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HMX RBN Picks XII

We had a ton of new songs in the Rock Band Network store this week. If you haven't had a chance to check them all out, some HMXers and members of the Rock Band Network community share their recommendations below. 

Have you discovered awesome new music through RBN? Share it in the comments!

"Blow at High Dough" - Tragically Hip (Rock)

Being from a Michigan border town that was thoroughly dominated by Canadian radio, I cannot help but gush over their long overdue introduction to the platform.  I’m American by blood, but a Hip fan at heart.  Gordon Downie is nothing short of amazing, a great songwriter and one of the best live performers I’ve ever seen. - HMXtronaut, QC Manager, Hardware

"I See Georgia" - Drivin' N' Cryin' (Rock)

This song comes straight out of Southern rock tradition.  It sounds like a song I already ought to know, perhaps because Drivin' 'N' Cryin' has been around a long time - though this song was recorded in 2009, the band formed in Atlanta in 1985.  The other Drivin' 'N' Cryin' song from this week ("Let Me Down") is also very neat, but this one was my favorite.  Singing this song felt exactly like singing along with the classic rock station on the car radio. - HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

"Wake Up" - Me Talk Pretty (Rock)

From Julia Preotu's first savage, beautiful cry - "Wake up, wake up, I'm losing control!" - it's obvious that Me Talk Pretty is not here to mess around.  "Wake Up" is a tribute to Julia's mother, who died of pneumonia a few years ago.  It's haunting, hypnotic, and driven with a furious rock beat.  Though I personally loved the vocals, I'm confident no one in your band will be bored playing it.  This song may already be familiar to you from EA Sports NHL 10 or The Sims 3: World Adventures (there in Simlish, of course) and it will be released on Me Talk Pretty's upcoming album We Are Strangers this summer. - HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester 

The New Regime - "Tap Dancing In A Minefield" (Rock)

As I'm primarily a bassist and guitarist, I'm a sucker for fun hammer-on riffs, and this song definitely knows how to deliver. A finger-twisting riff at 100 MPH starts off the track, and it doesn't slow down from there. The guitar chart has parts that are repetitive, but it changes up frequently enough to avoid getting boring, with some really fun alt-strummed chords and a unique sounding solo. The bassline is slightly easier, but still can trip you up if you're not prepared for those changes! It's hard to not have this song bouncing around infectiously in your head for hours after playing it. Highly recommended. - S1ckH4nds, RBN Creators Community

The New Regime - "Haunt My Mind" (Rock)

I like the sinister vibe of this track, and the contrast between the quiet menace of its verses and its angry choruses.  I’ll also admit that I first encountered this track playing MLB 10: The Show.  - HMXCalabiyau, Composer/Sound Designer

Windtunnel Syndrome - "Soldier from the Surface" (Prog)

If there's one thing Rock Band has taught me, it's that Prog songs tend to be insanely fun to play on Guitar/Bass. On regular Rock Band you've got gems like "Welcome Home," "Panic Attack," "Icarus," and "Red Barchetta." RBN hasn't disappointed either, with "Africa," "The Great Plains," and "The Complexity of Light" being big standouts. As a result I jumped on Windtunnel Syndrome's instrumentals, and "Soldier from the Surface" doesn't disappoint. The charts are full of HOPOs formed into neat patterns that are simply fun to play, as well as some fairly technical strumming sections to keep you on your toes. More importantly, the song sounds awesome! For a buck, it's absolutely worth giving this track a shot. - xenigma, RBN Creators Community

Bang on a Can All-Stars / David Lang - "Cheating, Lying, Stealing" (Other)

I don't actually know what's going on with this song. Or any of the Bang on a Can tracks, really. It's not quite the classical interpretation that Paul Henry Smith has been doing with the Fauxharmonic Orchestra; it's more avant-garde, and to me a lot more interesting. There's generally not a lot of opportunities to drum along with pizzicato strings, but apparently it can work in the right situation. I recommend "Cheating, Lying, Stealing" mostly because it's the most familiar to me- maybe I've heard it before, maybe it's just innately memorable. But really, the entire set is worth looking at if only out of curiosity. - FairwoodStudios, RBN Creators Community

