Vexus's Hypothetical Rock Band 5! (91 on-disc songs, DLC, RBN return requests and a sandwich)



  • So, while the store's not letting me buy it yet, I have seen the tiers for Time to Say Goodbye.
    Could someone tell me how the bloody hell I managed to get every single one correct, including drums and vocals, and with relative tiers?!
  • MCSMeisterMCSMeister Road Warrior
    edited November 2018
    Dayum son, congrats! Looking at your tier and later listening to the song, I honestly thought something had to get devils. But you're now in the rare club of "people who have gotten tiers spot-on", along with @TuleRune and @SoConfined. I feel like maybe one other person has, but it's really like winning the lottery, in a sense, and I rarely see it. Not to mention the other instances I've seen haven't been relative tiers, so this is just icing on the cake.

    I guess there's no use in posting a comparison now since you spoiled it, but I don't care, I'm posting one anyway!

    Well, after playing the song on everything today, it really is a close shave with the guitar tier - I was able to GS it on guitar on my first run, whereas "This Will Be the Day" took me a couple tries to GS. I think this is due in part to the bulk of the scoring being the fast alt-strumming bits. Its tier is likely lower because there's also a few breathers with sustains, but the solo is really the main part that's difficult (and only like the first 2-3 seconds of it are bonkers, it becomes slightly more manageable after that). Still, though, I could definitely argue for it being devils for most people due to the speed of what you play.

    Bass, on the other hand, I'm really baffled isn't devils - I'd argue it's even more complex than the guitar chart at times. There's a lot more movement across the fretboard, not to mention bass has a different threshold of what a devil-tiered chart is due to it normally being easier than guitar. Drums are probably the most warranting of 5 dots here, as they pretty much keep a consistent, yet fast beat throughout (plus they get a break during the bridge), so the 5 dots are more about speed than complexity, for the most part. That said, some of the fills are uber-fast, but nothing too ridiculous beyond that.

    TL;DR, you really lucked out on a fluke IMO, because I definitely think something should have gotten devils.
  • I'm not so sure. I can't really comment on drums, but I didn't think the bass chart was quite Impossible-tier - certainly not in comparison to a lot of songs that actually have an impossible tier (Chop Suey, Redneck, Metropolis, Dream Genie, Peace Sells for instance). High Nightmare seems about right. Same for Guitar - at a push, it's on par with a low impossible like Something Bigger Something Brighter, and definitely below This Will Be The Day.

    Still, I will concede that there is some luck involved in being 100% spot on with relative tiers, but even then there is no way Time To Say Goodbye would be on the same level as something like Cry of the Banshee, Headlong Flight, Road of Resistance or Wynona's Big Brown Beaver.

    All the more reason for us to have an Epica song that's not Beyond the Matrix or Crimson Bow and Arrow I say - give me something I've been really wanting for ages that's also a proper test of my tiering ability! :3
  • Bass is a difficult one by how few songs there are in the higher tiers. For example there's more 0 dot guitar songs than 5 dot and devil tier songs on bass. 5 dots for Time to Say Goodbye I agree with though.
  • MCSMeisterMCSMeister Road Warrior
    Vexus said:

    I'm not so sure. I can't really comment on drums, but I didn't think the bass chart was quite Impossible-tier - certainly not in comparison to a lot of songs that actually have an impossible tier (Chop Suey, Redneck, Metropolis, Dream Genie, Peace Sells for instance). High Nightmare seems about right. Same for Guitar - at a push, it's on par with a low impossible like Something Bigger Something Brighter, and definitely below This Will Be The Day.

    It's really a thin line between five dots and devils for guitar and bass, I think. Again, I think bass is the one instrument that could deserve a devil tier if any instrument were to get one on that song. @LiveHomeVideo told me years ago that due to bass generally being easier than guitar, tiers work differently, and some things that would be five dots on guitar are devils on bass, for instance. In and of itself, sure, bass could probably be five dots, but judging how the instrument as a whole is usually tiered, devils seems more applicable. That was primarily what I was basing my opinion on here.
  • It's Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night, or "let's celebrate our government not getting blown up centuries ago by burning and blowing stuff up" Night here in the UK. Have some singles!

    Variety Singles: Remember the Fifth of November Edition

    Exit Eden: Firework [4]
    Hot Hot Heat: Let Me In [1]
    Franz Ferdinand: This Fire [3]

    Exit Eden is a symphonic metal supergroup with four different main lead singers, who intend to show that pop songs can work just as well if not better as metal songs. Their only album so far is Rhapsodies in Black, which features a plethora of pop songs rearranged to fit the genre. On vocals are Amanda Somerville (Avantasia, Epica, Trillium and a whole bunch of other bands), Marina La Torraca (Phantom Elite), Clémentine Delauney (Visions of Atlantis, Serenity) and newcomer Anna Brunner. As well as replicating (and in my obviously heavily biased opinion, bettering) Katy Perry's original vocal, there are some sweet harmonies on this track. Bass has some pretty heavy chugging rhythms and the keyboards keep most of the leads from the original. Guitar's a bit of a mix of the two, moving between rhythmic sections and additional leads and countermelodies - not to mention the solo of course!

    "Woke up to smoke and flames" and a band named Hot Hot Heat? Yeah, close enough for a bonfire night song choice! It also has a bit of a symphonic feel at points, with keys and bass as the most standout instruments. It's a much simpler song than I usually go for but it's also one of the most underrated songs in Saints Row 2 in my opinion.

