This week's HMX Picks roundup includes Drowning Pool, Kid Beyond, and more. It's a short roundup this week since most of the RBN team has been out as SXSW talking to bands about how they can get involved in RBN. Next week's roundup will be back on track, and we'll have SXSW stories coming to you soon too!
HMXLachesis, Web QA tester
Stewart - "Dance With Me" - Despite the generic title, this isn't a generic song! "Dance With Me" is a weird little punk/alternative song inspired by Jacob Chabot's comic "The Mighty Skullboy Army". The beat is light and peppy, and lyrics like "Come on take a chance on me even though you're small and mean, ooh" are fun to sing. I enjoyed the song enough to go scout out the comic, which turns out to have a rather Invader Zim-esque sense of humor... appealing but sick. Go ahead, take a chance on "Dance With Me."
Kid Beyond - "I'm Alive" - Kid Beyond doesn't play it safe with "I'm Alive", which is part of what I enjoy about the song - its ambitiousness. This song was created to be epic, and it captures the grand epic feeling that some prog rock concept albums have, yet it's actually pretty easy to play (except for the drummer - still, only four dots there). The lyrics shift back and forth between mystical, surrealistic themes and sharp references to the Iraq War. Half the time, the vocal is very human, and the other half, it's been shifted into a bizarre robotic tone. If you hear someone on Highland howling "So hurry up 'cause I'm ready to die / I'm alive!" at neighbor-annoying pitches, it might be me.
HMXcj, Web editor
Drowning Pool - "Bodies" - This is the perfect song to start off an angry Rock Band setlist with. It definitely makes for a fun full-band experience.
Third Eye Blind - "Semi-Charmed Life '09" - Remember when this song came out and you sang along with the car radio and assumed you knew all the words? Now's your chance to find out if you really do. The re-record stays pretty close to the original track, and is even more fun to sing along with when you're getting stars in return...instead of strange looks from the drivers of the cars around you.
All That Remains - "Days Without" - This is one of those bands I hadn't heard of until I played their tracks in Rock Band. After playing "Chiron," "This Calling," and "Two Weeks" I rushed out and bought all of All That Remains' CDs. So any addition of their songs to RBN is good news to me. "Days Without" starts with a short but challenging guitar solo, so be warned.
RBN songs are available for the Xbox 360. Pricing varies. Click here for a full list of songs available for RBN.