OK.  Here’s a little background.  Bear with me.  Bang on a Can was one of the pioneers of a style of modern classical music called Postminimalism, a term despised by the artists it applies to.  “Cheating, Lying, Stealing” was my first exposure to postminimalism, and it blew my mind.  It’s a disjointed, angular piece of music whose patterns always feel just out of reach.  If you’re into IDM, abstract electronica, or prog rock, give this one a whirl. - HMXCalabiyau, Composer/Sound Designer

Scott Attrill - "Hot Stuff" (Other)

I'm always happy when a song starts with a drum solo. (Unless it starts with one that fails me out immediately.) I'm also always happy when a song throws non-standard disco beats at me. So I'm very happy with "Hot Stuff," it constantly shifts patterns, returning to the interesting ones and never settling on a dull one. Guitar gets some nice techno patterns throughout and some nasty shreds in the solo. Bass, well... can't win them all, I suppose. -FairwoodStudios, RBN Creators Community

Verse Versus Chorus - "Surprise" (Indie Rock)

Back in my days of making Rock Band 3 wishlists, I always tried to keep them "realistic". That meant hunting down some new Harmonix bands to include. Somewhere along the line I came across Verse Versus Chorus, and "Surprise" made its way to the top of the list. No surprise (ha ha) that it wound up in RBN. Though the lack of harmonies is a bit disappointing (you'll just have to fake it, I guess) it's still enjoyable and light for everybody. - FairwoodStudios, RBN Creators Community

Twintapes - "Young" (Indie Rock)

This is a song you don't want to miss. If you are a fan of Silversun Pickups or Death Cab for Cutie you'll find yourself playing this song over and over. It has a nice laid back groove throughout the verse that transitions to a very catchy chorus, and with two guitar solos you just can't go wrong. - roseofjericho, RBN Creators Community

Cancer Bats - "Dead Wrong" (Metal)

Far be it from me to show any bias for a particular band, but this is the second time (in as many posts) that I've chosen a Cancer Bats song for one of my picks. And honestly you should just pick up all four of them and complete the set, but I digress. Like "Hail Destroyer," "Dead Wrong" is an angry anthem that will get your fists pumping, your head banging, and possibly your furniture smashed in a plastic instrument-fueled mosh pit. - noble, RBN Creators Community

Damone - "Serial Killer" (Rock)

Another one of the unknown known bands (translation: they're well known for an unknown) "Serial Killer" has a groove to it that will have you bopping along to the rhythm of the song despite its darker themes. Part of a sub genre I'd call pop-metal, it's a fun little song that you'll have just as much fun playing as you do listening to it. - noble, RBN Creators Community

Kill the Alarm - "Fire Away" (Alternative)

This song has a very infectious groove hidden away in the main chorus. After testing it, I knew the minute I finished it that I'd be picking this up when it hit the store. One of those songs that combines the awesomeness (it's a real word, I SAY SO), of a great chart with a great song. Doesn't get much better than that in plastic instrument land, now does it? - noble, RBN Creators Community

Made Avail - "Walking Away" (Alternative)

This song has a distinct Fall Out Boy style to its sound. Really catchy, big rock chords, and booming guitar. Just a fun little song all around. If you're looking for something a little lighter than your grizzly-bear-eating-a-chainsaw deathmetal tune, then this is the song you've been looking for. - noble, RBN Creators Community

"Daughter" - The Reverend H Chronicles (Metal/Industrial)

Dirty, harsh, pounding techno that’s good for dressing in black, wearing pale makeup, and sneering at mundanes.  If you miss NIN, this song will make you feel a little better. - HMXCalabiyau, Composer/Sound Designer

 

"Painted" - Zoo Seven (Rock)

Zoo Seven is the solo project of Del Currie, a Northern Ireland transplant to California with a reasonably impressive resume (he's toured with The Goo Goo Dolls, Tonic, and Third Eye Blind).  The acoustic introduction has a plaintive, delicate air, but it doesn't last when the electrics kick in.  There's some very cool sequences on drums (especially the toms around the choruses), a gorgeous synth background, and, of course, a wonderful melancholy vocal line (hey, I always test the vocals first.) Besides, as track author explosivekitty notes, "Rumor has it playing Painted by Zoo Seven can make you more attractive to the opposite species* for 4 minutes. Download it now and find out - worse case you get to rock out for 4 minutes.  Everybody wins!" - HMXLachesis, Web QA Tester

 

*I'm sort of afraid to find out what my opposite species is.  P.S.  EK, you know you're awesome, even though I'm giving you a hard time in public.