    Since this is a British holiday (well, sort of - we don't get the day off) I figured we should have an actual British band. Franz Ferdinand are no stranger to Rock Band, having had a three-pack including fellow self-titled debut album single Take Me Out. This Fire (or Fffire if you prefer) has some pretty active and varied instrument parts and a vocal hook that's going to stick with you. Definitely a band we should have more of in my opinion!
  • Revenge of the Top 10 Lists

    I noticed @FritzyKatz has been doing various top 10 lists from their current and previous request threads. I'm running things with mine a bit differently, just sticking with two threads that do admittedly overlap quite a bit - one for songs that are particularly guitar, bass and/or drum-focused (this one) and one for songs that are particularly keys-focused (the other one). So, here are my top 10 songs from both threads of each decade. Just to make it trickier, I'm not going to repeat any bands. While I will be drawing from the keys thread as well, these are all songs that I think would work well in the guitar/bass/drums/vocal set-up without a lot of alt-charting.

    1960s or earlier
    1. Dion and the Belmonts: The Wanderer
    2. Coven: Wicked Woman
    3. Marty Robbins: Big Iron
    4. Aretha Franklin: Respect
    5. Barry McGuire: Eve of Destruction
    6. The Who: Substitute
    7. The Turtles: Happy Together
    8. Bobby "Boris" Pickett: The Monster Mash
    9. The Beach Boys: Wouldn't It Be Nice?
    10. ? and the Mysterians: 96 Tears
    (What can I say? I haven't requested much from the 50s or 60s!)

    1. Black Sabbath: Children of the Grave
    2. Fleetwood Mac: The Chain
    3. Derek and the Dominoes: Layla
    4. Rainbow: Stargazer
    5. The Undertones: Teenage Kicks
    6. Sweet: Fox on the Run
    7. Suzi Quatro: 48 Crash
    8. Motörhead: Overkill
    9. Thin Lizzy: Whiskey in the Jar
    10. David Bowie: Starman
    1. Siouxsie and the Banshees: Spellbound
    2. Metallica: Creeping Death
    3. The Proclaimers: Letter from America
    4. Guns 'n Roses: Paradise City
    5. Michael Jackson: Beat It
    6. Suicidal Tendencies: Institutionalized
    7. Janet Jackson: Black Cat
    8. The Cure: A Forest
    9. Girlschool: Race With the Devil
    10. Bill Medley and Jennifer Warner: (I've Had) The Time of My Life
    1. Ash: Girl from Mars
    2. Manic Street Preachers: Motorcycle Emptiness
    3. The Gathering: Leaves
    4. Pantera: Cemetery Gates
    5. Sepultura: Roots Bloody Roots
    6. Garbage: Only Happy When It Rains
    7. Ocean Colour Scene: Hundred Mile High City
    8. Hole: Awful
    9. En Vogue: Free Your Mind
    10. Pulp: Common People
    1. Muse: Knights of Cydonia
    2. Nightwish: Wishmaster
    3. Avril Lavigne: Sk8er Boi
    4. Emilie Autum: Dead Is the New Alive (remix)
    5. Brocas Helm: Cry of the Banshee
    6. Fountains of Wayne: Stacy's Mom
    7. Biffy Clyro: Bubbles
    8. Skindred: Warning
    9. Outkast: B.O.B.
    10. The Rasmus: In the Shadows
    1. Epica: Beyond the Matrix
    2. Rush: Headlong Flight
    3. Lovebites: The Crusade
    4. Delain: Suckerpunch
    5. Within Temptation: Paradise (What About Us?)
    6. St. Vincent: Rattlesnake
    7. Paramore: Rose-Colored Boy
    8. Jack White: Over and Over and Over
    9. Haim: The Wire
    10. My Indigo: My Indigo
    I also forgot I'd already requested Love Bites (So Do I) by Halestorm, so I'm rethinking that one too. Whoops!
  • Rethought Love Bites. Thought about replacing it with some Lovebites, but their guitar parts would probably be a bit too tricky for tier 5. Instead, it's going to be The Crucifier by Crucified Barbara. I've said before that this particular song sounds like Motörhead but, well, there is no but - it sounds like it could have been a Motörhead track, which is not actually a bad thing. If not Motörhead, there's definitely a bit of a Girlschool influence. The vocals might be a little overtiered for what's ultimately a replacement for Time To Say Goodbye, but they're not overly straightforward either. Everything else is on par with both TTSG and Love Bites, I reckon.

    This is why I should probably have a backup setlist. XD
  • edited November 2018
    Here are some variety singles tied to the themes from the recent special challenges.

    Variety Singles: Political Edition
    Alice Cooper: Elected
    The Smiths: Panic
    Epica: Deep Water Horizon

    Obviously, this is the political-themed challenge. Elected is a pretty self-explanatory cut from one of the all-time greats of shock rock. Got some solid stuff from the rhythm section in this one with big powerful chords on the guitar. Vocals get a good work-out with some of the long notes too. Shame I can't put this in both categories!

    Without this Smiths tune, Panic! At the Disco might well have had a very different name. Though there is no lyric that straight up says "panic at the disco", so who knows... This one's based around Chernobyl and the ensuing panic around nuclear power and how after a news report about it, the DJ on BBC Radio 1 played I'm Your Man by Wham. The juxtaposition of such a tragedy and an upbeat song disgusted Morrissey and Johnny Marr enough that they created this song as a response. I figure social commentary is close enough for the theme! Funnily enough, this is quite a bright and jangly indie-pop track despite its lyrics about mass hysteria and execution of disc jockeys.

