
Neon Trees – “Sins of My Youth
Neon Trees – “1983

No tracks marked for LEGO compatibility.

Wikipedia tells me that The Black Keys are “an American blues-rock music duo”. I find this interesting. Let’s check out “Strange Times”. Hmm. It didn’t immediately make me want to run out and buy it, but it was a much deeper track than I was expecting, given the “duo” part of the band description. There’s a surprising amount of stuff going on, and the echoing/layering effects of the vocals helps create an ethereal tone to the song. I gotta say, it’s pretty hooky too. I’m not sure it would play interesting enough for me to want to add it to my game (particularly when it seems likely that bass will have to sit out), but it’s worth checking the charts when it releases to see.

“I Got Mine” is next. I’m only about 20 seconds in, but I’m really digging the guitar thus far. Sound-wise, this is a lot more like what I was expecting from the first track with a pretty heavy blues feel here. As the song progresses though, it loses me. I’m just not feeling the instrument break as the previously smooth sound slowly degenerates into a discordant mass. Then it picks back up again I’m totally on-board, so I don’t know. Again, I think I’d want to see how this one looked in-game before making a final decision.

The final of the Black Keys three-pack is “Your Touch”. Again a fan of the guitar, and this one didn’t have the weird moments of disconnect of the previous. I’m also a fan of the dirty overdriven vocals that add an element of distance to the singer that I find interesting in a song that seems to be about getting closer. I think this one too bears chart checking and it’s again important to note that with the lack of a bassist, you’re probably going to cut yourself one instrument short – a potential concern for anyone with a steady bassist in their group. (Quick note on the video: WTF? Mike sums it up best: “A haunted Faberge egg kills everyone. Hm.”)

On to Neon Trees who are, according to Wiki, a “rock band”. That’s it, seriously? Wikipedia is the home of dramatically over-genre’ing its music, I’m surprised there weren’t a half-dozen words before “rock”. Very well, Wiki, we shall play it your way.

We begin with “Animal” which, “rock band” or no, is not Def Leppard’s “Animal” and I shed a lone tear. And now I’m done. Onward! So my first thoughts, really more about the video than the song: 1) It is so hard to take the lead singer seriously with that haird, and 2) Whoo girl drummer! So after listening I’d say that – at least based on this lone song – they’re on the pop side of the rock spectrum. It’s a catchy little tune with not a whole lot going on under the surface but I could see this being a fun one at parties.

“Sins of My Youth” is a little more complicated, but a little less fun as a result. The lyrics just don’t flow for me in this one at all; it almost sounds like they wrote these words for another song that didn’t work out and decided to just shove them all, without editing, into the nearest music they had lying around. Sometimes you can get away with cramming a bunch of lyrics into a short space of music – Freddie Mercury was the master, and I confess that “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” is a bit of a guilty pleasure – but I don’t think this song manages to pull it off. That said, the drums are stand-out and sound like they’d be pretty fun to play.

This leaves us with “1983”. Which .. hm. I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t do much for me. A serviceable enough song, but I didn’t hear anything in this that grabbed me at all. Fairly generic in all respects. In fact, just in the time it took me to write this the song has faded. I can’t even repeat the chorus. Yeah, not much here for me.

So a lean week overall for me. A couple of maybes in The Black Keys, but that’s about it. Not that I can complain much – I still haven’t bought anything from the Ozzy Osbourne week.

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