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HMX RBN Picks XVII

Check out this week's HMX Picks recommendations including Amberian Dawn, Gov't Mule, and a song about a game about z0mb1es. 

 

"I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT !!!1" - James Silva (Indie Rock) 

Alright, so I’m a little biased as I’m a HUGE fan of SKA Studios and may have done the authoring for this track. BUT! This song is pretty amazing in its presentation of a variety of genres, all mixed together into one soundtrack defining megamix. If you hate Z0MB1ES, love indie games, or just want to shred for 9:45, this is a track you should check out, for sure. And if you haven’t tried it yet, go grab the indie XNA game that shares this title, because it only costs a dollar and is unbelievable. - HMXJohnD, Communications Manager and RBN Program Manager

"Swim" - Surfer Blood (Indie Rock)

Surfer Blood crafts hook-laden pop anthems that crash like the crystal waves in their hometown of West Palm Beach. "Floating Vibes" is the opening track from their debut album Astrocoast and it glides along at the pace of a summer afternoon, taking flight in the last few bars with a shimmering instrumental break. "Swim" was one of Pitchfork Magazine's top 100 singles of 2009 and it's easy to tell why from the muscular opening salvo, a fist-pumping refrain that's infectious and fun. Summer's winding down but these tracks will keep you in Coppertone and flip flops for a long time to come. - Matt Derby, Senior User Experience Designer

If Weezer spent more time on the beach they'd be Surfer Blood. They spent more time enjoying the ocean (and getting some grit in their guitars) than moping about high school, but Surfer Blood's got the same power-pop sensibilities that Weezer brought out over a decade ago. Sure, that means it's not the hardest song out there, but instead it's a friendly, fuzzy jam with its own pulling undercurrent. - FairwoodStudios, RBN Community

"Broke Down on the Brazos" - Gov't Mule (Rock/Blues)

If you're a plastic guitar enthusiast, you'll be sure to appreciate the fun charts here on guitar and bass. The guitar (excellently performed by none other than Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top here) has multiple solos, rivalling songs such as "Train Kept a Rollin'" and "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" for pure value. The bass part is a finger-twistingly good time, filled to the brim with HOPOs galore. If you dig down and dirty bluesy rock, you'd be remiss to not pick this one up! - S1ckH4nds, RBN Community

Shall I name names?  "Broke Down on the Brazos" was released in August of 2009, but it tastes like something from the grand annals of rock.  That's not surprising - Gov't Mule was founded as a side project from the Allman Brothers, and this particular track features the guitar work of Billy F. Gibbons (of ZZ Top).  People, this is something special.  It's got this rich, hungry bassline that settles in right off the bat and carries the song with a deep, confident groove.  Off to the side with my microphone, I had some nice long pauses, but I was so captivated by the song that it didn't matter.  My bassist commented that it felt like a jam session instead of a studio track, and there's something to be said for that - it's playful, funky, driving, bluesy... it's fantastic. - HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

"Mr. Spock" - Nerf Herder (Punk/Pop)

The band's name, Nerf Herder, references a line from Star Wars (Leia to Solo: "Why you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!") instead of the foam-based weaponry that might initially come to mind.  Still, if you're looking for a Star Trek song on the RBN, it's Nerf Herder or nothing (so far), and this catchy song (which you might recognize from the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) isn't a bad way to go.  There's more to it than you might expect - neither guitar nor bass will break your fingers with the difficulty, so you can still play it after getting your party on, but they still have some nice complexities that won't bore you when you're sober.  It's fun, it's catchy, and you get to make phaser noises.  If you're not sold, you're way less geeky than I am. -HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

"Kokko - Eagle of Fire" - Amberian Dawn (Metal/Power)

I've become a fangirl.  Forgive me.  More seriously, I wasn't going to tell you about another Amberian Dawn song (if you like their sound, you're picking these all up anyway, and if not, I'm wasting your time) but there's something different about this one.  It's like the '80s met Amberian Dawn - the power chords are wonderfully nostalgic for me, while still being wholly entwined with Heidi Parviainen's familiar soprano and the crazy, finger-breaking licks of Tuomas Seppala on guitar.  If you're a purist, you might like this one less, but I liked it even more. -HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

"Money Honey" - State of Shock (Pop-Rock)

The highlight of this fun song is its catchy lyrics that will get in your head and stay there, but you may not even mind because they’re so fun to sing. "Money Honey" is one of those crank-up-the-radio car songs that will have everyone singing along, regardless if it’s their turn on the microphone. Complemented by its mellow instrument parts that may catch you off-guard when they go into full swing for the chord-heavy chorus, "Money Honey" deserves to be everyone's Rock Band library. - kiggidykev, RBN Community

"Forgotten Tragedy" - Cold Steel (Rock)

Don't let the age of this band's members fool you (between 16 and 19, at the time of the album's recording sessions). They know how to rock your face off. "Forgotten Tragedy" walks the fine line between hard rock and metal well; intense without being overbearing, powerful without screaming. The heavy riffs and head-nodding beats will keep you moving along, but watch out for that unexpectedly difficult solo on guitar! - S1ckH4nds, RBN Community

"Time No More" - Evile (Metal)

I don't know how overlooked this song will be since it is Evile. I am aiming this at someone who is on the fence about getting a Evile song. This is a great starting point, in my opinion. The charting is frantic and crazy but fun at the same time. It is one of those songs where you will want to toss your controller out the window until you get it. Then when you get it you will not stop banging your head and don't be surprised if your pets start a mosh pit in the living room. From a musical standpoint, this song is epic thrash at its best. Big ol' hook, thundering beats and freight train of a bass line! - ASPRon, RBN Community

"Howling at Summer" - You Me and Iowa (Indie Rock)

I present Exhibit B in the case of "Indie Rock can still be frantic, tough, and fun". (Exhibit A, of course, being James Silva's absurd zombie opus - see first entry in this article for more details.) You'll be strumming, drumming, and trilling some high-speed patterns, or singing some tricky and emotional parts. It's a shame You Me and Iowa had to break up after this album, but if you're gonna go out this is as high a note as any to do it on. - FairwoodStudios, RBN Community