    ...and finally, Epica because this is my thread and they're inevitable. I would say I'll stop requesting them if we get them but we all know that's a lie. As you might expect, it's pretty proggy with plenty of variety in the various instrument parts. Again, I'll mostly talk about the lyrics here, which focus on human greed and exploitation of the planet. As the title implies, it was written in reaction to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil spill of 2010.

    Variety singles: Super Fun Vocals (among other things) Edition
    Nightwish: Nemo
    Billy Ray Cyrus: Achy Breaky Heart
    Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell: Ain't No Mountain High Enough

    I thought I'd go with a female-fronted song, a male-fronted song and a duet for this. Ladies first, and here's more symphonic metal. Nemo is one of Nightwish's best-known songs, and at this point, probably the one that I think has the best shot at making it into the game. While these three tracks are focused on vocals, the other instruments all have pretty varied and fun parts too including a lovely piano riff and a shreddy, yet tasteful guitar solo. For vocals... well, it's Tarja Turunen - another vocalist I don't see myself ever tiering lower than devils!

    I was not kidding with "variety singles"! Country-pop is probably about as far from symphonic metal as one could get. Nightwish is a band I love despite some people finding them a bit cheesy, whereas this is something I love because it's just so cheesy. Nothing much to say about drums or bass here, but the guitar track has some nice licks in there along with some acoustic chords. It's all about the chorus harmonies though!

    Rounding out the vocals singles is this cut from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. Seriously, can we just get the entirety of both Awesome Mixes already? As well as having two amazing vocals on here, there's a cracking bassline underneath. Which is to be expected - this is Motown, after all. Drums have quite a tough time of it too, while the keys have some of the orchestral elements charted. Guitar's probably got it easiest with "just" a bunch of chord changes.

    I swear, I will get back to these regularly soon!
  • I don't actually have much to say about these, but I've only got one pre-RB4 Rewind song that I've not covered in some way. As I own all of the full game exports, most rewinds don't mean a lot to me and the only rewinds I've covered so far are tracks that were never exportable in the first place. After all:
    - We have the original version of Run to the Hills as DLC already, which more than makes up for the cover from RB1,
    - The same logic applies to my request for the original version of Paranoid,
    - I've already requested rewinds for the two Metallica tracks and Let There Be Rock,
    - Spoonman and Give It Away were in Blitz and are/were respectively available as rewinds before rewinds were rewinds.

    So, that's everything covered, right?

    Variety Singles: When the crowd say "bo selecta" edition
    Journey: Anyway You Want It (rewind)
    Tokio Hotel: Monsoon
    Die Toten Hosen: Hier Kommt Alex
    Les Wampas: Manu Chao

    Anyway You Want It is the last pre-RB4 track that's on every release. The other three are tracks that for one reason or another aren't playable in every version of RB4, but were included in the RB1 disc. I don't feel that much need to talk about them much, they're all songs we should be familiar with to some extent or another. I don't recall the exact details, so I refer you to the ancient adage of "music licensing is hard". Incidentally, for all you Battlebots fans, it's Tim Rackers from Monsoon's birthday!

    (Craig David confirmed?)
  • Variety singles: St. Andrew's Day Edition
    Biffy Clyro: That Golden Rule
    The Proclaimers: I'm On My Way
    Texas: Summer Son

    Yesterday was St. Andrew's Day, so that means I'm pretty much overdue to do my fourth and final patron saints day themed set of songs. Since Wales, Ireland and England have already had theirs, that leaves Scotland.

    Starting us off is another song from an album I really like, "That Golden Rule" from Biffy Clyro's "Only Revolutions" album. This is a pretty varied and active song for every part, and pretty tricky for everyone. Guitar and keys share some of the lead parts here, while the drums and bass blast through with very little slowing down.

    If you want something a bit more chilled out and almost country-flavoured, The Proclaimers can definitely deliver there. As with all Proclaimers tracks, the vocal harmonies are the main attraction here, with fairly straightforward instrumentation for the other roles. It's a pretty fun and uplifting song overall.

    Finally, Texas is yet another band roughly tied into the whole Britpop thing. Summer Son has loads of neat little guitar riffs in it along with a pretty prominent bassline that shifts between a few different rhythms to keep things interesting. The vocals are a bit subdued in this one compared to the rest of the tracks.

    Variety singles: "Shall we argue about the definition of a hit again?" Edition
    Iron Maiden: Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter!
    Maroon 5: She Will Be Loved
    KISS: Crazy Crazy Nights (Spotlight)

    Each of these acts has a good amount of songs in Rock Band, but not these songs. What's more, these are all songs that performed exceptionally well on the UK charts. From the perspective of a British fan, these songs being absent seems a bit odd.

    Bring Your Daughter isn't the best Iron Maiden song, but it is their only UK number one. It's pretty cheesy and silly really, but I can't help having a bit of a soft spot for it! It almost sounds like an attempt of theirs to write a Judas Priest track or something. Bruce is definitely channelling Rob Halford at some points in this, and the bassline doesn't seem to have the usual flourishes that Steve Harris usually brings in and feels a bit straight-laced at times. Still, the guitar and drum parts are just as good here as they are on any other Maiden track.

    So, I really don't like a lot of Maroon 5 songs, so why am I requesting She Will Be Loved? Well, obviously it's an exception, but it also succeeds in a lot of ways that other tracks of theirs fall flat for me. For one thing, Adam Levine sounds like he's actually trying in this song. The guitar and bass parts have a bit of variety to them, even if they're not hugely challenging. It's a nice, pretty song and one of the few that I'd like to have in the game.

