It’s a '90s extravaganza this week with additional tracks from three of the decade’s best-loved alternative bands, though one of the songs was recorded as recently as 2005. But we’re betting that at least one of the bands that fueled your high-school rock fantasies is here.
Weezer — “El Scorcho”
Of all the pop songs that came out of Expository Writing classes at Harvard University, this Weezer tune has to be one of the best. Leader Rivers Cuomo went back to school soon after his band caught on, taking classes between Weezer tours, and the inspiration for this tune hit during a writing workshop. As he told Harvard’s newspaper the Crimson, it wasn’t even his own paper: “We had to do a little workshop thing, and I got assigned to review this one person’s essay. I liked some of the lines in it, so I took them and used them in the song.” Also hidden in the lyrics is a reference to the Puccini opera “Madame Butterfly,” from which the Pinkerton album took its name. And you thought this was just a catchy pop song.
Stone Temple Pilots — “Sex Type Thing”
Here’s one of the saltier lyrics ever to appear on Rock Band. We’ll remind everyone that Scott Weiland meant this to be a song against sexual violence — though he sure did a convincing job portraying the lowlife guy in the song. He even punished himself for singing these words, getting himself tortured in the original video. Onstage he’d sometimes strip to his shorts and wrap himself in a flag while singing this one. Controversy aside, this tune features one of the all-time bone-crunching guitar riffs, and the perfect air of California sleaze. It was the band’s very first single.
Garbage — “Why Do You Love Me”
This wasn’t the biggest hit single Garbage ever had, but it just might be the one most tailor-made for Rock Band: With its double-time drums and monster guitar riff, it finds these studio rats sounding like a live, sweaty band. As usual, this is topped off by singer Shirley Manson’s sultry vocal, which is equal parts come-hither and get-outta-here. This nifty single wrapped up Garbage’s career, coming ten years after “Queer” first raised eyebrows.
“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.