Remember the “Rock Band Goes Country” DLC that we unveiled last month? A lot of you were shocked and stunned at the idea, but wound up loving the stuff anyway. This week we’re back for an encore, but no Nashville this time around: It’s a rougher and rockier package with the leading lights of the alt-country music. And if you like to rock with a little bit of twang, we think you’ll love this pack from the get-go.
You’ll likely recognize all the names, but the song titles are less obvious: Instead of greatest hits, we’ve looked a little deeper for songs that fit the game. For instance, everybody knows that Steve Earle is the king of alt-country, but “Satellite Radio” isn’t exactly what you expect. Drawn from his latest album Washington Square Serenade, it’s a totally modern, groove-based song with a chorus that will stick in your head all day—Beck fans will find common ground in the production by Dust Brother John King. Earle moved to New York a few years back, so it’s no surprise that he’s added some city to his country.
Lucinda Williams can break your heart with a tearful ballad, but she’s also got a wicked swamp-rocking side. We went for some of that with “Can’t Let Go”—one of the few Lucinda songs that she didn’t write, but she grabs and claims it. Try and match the expressive vocal she does on this one. If another female singer is as beloved by modern country fans, it would have to be Neko Case, who already made her Rock Band debut as a member of the New Pornographers. We had requests for a solo Neko track afterwards, so “People Got a Lotta Nerve” will be a treat for fans: It’s from her new album Middle Cyclone, which isn’t even out till next week.
The final two tracks are rockers, pure and simple: If you liked playing “Green Grass & High Tides,” you’ll love the Old 97’s “Time Bomb,” which features even hotter licks and an even more frantic pace. The Drive By Truckers’ last album, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark was a sweeping state-of-the-union epic, but “3 Dimes Down” finds them in guitar-slinging roadhouse mode. Stay tuned for an interview with this mighty band, coming later this week.
If this package still doesn’t grab you, maybe that’s because you never listen to anything that isn’t emo: You want a Jimmy Eat World three-pack and you want it now. You’ve played “The Middle” until you can do every part on Expert and you need more fast. So now you have it: “Futures,” “Sweetness” and “Lucky Denver Mint” are highlights from three consecutive Jimmy albums; all find the band at its more aggressive and are full of that soul-baring goodness.