    Oddly, Crazy Crazy Nights is the most successful song KISS have ever had in the UK, peaking at number 4. It's very much a product of its time and sees KISS having a much lighter sound with production that sounds more at home on something like Whitesnake. The key changes feel very pop too. There's still some solid guitar work here, though!

    Rock Band 5 Rivals Season 4 Week 5: Wait for a good hit!
    Play any song that was in the UK top 40 at any point in time

    Spotlight songs:
    Republica: Ready to Go [GB]
    KISS: Crazy Crazy Nights [GB]
    Rage Against the Machine: Killing in the Name [GB]

    Next time, keys lovers!

    Ready to Go actually narrowly missed the top 40 on its original release, but would later peak at #13. It's another one of those tracks that I think has more going for it on bass and drums than on guitar or vocals, but even then the guitar chart has a fair bit of variety - a simple yet effective main riff, some acoustic chords and even though it's mixed a bit quietly, a solo towards the end. It's a high-energy song with plenty going on in it, which makes it a pretty ideal song for the series.

    Not much to say about Crazy Crazy Nights that I haven't already!

    Finally, a song that not only reached #1, but Christmas #1, and the only Rage Against the Machine song normies have heard of. In my opinion, also their worst one. Sure, there's some good riffage in there and the usual fiery vocal delivery, but I just feel like they could have done something with the lyrics. Maybe I'm just bitter since it's the only RATM song you ever hear anywhere when there are so many other, better ones. Still, it was amusing when it beat whatever particular year's X-Factor winner to the Christmas #1 slot!

    I have got a holiday-themed pack in the pipeline (and that's not just me being PC - there are a couple of New Year-themed songs in there too) so either that or Rivals Week 6 will be next.
  • edited January 16
    This week's DLC:

    There's not really anything about this week's music that ties the songs together. Instead, it's a theme with the song and artist names. I missed out on doing this Rivals challenge, so I wouldn't mind having another go at it.

    Variety singles: Colourful edition
    The White Stripes: Blue Orchid (spotlight)
    The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus: Face Down
    Alannah Myles: Black Velvet

    The first song this week could have fitted last week since it reached #9 on the UK singles charts. While I've not put tiers up yet, I can see there being a playable bass track here that's fairly similar to the guitar chart, which is mostly based around the fairly consistent riffing. After all, that's what it had in Guitar Hero 5. Drums are simple as they usually are in a White Stripes song, and the constant adding and dropping parts of the kit Meg does here changes up the feel of the song quite noticeably. Simple, effective.

    I said in another thread that Saints Row was a pretty big influence on some of my requests, and this is no exception. The guitar chart in this pretty sweet emo tune is another simple yet effective part that's a mix of chugged chords and some kind of squealy riffage in the choruses. Bass keeps a fairly consistent groove going along with the drums, and the vocals have a surprising amount of range to them.

    Another underrepresented genre in here is blues rock. The bass groove is the main focus here, along with the vocals on the top of it. Guitar is a bit sparse, dropping in and out to throw down some tasty licks from time to time along with a solo. I really did have the vocalists and rhythm section players in mind with this pick.

    Rock Band 5 Rivals Season 4 Week 6: All the pretty colours
    Play any song with a colour in its title, or by a band/group/artist with a colour in their name

    The Birthday Massacre: Red Stars [GK]
    The White Stripes: Blue Orchid [GB]
    Green Day: 21st Century Breakdown [GB]

    Red Stars comes straight out of the keyboards expansion. As much as I like The Birthday Massacre, they're another band that I'd struggle to find a place for in Rock Band without keys being back. Though admittedly, how much I enjoyed that one CHVRCHES song does open my mind a bit... Red Stars has some pretty cool atmospheric verses, catchy choruses and heavy passages that keep the song varied and interesting.

    The great thing about Blue Orchid is that it fits every single possible criterion - blue in the song title and white is in the band name. Even the two members are Jack and Meg White!

    Finally, the title track from a Green Day album I have mixed feelings on, though I do love this particular track. The song evokes quite a lot of influences. I can definitely hear bits of The Who, Queen and the Dropkick Murphys for instance. There are no massively difficult Green Day songs, but this is one of the harder ones, particularly during the fast and almost kind of Celtic-sounding passage.

    Next time, I've got an artist pack 03. I'll leave you to speculate on that one. It's not Craig David though - as we know, he'll only be in a pack 02 if he ever makes it into this thread.
  • I decided against a single Christmas mega pack like I did for Halloween or Valentine's Day. Instead, I thought I'd do three smaller ones. So over the next few weeks, I'll be posting one of those packs. This is going to be in addition to regular DLC on Mondays.

    Metal Christmas Pack
    August Burns Red: Carol of the Bells
    Nightwish: Walking in the Air
    The Darkness: Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)
    King Diamond: No Presents for Christmas
    Lacuna Coil: Naughty Christmas

    American Dad fans might remember this rendition of Carol of the Bells from the episode where the Smith family engage in a battle with Santa. This version keeps all the familiar melodies of it and puts them on guitar along with a few extra bits that make this already rather eerie-sounding song just that bit heavier. Drums would have the toughest time here, though.

