Check out this week's picks featuring tracks from All That Remains, Sybreed, and The Japanese Frog.
HMXBinThrDunTht, RBN Executive Producer
Umphrey’s McGee - "1348" - This Chicago-based progressive rock, jam band is one of the first in the genre that we hope to see more of in RBN. This song in particular has some pretty amazing guitar work along with intricate bass lines and rockin' drums. They find themselves in the jam band scene, but you can hear their influences in rock. They remind me at times of bands like King Crimson and Led Zeppelin. They have done some cool interactive (Stew Art Series) and marketing stuff (unlocking content if fans help sell preorders of the new CD Mantis) for their fiercely loyal fan base. But if you haven’t seen them play live, you should…this is probably what they do best. Catch them on tour this summer starting on April 24th in Chicago, IL.
All That Remains – "Forever in Your Hands" - Another great song from the Massachusetts metalcore band that I first discovered “back in the day” when they played Heavy Metal Mondays at Bill's Bar on Lansdowne Street. I have always liked the melodic vocals from singer Phil Labonte (previously of Shadows Fall). They released their first record in '02 on Prosthethic Records (an awesome label in L.A.) and started their ascent onto the national scene. They were on the road all last year headlining the Harddrive tour in 40 cities with bands like Lacuna Coil and I am sure will be back out there this summer.
HMXLachesis, Web QA tester
This wasn't an easy week for me to narrow down my picks! I have five songs from this fantastic week on my "must buy" list with two more on my "maybe buy" list. But if I were going to recommend just three....
No Crossing - "Midnight Daydreams" - Midnight Daydreams is a light, bouncy, and moving synthpop song about insomnia. Singing this reminds me strongly of singing along with an Owl City song on the radio. Also, I'm charmed by the nod to Rock Band in the lyrics -- "...(H)ow long until the dawn? / I sing alone with the windows open / So at least I'm not bored / With plastic guitars and my favorite chords...."
Umphrey’s McGee - "1348" - This is one of those pieces where you really feel the connection between what you're playing and the music in your ears, even at the lower levels. I'm normally a devoted Rock Band vocalist, but this song is magic on guitar. With the shifting time signatures and the intricate guitar riffs, I'd be inclined to call it prog rock instead of regular rock. I need to learn the vocals on this well enough that I can play and sing at the same time.
The Japanese Frog - "Where We're Goin" - Did I just say I was a devoted vocalist? This techno song has no vocals at all, and I love it anyway. It's not a long piece, but that's a case of quality over quantity, and the replayability is high. The lead line is mapped into guitar, and the feel of the song is perfectly preserved even when the map is reduced to Medium or Easy.
So those are my three...
...but I'm leaving out...
ARGH! I can't limit it to three! I've got a fourth recommendation for you!
Jon Black & The Winter Hearts - "Gravity (Don't Let Me Go)" - "Gravity (Don't Let Me Go)" is a rock song with a full, epic quality. Rich bass over the thunder of drums, lyrics reflecting desperation and spirituality, mellow, smooth vocals - yeah, I think this song was tailormade for my inner wannabe rocker (or, at least, the aspect of her that wants to hang out onstage with U2 and Sting.)
noble, S1ckH4nds, RBN Authors
The Japanese Frog - "Where We're Goin" - One thing I absolutely love about RBN is that it's opened up the doors to a lot of musical styles that would hardly ever be considered for regular DLC. And although there have been electronic tracks in the game so far from the likes of Freezepop and the Chemical Brothers, this track by The Japanese Frog is the game's first example of a pure techno instrumental. The sounds are reminiscent of something you'd hear in a Detroit club around 2:00 AM. Although there's no vocals, it's a lot of fun to play on all instruments, especially the drum part! My only complaint is that it's a bit on the short side, but for only 80 MSP, it's well worth a download.
Sybreed - "Doomsday Party" - This song is pure awesome. It's like the Gods of Metal and Industrial had a baby with a techno club. One of the songs I had never heard of before it dropped into testing, and now I'm a huge fan of the band, and was waiting with baited (which I'm guess means smells of worms?) breath for it to hit the store. If you ever wondered what a band like Static-X would sound like if you put them in a blender with a disco ball, then this song is for you.
Fear without Reason - "Home" - Why lookie here. Another band who was completely unknown to me, but now I'm lurking outside their studio in the bushes seeing what they'll produce next. Really chunky song with some very Creed (the band, not the weird guy from "The Office" who was also in a band) like vocals in the chorus.
All Rock Band Network tracks are available on the Xbox 360 and can be purchased through the in-game Rock Band Music Store or online by clicking on the Xbox Marketplace link on each song page. Pricing varies. For more information about the Rock Band Network, please visit the official Rock Band Network page. To see a list of all songs available in the Rock Band Network Music Store, please visit the Rock Band Network song page.