Check out this week's list of tracks the HMX crew is buying.
HMXBinThrDunTht, RBN Executive Producer
the Apples in Stereo - "Energy" - My first experience with this indie rock group was when they first appeared on the scene in the mid-'90s with releases through the cool indie label SpinArt. Originally formed as The Apples, the band went through a couple personnel changes from the original unit first formed in 1992 and added the “in Stereo” to its name around the time of the band’s first release Hypnotic Suggestion. Despite the changing line up throughout the bands history, the main songwriter, Robert Schneider, has been constant. The track in RBN this week is from their 2007 release New Magnetic Wonder and is typical of the bands jangly guitar-driven indie pop sound. Cool song to add to your RBN collection.
Damone - "Roll the Dice" - Originally from Boston and backed by members of the local group Waltham, Noelle made her on-stage debut at the tender age of 16. When I first saw them play I was psyched to see a pop metal band with a female lead. Then was totally surprised by how hard she rocked! She was like a young Joan Jett. The band quickly gained momentum locally and ended up signed to a major and their debut album From the Attic came out in 2003. They have spent a better part of a decade on the road and performing. They have an awesome live show and "Roll the Dice" is a fun song to play, full of arena rock riffs and fun drum track.
Josh Freese - "I Don't Think That's Ok" - If you don’t know who Josh Freese is by name, I will bet you have heard him play drums. As one of the best session drummers around appearing on more than 300 records. He is the permanent member of A Perfect Circle, The Vandals, Devo and has toured with NIN, Guns N' Roses, and Weezer. This track from his recent solo album Since 1972 had one of the coolest marketing campaigns I have seen with special packages available for purchase like: $750 - Meet Josh in Venice, CA and go floating in a sensory deprivation tank (to be filmed and posted on YouTube) OR have dinner with Josh at Sizzler. Having Josh in RBN is awesome, one day we need to have a contest to see if someone can beat Josh’s score on the song “I Don’t Think That’s OK.” Check out this track and see Josh on tour with Weezer. He is AMAZING behind the kit.
Bouncing Souls - "Gasoline" - One of my favorite punk rock bands who gained prominence on the national scene in the mid-'90s. I love their anthemic, melody-driven song style. Touring relentlessly over a 15 year period, the band has an amazing live show. When I had The Amazing Royal Crowns on my label in the mid-'90s, we were fortunate to play numerous shows with them and benefit from connecting with their fan base. "Gasoline" is one of those typical Bouncing Souls tracks that is a blast to play and sing. Right up there with my most recent fave RBN download, Flogging Molly!
HMXMister_Game, RBN Senior Producer
Cory Wong - "Upstream" - This track is a solo acoustic guitar piece, and it’s the first time in the Rock Band catalog that we’ve had a solo instrument playable in the game. It’s quieter and gentler than most of the songs in our catalog, still may prove a challenge on Expert. I’m very partial to this style of music (John Gorka, Harvey Reid, Leo Kottke acoustic fingerstyle), and I’m tremendously excited by the direction this takes RBN; I hope people follow with other tracks that don’t necessarily easily fit into what people think of as an RBN song.
Tijuana Sweetheart - "Trash Candy" - I’m proud and excited that the worldwide premier of this track in digital format (well, almost) from the band formerly known as Vagiant was released last week on RBN.
Josh Freese - "I Don't Think That's Ok" - Josh has shown a lot of inventive magical thinking when it comes to promoting his songs. Famously, last year he offered a unique multi-tiered album promotion ranging from a $7 album purchase to a $75,000 package that involved a CD plus one of his drumkits, working as your personal assistant for two weeks, and then touring with your band. This is clearly a guy who gets new media. We hope that he find that RBN works as part of his overall music “strategy.” Also he’s really cool and we want to hang out with him. P.S. Josh, call me!
HMXLachesis, Web QA tester
There For Tomorrow - "A Little Faster" - I've had this song stuck in my head a time or two recently. It's full of bright, shiny hooks, and the syncopated rhythms appeal to the musician in me.
megaphone - "Gravitate" - I really like the chorus on "Gravitate". There's a cool guitar riff that kicks it off each time, and the melody is just fun to sing.
Moving Picture Show - "Perfect World" - "My best friend's laughing at me again / 'Cause the chess board on her chest says that she'll win...." This song's fun to play (and good practice for those long rolls on the drums!) but I'm recommending it in large part because it intrigues me as a piece of art. From contemplation to grief to blind determination, the music and lyrics work very well together while still staying true to a rock core.
RBN songs are available for the Xbox 360. Pricing varies. Click here for a full list of songs available for RBN.