    The Snowman is an animated short film that since it first debuted in the 1980s has been shown on Channel 4 every single year. A few years ago it got a sequel that's almost as good but probably won't be as iconic as the original. That's mostly because of the song at the centre of it. The sequel had... err, some nice indie rock thing, I think? The original had a beautiful faux-classical track called Walking in the Air. While Aled Jones had the hit version, it wasn't the version in the actual film. Then years later, Nightwish covered it and added a guitar solo and some metal bass and drums. This is one that's mostly for the keys players and vocalists - the very people Carol of the Bells isn't for as much.

    Todd in the Shadows fans might remember this track being brought up during his One Hit Wonderland episode about The Darkness's "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" - a song that was utterly essential for games of this genre. We've already got it, of course, hence the "was". I'm stretching the definition of "metal" a bit with this one, but The Darkness's stylistic throwback to glam and hard rock is close enough! We've got some big bold guitar harmonies, loads of high notes on the vocals and a solid beat on the drums. Definitely one of my all-time favourite Christmas songs, and a wonderful throwback to the times of some songs I've got lined up for next week...

    King Diamond brings the hardest song of the pack overall. Sure, Carol of the Bells is probably a little harder on drums and Walking In the Air is harder on vocals and keys (the latter instrument being the exception that proves the rule), but this one's pretty consistently fast and heavy across the board. Lots of long and high notes on vocals, speedy riffs on guitar and bass (with the former getting a few solos peppered in there) and a punishing drum chart would make for quite a difficult but fun track. (NOTE TO SELF: Request more King Diamond/Mercyful Fate)

    Rounding this off is a pretty dark and heavy track from Italy's biggest Gothic Metal export Lacuna Coil. Male vocalist Andrea Ferro brings some of the heaviest vocals he's laid down in years while Cristina Scabbia explores quite a bit of her range, while the backing instrumentation has a fairly bleak and tense feel to it. Fitting for a song about the Krampus, a half-goat demon from Alpine folklore that punishes bad children during the Christmas season!

    The Features Wishlist
    A new addition for these three posts, I'm going to talk a bit about what I'd like to see added or changed in either a future Rock Band 4 update or in a hypothetical Rock Band 5. This week, I'm going to talk about some of the customisation improvements and additions I'd make.

    I spoke before about the character outfit categories being broken down more than they are to something more on par with RB2 or 3, or even GH World Tour/5/Warriors of Rock/the spin-offs of those games. Along with those, a triangular thin/fat/muscular slider for characters with each corner giving an extreme would be so welcome. Saints Row: The Third and 4 are my reference point for that. Along with a healthy helping of clothes options, there would be a lot of possible variation in the characters.

    Instrument customisation would be cool too. This is another area GH had RB beat in the last gen, where you could basically create a guitar from scratch and give it all the little details you want. By contrast in RB4 you can pick a guitar and if you're lucky, finishes and some paint colours. I'll admit it's realistic but it would be so cool to unlock custom parts over time. Drums could have more options too including huge sprawling kits with all sorts of bells and whistles. Mics and mic stands could have... Well, anything at all really. Unusual shapes like Simone Simons's S-shaped stand or attachments like Steven Tyler's ribbons would be a nice touch and that's just off the top of my head!

    The most outlandish idea is to allow customisation of a band's other equipment. Amplifiers, monitors, pyrotechnics and other effects, banners and so on. For amps and monitors, you could even go with null options or even the option to replace them with something ridiculous a la Geddy Lee's rotisserie chickens. Currently, the only pyro we really have are the spark shooters, but how about different colours for them? Jets of flame? Or even something totally different like gas or slime! Banners could be the simple band name ones we currently have, or a single default band logo or something else.

    The plan now is to do a Buzzcocks three pack of my own following the death of Pete Shelley, the next Rivals week and the next couple of Christmas packs. That's a heck of a lot of content coming up!
  • So, the Buzzcocks. This is a band I actually feel quite glad to have seen, even if it was at a pretty crappy local festival a few years ago. Still, the price was right (free) and my main point of contention with the thing was the audience rather than any of the acts. If you put on a free show on in a town with a dodgy reputation at best, I don't think anyone should be too surprised if the late Pete Shelley, frontman of one of the greatest English punk bands, calls out the local scumbags for their crappy behaviour. I know, it might not be very punk to ask your audience to actually behave for a few minutes, but it was just that bad...

    That said, I was a bit surprised we did get a version of Ever Fallen In Love, even if it was a cover version. Pleasantly surprised too, since it's one of the best cover versions available. It's so good that while I wouldn't say no to having the original (and it won't be in my tribute pack), I'm satisfied enough with it. That said, @FritzyKatz has done their own Buzzcocks 01 pack including it. Here's mine - three singles of theirs in a pack. One that was in Guitar Hero, one that I can just about justify picking by saying "well we've got Longview by Green Day" and one other that's a pretty cool almost post-punky song.

    Buzzcocks 01
    What Do I Get?
    Orgasm Addict
    Harmony In My Head
  • This week's DLC:

    So I went to see Nightwish again over the weekend. I've snuck in the odd track of theirs here and there (Wishmaster on the RB5 disc, Élan in one of the Bloodstock packs, Phantom of the Opera in a Halloween pack, Walking in the Air in the Metal Christmas pack and a live version of Ghost Love Score in the keys expansion) but I've never given them an entire pack of their own. Considering that we have just one track of theirs in Rock Band proper and it's in my opinion by far their least interesting song (they didn't even play it on Saturday...), I think that even how much I love their music as a whole, they're pretty overdue.

    So, here's a Nightwish Nine Pack. Three songs featuring original lead singer Tarja Turunen, three featuring her successor Anette Olzon, and three featuring their current lead singer Floor Jansen.

