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HMX RBN Picks XIX

Check out this week's recommendations from Harmonix and Rock Band Network community for the best recent Rock Band Network tracks.

The Get Up Kids - "The One You Want" (Rock)

Easily one of the most important bands in my life circa 1999, The Get Up Kids were at the forefront of a shift in the pop punk sound that helped shape bands like Fall Out Boy and Blink-182. This track comes from the band’s last studio album, so it’s a little more mature and also something of a cautionary tale (one of the main song writers was going through a divorce at the time) but there’s still plenty of opportunities to pogo. Jangly choruses abound, a sunny guitar solo brings things up at the end and there’s even a few “woo-ooh-ooh”s in the background. What more could a pop punk fan want? - HMXHenry, Associate Manager, Community

Terror – "Stick Tight" (Punk)

This track marks the first appearance of a modern hardcore band in Rock Band (joining the classic hardcore punk tracks from the Dead Kennedys) and I couldn’t be happier. Pounding drums, gang vocals, chugging break downs, and a healthy dose of NYHC style grit make this the ideal track for turning your living room into a mosh pit. Get mom to dole out crucial windmills! Have grandpa headwalk off the recliner! Tell the kids to start floorpunching! MORE STAGE DIVES, MAXIMUM OUTPUT!  - HMXHenry, Associate Manager, Community

Iron & Wine - "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" (Other)

He may not be the most rocking artist in Rock Band, but Iron & Wine’s Samuel Beam has an absolutely EPIC beard, so hopefully that buys me a few lines to sell you on this track. Iron & Wine’s soft and sleepy vocals are some of the most atmospheric and moving in today’s folk rock scene, and they carry the beginning of this song, accompanied only by light acoustic strumming and a lonely tambourine. The full band kicks in around 1:15 and the song continues to swell and grow from there. Not a party starter, but an all star indie folk track that offers a nice break from the double bass and endless guitar solos out there. - HMXHenry, Associate Manager, Community

Gov’t Mule – "Steppin’ Lightly" (Rock)

Want to be a rock star, but afraid of the “wall of notes” that accompanies most of the high tier guitar solos? Here’s a sweet, soulful, bluesy song that sounds like a cross between Dr. Hook, The Allmans, and Grand Funk Railroad.

Warren Haynes has a fat, thick, guitar tone and the song alternates between a funky hook and some deceptively tricky HOPO strumming in the verse. The guitar solos aren’t blistering, but they will have you grooving, shaking, and make you feel like you’re standing in front of a wall of Marshall amps with a Les Paul around your shoulder and an array of distortion pedals at your feet. DO RECOMMEND. - HMXMisterGame, RBN Senior Producer

Van Friscia - "Epic Symphony in A Flat Minor, First Movement: Marching Out" (Prog)

There's really only one word to describe this song, and it's right there in the title: epic. Van Friscia pulls out all the stops in this song, adding a full symphonic sound to the traditional guitar, drums, and bass. Of particular note is the awesome piano part, which is tragically left uncharted. Hopefully Van Friscia has his eye on Rock Band Network 2 when charting the remaining movements of the "Epic Symphony," because this is exactly the sort of song I'd like to be playing on keys once Rock Band 3 is out. - Xenigma, RBN Community

Slim Cessna's Auto Club - "Americadio" (Rock)

You could call this gospel rock, since it has the same spiritual repetition and sound, but it'd be some of the darkest gospel out there. This is not feel good, higher power music; this is the devil's stuff. I've seen plenty of metal bands try to sound dark but just sound silly, but the Auto Club pulls it off in spades. Between the commanding preacher vocals, military beat, and screeching guitar bursts, it's as fun to play as it is just to listen to. - FairwoodStudios, RBN Community

The Novocaines - "Cup of Coffee" (Rock)

I'm weird. I don't like coffee. The smell's fine, but I can't stand drinking it very often. "Cup of Coffee," then, is the garage rock version of how I take mine - fast, strong, to the point, and out of the way in seconds, leaving you unnaturally energized for a few hours afterward. - FairwoodStudios, RBN Community