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HMX RBN Picks XI

We're back again with a selection of great songs from the last two weeks on the Rock Band Network.  Below, you'll find our recommendations for face-smashing metal, smirky smiling new wave, bluesy rock, and more!

If you playtest and peer review songs for the RBN Creators' Community, we'd love to share your picks, too!  Check out this forum thread (signin required) for more information about how to contribute your recommendations to a future HMX Picks article.

 

Cancer Bats (Metal)
I’m a big fan of music in the area between post-punk, noise-rock, hardcore and metal.  If you are a fan of heavy music like this, Cancer Bats are well worth your time to check out.  This is good aggressive rock music. - Sylvain Dubrofsky, HMX Senior Designer

Cancer Bats - Hail Destroyer (Metal)
Holy bat guano, where did these guys come from? Have I been living under a rock? I'm usually pretty up on my angry white guy music, but I missed the Cancer Bats boat. This song is loud, fast, and very angry. Me likey. If you like your music with a raw edge, a bit of anger, and a heap of bile, then you should most definitely check out "Hail Destroyer". - noble, RBN Creators Community

Clandestine - "Disappear in You" (Metal)
Mixing equal parts metal, alternative, progressive rock, and total awesomeness, Clandestine is hoping to strike new ground in the musical world, and they succeed with "Disappear in You". This highly technical track is a workout for everyone involved, with tough alt-strumming patterns, complex drum beats, and passionate vocals. If you're looking to find music unlike most of what you can find in Rock Band and enjoy a good challenge, this track is perfect for you. - Xenigma, RBN Creators Community

Holy Grail - "Fight to Kill" (Metal)
Holy Grail is old-school metal that will blow your mind, and "Fight to Kill" is a prime example of their insanity. The guitar is completely over the top, with extremely fast riffs and two of the hardest solos you'll find in Rock Band. It's no cake-walk for the rest of the band either, including high-flying vocals instead of the rampant talkies often associated with difficult metal songs. It's devilishly fun and will leave you begging for more from this wicked band! - Xenigma, RBN Creators Community

Anti-Flag - "We Are the One" (Punk)
This infectious, catchy tune left my playtest session bassist with a grin from ear to ear.  "It's total winsauce!" she exclaimed.  I jumped off the couch (how did I get up there?) to agree with her.  This is the anthem for your inner punk, and your inner punk will have an awesome time howling out the choruses. - HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

I'm ashamed to say I'd never listened to Anti-Flag before I tested this song. That's something I plan on changing right directly. This song reminds me a lot of Rise Against in the riffs and the singing style, and as a man who likes him some Rise Against, I must say I need more Anti-Flag in my Rock Band and musical library. You dig Rise Against, then give this one a spin. - noble, RBN Creators Community

Earl Greyhound - "Oye Vaya" (Rock)
Just listening to this piece of muscular, bluesy rock makes me feel like a ‘70s rockstar.  The guitar solo’s kind of wanky, but aren’t they all, at heart?  - HMXCalabiyau, Composer/Sound Designer

The members of Earl Greyhound (Matt Whyte, Kamara Thomas, and Ricc Sheridan) must have loved writing this song - it's just so much fun to play!  When I asked for opinions, the guitarist, bassist, and drummer in my playtest session gave it a unanimous 5 out of 5.  The musical themes are coherent and well-supported - it's good musicianship as well as being fun to play.  There are solos in both bass and guitar, supported by a grooving, bop-your-head kind of beat.  - HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

Ron Wasserman - "American Hero" (Rock)
True story: around the beginning of the year, I had blue hair. Unfortunately, it wasn't shiny like the American Hero's, and I lack the coordinated suit, so I didn't get all his perks. (Think I do have French DNA though.) So, I'm stuck just playing along with his over-the-top theme song, which really shows that Ron can put together a big, fun rock sound no matter what subject he comes up with. - FairwoodStudios, RBN Creators Community

John Garrison - "Footprints" (Alternative)
It’s got a Secret Agent Man vibe that I dig, and a Latin flavor that really comes through in the breakdown.  Plus it has a pretty tasty part for bass players.  Drums and guitar have a little less variety, but hey, we’re talking good music here.  - HMXCalabiyau, Composer/Sound Designer

John Garrison used to play vocals and sing for the British post-grunge rock band Budapest, but here he's on his own showing off those exact same talents.  This isn't the hardest song you'll play all week, but it's got a lovely flow and ebb that is well worth a try.  The guitar part transitions from notes to chords in a natural, enjoyable fashion.  The drum part may be hard for less experienced drummers, but hard in a good way - that kind of challenge that helps you improve while still enjoying it.  Exploring variations on the drum part, you can tell the drummer's a live human instead of a drum machine.  Have at it!  - HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

a t o m - "Satellite (Live)" (New Wave)
a t o m is starting to become a staple of RBN, and that's not a bad thing. Out of all of his songs that have hit the service so far, I have to say that this one is by far my favorite. It's not a hard song, so you difficulty-chasing "starburst raining down" chart-chasers aren't going to like this one very much. What it is, however, is a damn good song in its own right. If you enjoy music then you should try Satellite out. - noble, RBN Creators Community

Plushgun - "How We Roll" (New Wave)
This is a bouncy nostalgia trip, both in its high school lyrics and its ‘80s synthpop style.  It’s got a taste of self-congratulatory hipsterdom, which may or may not float your boat.  That sort of thing rubs me the wrong way a bit, but the song’s catchy enough for me to overlook it.  - HMXCalabiyau, Composer/Sound Designer

The Apples in Stereo - "Dance Floor" (Pop-Rock)
I'll wear my Hipster badge with pride and say I'm more of a fan of early alt-rock Apples than the newer dance-pop Apples. But if your taste goes the opposite way, then you'll love Dance Floor, since it's the perfect example of their evolved style; simple, fun, and just a little bit trippy. - FairwoodStudios, RBN Creators Community