    Nightwish 01
    Gethsemane (spotlight)
    The End of All Hope
    I Want My Tears Back
    Last Ride of the Day
    My Walden
    Dark Chest of Wonders (Live)
    The Greatest Show On Earth

    Gethsemane (geth-sem-a-nee) is the first of the three Tarja-era tracks, and has some of the most classical-flavoured guitar and piano riffage in the pack. This coupled with the long outro gives each of the instruments a varied and active role. Vocally it's easy for a Tarja song - which means still probably at least tier 4!

    The End of All Hope has a more dramatic and heavier feel to it. The key change just before the mid-song instrumental section puts the vocal tier up a bit. While there is a brief guitar solo in here and keys are always a standout part in a Nightwish song, the bassline stands out here compared to some of the other Nightwish tracks, having a few brief mini-solos. Whether they'd be charted as solos or not though, I'm not sure.

    Rounding out the Tarja tracks is a song about a clownfish (note: the song was written and released long before Finding Nemo came out, so it's not really about a clownfish). This is easily the most accessible Tarja-Nightwish song in terms of sound, and would likely have the lowest tiers in the pack - the instruments rated between the tiers two and three. Vocals are still a 5, of course! Official video here.

    All three of the Anette songs are from the same album and my personal favourite Nightwish album, Imaginaerum. Storytime might be the second track from that album, but Storytime kicks it off properly for me. This has some of the most effective dynamic shifts in Nightwish's repertoire in my opinion and is just the right mix of restraint and being totally over the top. This is another one where the official video truncates the song a bit, and you can view it here.

    I Want My Tears Back has a guitar riff in it that's kind of reminiscent of Megadeth's Symphony of Destruction - itself a song Nightwish used to cover live with bassist Marco Hietala singing lead. Speaking of Marco singing, his vocals on the pre-chorus and chorus make this almost into a straight-up duet. Guitar and bagpipes (I'm guessing the latter would be a keys alt-chart?) have the most fun in this one, getting a duelling solo in the middle of the track. It also has a clap in the actual track so if you want to play solo vocals for some reason, the percussion chart writes itself!

    Like I said before, Nightwish didn't play Amaranth when I saw them at the weekend, but they did play this track. This surprised me since Last Ride of the Day isn't on Decades, which is the compilation album the tour was promoting. It was a welcome surprise. The orchestral intro kind of reminds me of some of Murray Gold's compositions for Doctor Who. The rest is a solid power metal track, as you'd expect. This is probably the most vocally challenging of the Anette-Nightwish songs, maybe second to Amaranth (though mostly due to the latter's vocal solo at the end).

    Finally, we get to my personal favourite of the Nightwish vocalists, Floor "No relation to Epica's Mark" Jansen. Picking songs from the current era of Nightwish is a bit tricky since Floor's only done one album so far, and while I don't think Nightwish have a bad album, it's not one of my favourites. With the big single from the album already in an earlier pack, I've gone with the other two songs from that album on Decades and a live track.

    My Walden features some lyrics in Welsh (because of course) and more folk-influenced instrumentation, with an outro that feels very different from the rest of the song. Troy Donockley is listed as the pipes and bouzuki player, so I'm assuming that the kind of acoustic guitar-ish part is bouzuki, and would work wonderfully as a guitar alt-chart during the slower outro section.

    I'll be honest, I don't strongly prefer many Nightwish songs live apart from Ghost Love Score. Even then, Floor's rendition of it is just making an amazing song even more amazing. As such, I'd be more than happy to have the original version of Dark Chest of Wonders or a live version of Gethsemane/The End of All Hope/Nemo (though I would prefer studio versions of the Anette and Floor tracks). Dark Chest of Wonders has a heavy intro but big uplifting choruses, along with plenty of fun and tricky riffs for all instruments - the latter as you'd expect by this point!

    Finally, a track so long that I think it might need a pack all of its own (not to mention some of the orchestral elements alt-charting to be even close to playable). A song so long they had to split it up, play Ghost Love Score and then have the outro play on a tape at the end. You've got an atmospheric intro, uplifting section, dark passages and the history of humanity and life itself condensed into a 24-minute epic that makes Ghost Love Score look like Napalm Death's You Suffer. Oh, and those animal sounds? They'd be part of the vocal chart, along with the spoken word passages from Richard Dawkins. I mean I'm daring to dream of songs that will never happen anyway, so why not?
  • edited January 16
    Rock Band 5 Rivals Season 4 Week 7: Many a Splendoured Thing
    Songs about love, lust and heartbreak

    t.A.T.u.: All The Things She Said [GB]
    Nightwish: Gethsemane [GK]
    Rick Astley: Never Gonna Give You Up [BK]

    Finally, an even spread of guitar/keys/bass spotlights! A bit of a revisit of an old theme that's come up a few times now, each time with a few songs I thought could have been included but weren't. Might do a Spotify playlist for the missing tracks...

    When I picked All The Things She Said for the disc, I was torn between the original and the cover by Evarose. Obviously, I went with this and an original Evarose song - there's more guitar and bass in this than I first thought, even if it's mostly simple chord stuff. Still, this is a pretty iconic pop-rock song from its era that would fit nicely in the game and is infinitely more likely to make the cut than the Evarose version. Keys don't have much to do here (mostly just an instrumental break), so they get the back seat.

    Gethsemane gets guitar and keys partly for balance, partly because there are so many better Nightwish songs on bass (though this one fits the theme lyrically) and partly because guitar and keys stand out so much in this one.

