Oct 072011
 
Rock Band DLC

Ahh, it’s a cool, refreshing glass of “something I like”. The Clash single, at any rate, which is just about perfect. There’s a bit too little variation in Blink-182 songs – generally speaking – for me to not feel like I probably already have whatever they’re offering. But that’s without listening to them, so I could be surprised.

 

The Songs

* The Clash – “Rock the Casbah+
* Blink-182 – “The Party Song
* Blink-182 – “Stay Together For the Kids
* Blink-182 – “Up All Night+

+ = pro-guitar/bass chart available

 

The Thoughts

“Rock the Casbah” by The Clash is a no-brainer instant buy for me. I keenly remember the first time seeing the video on MTV and thinking that the song was the single greatest thing I had ever heard. Music changed for me that day as a whole new sound emerged from the sea of synthentic cheesepop all around me; it was a profound experience. Setting aside my nostalgia, it’s still a kickass song that I’ve been wanting in Rock Band for years. This track alone should make up for the past few keyless weeks, and vocals should be awesome. What group of players and spectators can’t get into that chorus?

We break into the Blink-182 pack with “The Party Song” which wow, I just seriously did not like. It has the standard simple melody and block chords that you can expect from Blink, but it’s coupled with what is probably the single most annoying drum line I have ever heard and a jumbled mess of lyrics that fails utterly to impart any of the enthusiasm I suspect it’s striving for. A total mess of a song, no thank you.

“Stay Together For the Kids” I didn’t know by title but it got a lot of airplay so is definitely familiar. It’s a pretty good track as well, mixing together the quiet verses with the loud chorus to create a song that’s much more than it would be without the compliment of the other. There’s not a heck of a lot that’s exciting about either guitar or bass, though both serve the song well – and if the vocal parts are charted separate as they should be, the bassist can even take the verses where he or she will literally have nothing else to do anyway. Drums sounds like it could be a lot of fun to play, sitting in that mid-range sweet spot where you have fun and feel accomplished, rather than bored or frustrated.

“Up All Night” is the last song this week, and it has a much heavier tone than the others. It’s has an almost Black Sabbath riff that appears in the instrumental breaks, though it’s very much the standard pop punk for the most part. I didn’t particularly care for it, finding the transitions between the two styles forced and sloppy, and the heart of the song got lost somewhere along the way. It’s got a lot for each instrument to do, but despite having one of the pro charts this week I think for the most part it’ll just be a string of crazy rapid strumming that I never find much fun to play.

 

The Summary

“Rock the Casbah” is the song to get this week. And I mean that literally for keys, that’s your only option this week. (But if you’re feeling down about the lack of keys choices lately, don’t. Among other artists, HMX let leak that there’s some Coldplay and Stevie Wonder on the horizon, so you’ll know love again soon.) It also should be great fun for bass, guitar and drumming as well. Not necessarily the most difficult songs for those this week, but the most solid and most varied.

From the Blink-182 pack, drummers may want to consider giving “The Party Song” a listen given how prominent drums is featured; perhaps it won’t sound as offensive to your ears as it did mine. But for me, I was really only taken by “Stay Together For the Kids”. Probably not a stellar choice for bassists as there’s a significant chunk of the song where you won’t be doing anything at all (except singing maybe?), but drummers and guitarists should enjoy the different tempos.

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