Apr 012011
Rock Band DLC

It occurs that I’m starting to loop on the dates, so year inclusion going forward.

It turns out that this DLC was uncovered last week so no surprises for me. No surprises, but very pleased. It’s a relatively small week of singles, but they’re really good singles.

– Grand Funk Railroad – “The Loco-Motion
– Grand Funk Railroad – “We’re an American Band+
– J. Geils Band – “Freeze-Frame+
– Joy Division – “Love Will Tear Us Apart+

+ = pro-guitar/bass chart available.

Two tracks by Grand Funk Railroad is a great way to kick off the week. “We’re an American Band” is a classic rock radio staple; if you think you don’t know it, you’re probably wrong. It should be amazing to play on every single plastic instrument, absolutely no one is left out in the cold, not even harmonies. A total no-brainer purchase.

“The Loco-Motion” is a different story in my book, if only because I’m a product of my time and the only version of this I can ever hear is Kylie Minogue. I know, I know. But hearing Grand Funk Railroad do this song just refuses to reconcile in my head. It should be a bright pastel-blinding uptempo fluffy pop song, and having these 70s hard rockers doing it just feels so wrong. For me this one is a pass. The keys sound like they’ll be about the most fun thing to play (okay harmonies too perhaps), but there are so many other, better choices this week.

Next is J. Geils Band with “Freeze-Frame”, which just makes me thrilled. I love this song so hard. Loaded with catchy riffs, so much fun for group singing, makes you want to hop about and be happy. A perfect party song. Keys will be the instrument that shines here, though with a pro-guitar chart there’s probably something I’m missing in all the keys and sax, so watch out for that. An awesome and very welcome addition to Rock Band.

Finally we have post-punk anthem “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division, and for me it’s one of those songs that was only a matter of time before we got it in the game. Of all the songs this week, I think this will be the most polarizing. I’m totally thrilled to have it, but recognize that it could very well not be everyone’s cup of tea. For me, I’m excited to play it on every instrument (voxtaring being a particular draw). Once again keys are highlighted, but drums too are surprisingly energetic for such a low-key mournful song and I suspect they’ll be much more difficult to play than they initially sound. For me, I think the most difficult thing though is going to be not butchering the song on vocals. Reaching the same key as Ian Curtis is going to be an exercise in pain and futility, but how to take it high and not mangle it beyond all recognition? Challenge!

All told, short but sweet, and totally worth mentioning that we get three pro-charts this week!

I think I’ll pass on “The Loco-Motion”, but everything else is a buy without hesitation. For those looking to only get one song this week though, I’m really torn between recommending “American Band” and “Freeze-Frame”. In terms of involvement for all instruments, they’re about equal – maybe a little more interesting on vocals for “Freeze-Frame”, a bit more guitar-heavy on “American Band”. If you must choose between the two, it’ll probably come down to whether you prefer pop rock to hard rock. But don’t count out “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. If you don’t know it, give it a listen. You’ll probably know within about 30 seconds if you’ll want it or want nothing to do with it.

  • Novareinna

    No brainer for me. My pick of the week has to be “American Band.”
    I defy anyone not to move to that tune!
    …we’re coming to your town, we’ll help you party down…

  • BunnyM

    “But don’t count out “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. If you don’t know it, give it a listen.”

    If you don’t know it, shame on you. This *is* Joy Division we are talking here.