    It's not a rickroll if you know what you're getting into! It's a love song with a playable enough bassline and synths as the main instrumentation and it's a bloody meme. I don't need to say anything else really.

    Next time a few Christmas oldies.
  • Holiday Classics Pack
    Slade: Merry Xmas Everybody
    Wizzard: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
    The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl: Fairytale of New York
    Chuck Berry: Run Rudolph Run
    Abba: Happy New Year

    Starting us off is a bit of a twofer from 70s British glam rock bands. The Americans among you probably know Slade best as "that band Quiet Riot covered", but I don't think Quiet Riot got their mitts on this first track. Humourous lyrics and fairly straightforward instrumental parts make this a pretty ideal Christmas party track. A massive track in the UK that still gets overplayed to this day, but I have no idea if this one really caught on overseas. Or the next one, which ticks a lot of the same boxes. I slightly prefer this one since that big "IT'S CHRISTMAAAAAAAAAAS~" scream would be a lot more fun to do on vocals than the kiddy choir on the next one...

    When I said that Wizzard's track ticks a lot of the same boxes as Slade's, I meant it. It even came out the same year! Still, it's not a total redundancy - the children's choir section gives the vocals a bit more difficulty, and the saxophone makes for a more prominent chart for keys. Lead singer Roy Wood was also a member of the Electric Light Orchestra in their early years, incidentally.

    The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl are both acts I totally need to do packs for and here they perform a beautiful folk-tinged ballad about... two junkies in a mutually destructive relationship. There's no "proper" guitar in here but the banjo and mandolin would work just fine for an alt-chart. It's all about Shane McGowan and Kirsty MacColl's vocals in this one though - even if the lyrics aren't ones that I can really post on here! Though the storytelling in the song is actually pretty fantastic.

    If you prefer your rock and roll without the bells and whistles, Chuck Berry should have you covered. One vocal, straightforward drums and bass, a good old-fashioned guitar solo and a nice solid piano part accompanying the whole thing. It's short, sweet and pretty timeless.

    And finally, the third Abba song I've requested so far. Maybe I might have them pull a Nightwish - loads of single appearances in packs when I deem it to be appropriate, followed by a big old pack... This is more of a chilled song compared to the rest of the pack, and all the challenge lies in the vocals. It's also the first of two songs I've picked that's about something other than Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (okay, I suppose The Darkness mentioned Boxing Day too).

    The Features Wishlist
    So one feature I like in Rock Band 4 is Play A Show mode. It's pretty good as is, and is certainly playable in its current form. However, I do think it could be used as the basis for a new mode I'm calling "Play A Show Plus", which could almost be a party mode. Alternatively, its current settings could be a default mode for Play A Show Plus. Either way, I'd like the option to keep it as it is, but add the following.

    Play A Show, as far as I know, doesn't seem to take ratings or filters into consideration. A lot of the filters you can use for Quickplay should be usable here - genre, Rivals challenge eligibility, vocalist gender, release date and so on. Playlists could also be loaded into Play A Show Plus to act as a pool of songs to work from too. I imagine the playlist would need to have a certain minimum of songs to be playable in Play A Show Plus, but both RB4+Rivals and the base RB5 disc have more than enough tracks that it shouldn't be too tricky to meet the quota. With these changes, Play A Show/PAS Plus could easily become the new default party mode.
  • Merry Xmas Everybody is definitely the first Slade song that comes to mind but maybe that's to do with the nature of how you pretty much can't escape holiday songs for the entirety of November and most of December. If Halloween didn't exist the holiday season would probably start even earlier (e.g. August).
  • It's also interesting how with that, I've now requested all three Slade songs that are on Spotify - and in the reverse order to how many plays they've had (Mama Weer All Crazee Now is third but I requested it first, Cum On Feel The Noize is second and I requested it second, and Merry Xmas Everybody is first and I requested it most recently).

    I've got no idea how they actually did in America, but their chart history in the UK is actually pretty impressive. They had three other number ones apart from those three songs for one thing - I just didn't plan on including any others since like I said, they're a nigh-inescapable Christmas song and two songs covered by Quiet Riot, putting them above even the other number ones in terms of how known they are.

    Not that chart success was, is or should be the be-all and end-all about what gets put into Rock Band, of course!
  • Vexus's Selection Box
    Brenda Lee: Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
    The Pretenders: 2000 Miles
    Within Temptation: Gothic Christmas
    Blink-182: I Won't Be Home For Christmas
    Pale Waves: New Years Eve

    Kicking off this pack, two songs I thought about for the Classics pack - one of which I came up with pretty recently and the other I decided might not have been as "big" as the other bands in the pack. First, the one that I came up with after I was already pretty happy with the Classics pack: Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. In a four-instrument set-up, the saxophone solo would probably be a guitar alt-chart. I'd have it as a keyboard alt-chart in the five-instrument set-up, leaving the guitar chart to be the little lead fills. Bass and drums carry the track, along with the sweet backing vocal harmonies.

    Not the first Christmas song by the Pretenders we've had, but the one that comes to mind first for me. Much as I like Blue Christmas, both Elvis's take and the blues/punk mash-up thing that the Pretenders do with it, this is the true Pretenders Christmas song to me. Guitar has that pretty arpeggio backing with a couple of little lead fills to keep things varied. What I think are glockenspiels give it a bit of an icy atmosphere, fitting the season (they'd be charted to keyboard) and Chrissie Hynde's lead vocal has a good mix of highs and lows to give it a bit more of a challenge.

