It’s another encore week at Rock Band, as we unveil three tracks (one from the masters, two faithfully covered) from bands already in Rock Band. Suffice to say that if you like tricky and complex guitar music, you’ll be right at home with this batch.
There are fans who’ve followed Billy Corgan’s every move, and some even bought the latest reunion album. But let’s face it: For most of us, the best Pumpkins is old Pumpkins. And this master track from their debut album reminds us of what we all loved about the band: Those massive walls of guitars. That sneering, yet somehow emotive Corgan vocal. Those evocative words that don’t even need to make a lot of sense. Tracks like “Siva” proved that this newfangled “grunge” thing wasn’t that different from good old arena rock—Maybe it didn’t matter that the groove on this tune is almost ZZ Top, but it sure didn’t hurt.
As Rush songs go, this one’s relatively simple: It’s from the first album, the only one they made before Neil Peart brought in his brainiac lyrics and impossible drum parts. At the time Rush came off like a more lowbrown Zeppelin, with down-to-earth anthems like this one. This seven-minute song is no cinch, however; and the instrumental midsection is all but guaranteed to trip you up the first time through. Original Rush drummer John Rutsey promptly disappeared off the face of the earth, but “Working Man” didn’t: It’s one of the oldies that turns up regularly in their live shows. Maybe they’ll even play it on their just-announced summer ’08 tour.
Coheed & Cambria—“Ten Speed (of Gods Blood & Burial)”
One of the unwritten rules of modern art-rock: If you inadvertently happen to write something catchy, you have to hang it with the longest and weightiest title possible. Prime example is this C&C track, which sports a tasty double-guitar line that almost sounds a little Allman Brothers. Like the previous RB track “Welcome Home,” this sits in the middle of the epic multi-album concept piece that the New York band devised over the past six years. Having recently wrapped that project, they’re said to be working on something even more confusing.
“I Want My, I Want My DLC!”
The songs in Rock Band are only the beginning. Each week we’ll be rolling out more downloadable songs, essential tracks (and sometimes whole albums) from every era of rock history. Check the Rock Band website to find out what’s new.
Tracks will usually sell for $1.99 each; with three-pack specials costing $5.49. (On the Xbox 360, that’s 160 Microsoft Points per track and 440 per three-pack). Occasional special or discounted tracks may cost a dollar more or less.
Downloadable content for the Xbox 360 is available through the XBOX LIVE marketplace. Downloads for the PLAYSTATION 3 version of Rock Band are available through the PLAYSTATION Network Store. In each case, the songs are downloaded onto your hard drive.
If you’re playing solo, you can start rocking right away. For head-to-head or multiplayer online, all players will need to download the song.