Another week, another great selection of tracks! Quiet Company follow up You, Me & the Boatman with a track from their previous album, there are a couple of metal tracks to keep you on your toes as well as even more! This week’s RBN recommendations include classic rock, southern rock and Mexican rock as we move further south across the border. Strap in and get ready for a rock-y ride!
Xbox 360: Sin Dirección – Para Ti
The Rock Band Network not only opens the gateway for smaller and lesser known bands to reach a wider audience, it also offers a fantastic opportunity to get songs in different languages into the Rock Band library. Sin Dirección are one such band – if you can’t speak Spanish then this song will be a crash course in pronunciation and unfamiliar punctuation – and bring their song Para Ti, courtesy of AGL Solutions, for only 80MSP.
The song starts as it means to go on – expect a fair amount of alt-strumming and disco-beat on the drums. Later parts of the song mix things up with a less intensive drum pattern, but the intro gives a good indication of the overall style. The alt-strum can often be the bane of note-streak chasers and FC (Full Combo) completionists, so there might be an added layer of challenge despite not reaching the pinnacle of complexity.
Guitar focuses on alt-strumming, throwing in chords amongst the single-note streams. The chorus has a tricky triple-chord pattern that requires nimble fingerwork. The bridge is significantly easier, slowing down and relying on powerful chords before segueing into a wonderful solo that isn’t impossible but still has intricate HOPOs. Bass, on the other hand, does feature a lot of single-note alt-strumming, but it sounds crisp and resonant making it a vital part of the song.
Drums, as mentioned before, offer a disco beat to contend with – including some snare placement that may throw you off – but, as with guitar, the bridge slows proceedings down enough that the kick/tom pattern will feel like blessed relief. Vocals, meanwhile, have a melody strong enough to carry even the most stubbornly terrible Spanish speaker. Harmonies look as though they will simply be of the ‘dual lead vocals’ type, but later phrases diverge the pitch-tubes making for some satisfying singing.
It’s great to see non-English songs available through the RBN. Spanish seems to be the most dominant language although songs in German, French and even Japanese are already or soon to be available. For 80MSP, Para Ti esta bueno!
Sounds like: Fellow RB bands Don Tetto and Finley.
Perfect for: Vocalists, drummers.
Playstation 3: John Parr – Under a Raging Moon
Originally written by John Parr for Roger Daltrey, Under a Raging Moon is a profound tribute to the late Keith Moon, drummer for The Who. The song doesn’t just refer to Keith Moon in the lyrics, the sound of the song is as close as you can get to a Who song without Pete Townshend windmilling his way through the guitar solo. Taken from the album Letters to America, this version of the song is a 2011 re-record but sounds just as powerful as it did when sung by Daltrey.
Beginning with an organ part straight out of Who’s Next, a mournful bass joins in alongside understated cymbals. Not before too long Parr’s vocals enter, building up to the explosive chorus. Perhaps the most impressive feat of the song would be the drums that feel distinctly similar to the style of the legendary drummer, all crazy fills and ‘wall of sound’ cymbals. The solo and last fill/outro are typical Moon, flying off the handle in terms of craziness yet remaining a viable drum pattern all the same.
Bass and guitar are understated in comparison to the drums and vocals but are entertaining nonetheless. Guitar focuses on chords and the occasional triplet (as well as a few Townshend-esque quick strums) while bass isn’t showy but remains technically impressive, similar to John Entwistle’s trademark input.
Harmonies and an impressive keys part round out this exceptional song, perfect for fans of The Who, classic rock or good songs in general. You cannot miss out on this one!
Sounds like: The Who
Perfect for: Drummers, vocalists, keys
Throwback Track: Maylene & The Sons of Disaster – (Step Up) I’m On It
Pure southern rock, sounding like ZZ Top on amphetamines, this track from Maylene & The Sons of Disaster is a short blast of adrenaline, all fuzzy guitars and belting vocals.
The wailing guitar track, infused with the country-tinged slide prevalent in southern rock, kicks things off to a raucous start. The kick pedal counts things before the simple yet awesome drum pattern maintains the driving rhythm. A banjo provides complicated fret-work for the guitarist while the vocalist must move from a growled verse to a screamed chorus.
It’s a challenge for everyone, but it’s a whole lot of fun at the same time. Add in a bridge and solo section that really puts the guitarist through their paces, as well as fiendish fills and a catchy chorus. Combined you have a song that’ll wake up everyone in the near vicinity. Make sure you have extra drumsticks, reinforce the floor and gargle some whiskey – this one needs to be played loud!
Sounds like: ZZ Top + 100 cups of coffee.
Perfect for: Guitarists, vocalists.
As usual, keep your suggestions coming in for RBN Highlights – there’ll be plenty more on the way too!