    Within Temptation of all bands bring the silliest song of any of these tracks, itself a bit of a lampoon of goth and metal culture. It's upbeat with silly lyrics about revamping the Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer mythos and Santa Claus becoming a cross-dressing dragon slayer. I don't think I need to sell it any further.

    Our penultimate Christmas song is an old Blink-182 track, with some fairly active riffage on guitar and bass, and some pretty frenetic drumming. Vocals are probably the easy bit here, as long as you can sing the lyrics with a straight face but the other parts might be surprisingly tricky for a Blink song. Not the trickiest Blink song I could have requested - you'll get that soon enough!

    Finally, a chilled pop-rock track. While the vocals and synths are at the forefront of this Pale Waves track, there is some pretty clean rhythm guitar beneath there, which is actually some pretty quick picking that would likely make for a deceptively tricky part. There's a fair bit of mood shift going on throughout the song, and it's going to be tricky to shift that chorus from your head.

    And I haven't made anyone lose Whamageddon!

    The Features Wishlist
    This might seem like an odd one, but I'd like more tutorials. One thing I've found playing Rock Band at events, parties and such is that even today, a lot of people don't know how the guitar/bass gameplay actually works. It's simple enough to get, of course, but I wonder how many people tried it even on easy, couldn't "do it" since there's nothing really telling you how apart from a loading screen that has less and less of a chance of popping up each time more of them get added, and gave up.

    Plus there are people who even now don't make the jump from Medium to Hard (let alone beyond) since it's apparently too much of a stretch to hit the orange, unaware that it's actually easier to have your index finger on red by default and stretch that up to green (along with middle to red and ring to yellow) when needed. Then again why would they know that? The game never tells you that anywhere. For me, the game's best experienced on Expert and making the jump to it isn't as difficult as it seems, and more people would make the jump with a little nudge.

    It's on vocals that I think we could benefit most from a few tutorials. Everyone gets the basic idea of singing and that the lines correspond roughly to how high/low you should sing, but there could be things about topics like what "you can sing in any octave as long as it's the right note" actually means, breath control, how to growl without wrecking your throat, how to find your actual range and so on.

    As for drums, I guess you could reuse the tutorials from RB3?

    Anyway, the next bit of my rivals season will be up later.
  • If @firedoom666 is to be believed, Andrew W.K.'s "Music Is Worth Living For" is confirmed! @MCSMeister I promise I won't spoil how well my tier predictions match up with the reality.
  • MCSMeisterMCSMeister Road Warrior
    I love how both this song and the last song I compared for you were songs I never would've expected anyone to tier already. Meanwhile, @FritzyKatz seems to tier the more obvious picks. Funny how that's worked out.

    Anyway, I'm not buying this song and haven't listened to it, so I'll just give you a brief comparison:

    Pretty close overall! Only drums are spot-on, but vocals and bass are a mere dot off, while guitar is 2 dots off.
  • What's even funnier to me is that with one exception so far where it was the only wrong one (Karma Chameleon), my drum tiers tend to be more accurate than any others. Yet, drums are my least played instrument (to the point I have never played them in RB4, and only played a tiny bit in the previous gen games).

    I also haven't played this on vocals yet but this is way easier on guitar and bass than I was expecting. Bass should be a tier 1 as well in my opinion now that I've played it, but it has a few tiny differences from the guitar chart (aside from the usual having single notes where the guitar chart has chords) that make me see why they tiered it slightly higher. Well, aside from the standards for difficulty on bass being generally lower anyway.

    But yeah, a track I FC on guitar on its first play is almost definitely not a tier three!
  • New year, same old thread

    I'm not going to be putting up requests for a while. My priority, for now, is going to be cleaning up my Rivals seasons. I think I've messed up the numbering for the weeks some point... I'm not going to start a new thread either - having only had three requests fulfilled thus far (some of the more left-field ones at that) means I don't really see a need to do a revamped setlist at this moment in time. I'm also going to put up tiers for some of my recent requests since I haven't done those in a while.

    That said, I will be posting whenever something that I've either requested or was planning on requesting gets added as DLC. While I do the occasional tier comparison in other threads, I feel like it's fairer to have MCSMeister do them in mine. I like the whole "second opinion" thing.

    Speaking of things that were on my radar, this is now the second week running that such a track has made it into the game, and I believe the fifth time overall (Pictures of Matchstick Men, Unwritten, Steal My Sunshine and the two tracks I'm about to talk about). I seem to have more success with songs that I mean to get around to but for whatever reason don't!

    Last week was a track I was pleasantly surprised to see added to the game: Slayer's Angel of Death. Suprised since the song was turned down for Guitar Hero Metallica, though Activision has always been a bit more stringent with lyrical content and censorship than Harmonix (with the odd exception). That said, it did make it into Rocksmith 2014 as DLC, uncensored and with playable (albeit in a more basic fashion than RB) vocals. As I've sort of discussed to death elsewhere, the vocal chart was a bit of a letdown but it's still a 10/10 song choice for me.

    This week, Babymetal. I've requested quite a few of their songs so far, and Starlight was going to come at some point. This track seems to have moved a bit away from their J-pop influences and feels like more of a straight-up metal song compared to something like Gimme Chocolate or Doki Doki Morning, for example. Which sort of metal specifically I'm kind of struggling to pin down exactly - I'm hearing bits of metalcore and gothic in this one I guess? I'm expecting high tiers for everything in this one, maybe with vocals a bit lower than the rest.

    TL;DR, I'm not done with this just yet, but I really need to get stuff straightened out first before I start regularly posting again.
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