Mar 022012
Rock Band DLC Logo #2

A random mix of singles greets us this week. I can’t help feeling that Harmonix is clearing the table of the last few holiday treats nobody’s eaten yet; the too-hard caramel in the sampler box, the Hershey’s chocolate miniature beginning to turn chalky. There’s no unifying element to these songs, evidenced by the complete absence of a pack purchase option. Still, random doesn’t automatically mean bad (chalky chocolate aside), so I’m off to refresh myself on Everclear, Good Charlotte and Mastodon.

Also I made a new RB DLC logo because I had insufficient ways to waste my time this morning, and if there’s one thing this blog needs, it’s MOAR BLOO.


The Songs

* Everclear – “Santa Monica+
* Good Charlotte – “The Anthem
* Mastodon – “Curl of the Burl

+ = pro-guitar/bass upgrade available


The Thoughts

“Santa Monica” by Everclear isn’t the sort of song that has any particular thing you can point to as being fantastic. It lacks that moment that would make it stand out in your play session and it can’t offer anything new in terms of gameplay. Despite this, it still kind of works. The riff is simple, being mostly the same two chords over and over, but it’s infectious. The lyrics too are kind of a standard positive message, but it’s mixed with enough cynicism to make it feel genuine. Mostly what it does it does just a little bit better than average, and if you find any enjoyment in the song itself, that’s probably enough to make it worth adding to your game.

I have a theory that if you must proclaim your song an anthem then you’re probably trying too hard. Good Charlotte‘s “The Anthem” does little to disprove that. It’s a pop punk take on the “they don’t get us” standard that desperately wants to be the “My Generation” of that generation. I find it quietly amusing that a song about bucking authority is TELLING you that it’s your anthem, but hey. All that aside, how is it as a song? Entirely generic. The same tempo, the same chords, and the same vocal style we’ve seen a dozen times already. If you have the handful of Blink-182 disc songs from the game then you basically already have this one too.

I have absolutely no idea what “Curl of the Burl” is supposed to mean, but it’s a fun phrase to say (try it, I’ll wait) and there’s no denying the catchiness of the song. It’s a good inclusion for the week, rounding out a selection of songs that sound distinctive from each other, as well as being the clear choice for challenge seekers. There’ve been a few Mastodon songs in the game, and I find the group to be very hit or miss for me. This one I’d say is a hit. It’s got a dark, melodic flow, but isn’t so over the top difficult to play that it loses all sense of fun. A pleasant surprise.


The Conclusion

Keys players, you’re out of luck this time, though hopefully you’re still jamming on the Huey Lewis & the News release. For everyone else, there’s no must-have song, and you could pass the week by completely and never miss it. If you’re jonesing for just one more hit though, then “Santa Monica” by Everclear is my pick. While I think “Curl of the Burl” is the better song, its tone and increased difficulty makes it a little less accessible. “Santa Monica” has just enough to keep you interested on all instruments, a sweet little touch of harmonies, and an upbeat feeling that should make it slide more easily into your library. You may never go out of your way to pick this one, but if it comes up on random you’re much less likely to say “eh, I don’t feel like it”.

  • Novareinna

    Having never listened to anything by any of these groups, I decided to pop over to the YouTube links. Didn’t care too much for Everclear or Good Charlotte, but gotta say that the Mastodon song wasn’t too bad at all.

    • Jet Wolf

       Yeah I thought you might like it when I was listening. You should probably check out some of their other stuff as well.