This is all a matter of perspective but Harmonix and MTV games have (to me) slipped and fallen on their faces today.
Today’s Rock Band DLC is an album I’ve been waiting for since BEFORE Rock Band, after finally getting to play “Tonight I’m Going to Rock You Tonight” on Guitar Hero II and realising that the whole soundtrack to This is Spinal Tap would make for some fantastic gaming moments.
Put simply, it’s finally here but all the songs are from the recent “Back from the Dead” album; ergo – limp, keyboard-dependent renditions of Tap classics done in such a half-arsed way that I genuinely would have preferred cover versions from a band that at least understood why Tap rocked in the first place. Yes it’s a joke band, but I’ve been listening to that soundtrack since I was sixteen years old and the songs are ingrained in my head. Hearing them done ‘differently’ if you like these new ones or just plain ‘badly’ if you share my view, is worse than them not being on the Rock Band store at all, because at least if that were the case we could still hope, pray, wish and campaign for their release.
I completely understand if the original tracks were unobtainable or unusable, that’s often the case, but if Neversoft can get the surviving Sex Pistols back in to re-record a very accurate new version of Anarchy in the UK and if Harmonix themselves can produce a better non-master of Tonight I’m Going to Rock You Tonight on GHII, then there is absolutely no excuse for this shoddy and embarrassing output. I blame Spinal Tap as well for this godforsaken album. I’m just a blame-cannon today and none shall escape my wrath.
On the upside I downloaded a whole bunch of RB tracks in the past week and can thoroughly recommend the Weezer pack, Disposable Teens by Marylin Manson and Get Up (I feel like being a sex machine) by the late, great James Brown.
If you want Tap at all costs, here’s a list of the DLC on offer today, but preview before you buy them. Some of them aren’t terrible, but my over-trained ear could pick out the floopy keyboard work and muzak styling in place of the original raw guitars. These don’t go to eleven. they barely hit three.
(Note: I’ve gone through YouTube and listened carefully to each track to assess which ones are the lamest. By and large they actually aren’t that terrible, just different. However, the unacceptably lame ducks are marked in bold for your ease of purchasing)
“(Funky) Sex Farm” (Sounds like a Vegas band that thinks they’re funny. They aren’t)
“(Listen to the) Flower People (Reggae Stylee)” (No longer feels like Tap in the 70’s. Just plain wrong)
” America ”
“Cups and Cakes” (Trumpet switched for a limp organ solo. No spine to the song any more)
“Gimme Some Money” (Twangy 60’s Beatles style rhythm guitar switched for yet another limp organ music. Fail!)
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Creation”
“Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight”
In summation, give me a time machine and a big boot because some folks are due an arse-kicking.