Vexus's Hypothetical Rock Band 5! (91 songs + wishlist DLC, Rivals challenges = 250+ songs within)



  • edited May 16
    This week, another kinda rough one for the guitarists (and the drummers too!) and the "other reasons" I alluded to in this week's The Strokes/Warning DLC announcement.

    This week’s DLC:

    A fusion of groove metal, samba and Amazonian tribal rhythms? It could only be Sepultura.

    Sepultura 01:
    Roots Bloody Roots (Spotlight) | Band Tier 5: Nightmare
    Refuse/Resist | Band Tier Devils: Impossible
    Ratamahatta | Band Tier 5: Nightmare

    Similar tiering for all five songs, with each having a different take on that mix of metal and world music. The most balanced of the three is Roots Bloody Roots. This song's carried the most by its solid groove, with a brief guitar solo followed by breakdown. All three songs would have a mix of the drumkit and additional percussion charted, though this has relatively little of the latter.

    Refuse/Resist is the most straight-up metal song of the three, coming straight out of the Rocksmith 2014 DLC list. The standout part here is the guitar, which gets a double-time solo part way through which pushes this up to the impossible tier for the band as a whole - gotta keep up with that (illusion of) speed, yo. Similarly to Roots Bloody Roots, there's little additional percussion apart from towards the very end - not that it'll help all the drummers out there!

    Ratamahatta is the one with the most world music influence, and the only one to not be all-talkies on vocals. Even if it were, the speed of the vocal delivery and lack of pause time for some of it would put it at about a one alone. It has the least going on from the guitars, but there's that much going on with the vocals and percussion that it keeps the song as a whole at a 5 in band intensity.

    Rock Band 5 Rivals Season 2 Week 8: It's A Small World After All
    Play songs by bands from anywhere that hasn’t been in a challenge yet

    Babymetal: Road of Resistance
    Sepultura: Roots Bloody Roots
    The Warning: Survive

    I was struggling a bit with what to include in the final slot. Initially, I was thinking of picking a Santana song (Black Magic Woman in particular), but that would have made two weeks where the guitarists get nothing but hard songs in the spotlight. While I do believe that Rivals should reward skill, it shouldn’t be that specific to an instrument. I thought about other acts from Central and South America we've got already but there wasn’t much that really leapt out at me. I even considered Shakira at one point, but I already said that putting one of my own DLC songs in the legacy DLC slot seemed cheap. Then this week’s actual DLC announcement happened...

    The first song is pretty much a DragonForce one in disguise - not surprising since the guitarists from DragonForce play on it! As such, this would technically have been eligible for the UK week too. Sam Totman is the only musician to be from a location previously covered, however, as Herman Li’s originally from Hong Kong and Babymetal are Japanese. I may have overtiered the vocals a bit, but it does push the vocalist trio more than most Babymetal songs seem to. For the rest of the band, I refer you back to my first sentence.

    Sepultura are of course Brazilian, hence their inclusion here.

    Finally, from Mexico, we’ve got a freebie that comes out this week. Survive is the second song from The Warning that I’ve heard, after Free Falling, and based on the latter I wasn’t expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised to get a good strong alternative rock track, with plenty going on for all instruments. It feels weird putting a song that's not quite out yet here but like I said, I wasn't really feeling anything else.

    That wraps up my second Rivals season. Next week, we’re taking one more trip: to my spiritual home!

    (Might as well just make Wednesday my main posting day tbh)
  • edited June 14
    The Warning: Turns out that Survive is a nightmare-tier drum song. I would say sorry to the drummers if last week's post were to happen, but I made the guitarists suffer in the European week. Plus it's a moot point since it's all hypothetical!

    RBN: Drowning Pool's "Bodies" was on my top 20 RBN tracks, and it's confirmed. So... kind of a confirm from my wishlist? It's not in the Spotify list and I didn't tier it since it's kind of a rewind, though Harmonix aren't treating it as such.

    This week’s DLC:

    I keep putting these earlier and earlier in the week, but I promised something big in the "More Metal" thread and I'd say I delivered.

    @FritzyKatz did a pack based on Coachella. Harmonix gave us a free pack based on Firefly. I’ll do you four packs based on this year's edition of a festival I’ve been going to for a few years now. Even though everything here fits into the Metal genre in the game, it’s actually really diverse and eclectic - an argument, I’d say, for including subgenre tags and more base level genre tags.

    Bloodstock: Ronnie James Dio Stage Headliners Pack
    Gojira: Silvera | Band Tier Devils: Impossible [Progressive metal]
    Judas Priest: Lightning Strike | Band Tier 4: Challenging [Heavy metal]
    Nightwish: Élan (+KB) | Band Tier 3: Moderate [Symphonic metal]

    Gojira is a French band and the most traditionally heavy of the three headliners - as you might expect from seeing the tiers being very close to the “every br00tal thing ever” (impossible everything except warmup vocals with harmonies optional) tier. I don’t think many of the vocal lines would actually be charted as talkies, but Joe Duplantier’s range in the song isn’t huge and the chorus does follow the guitar melody at what’s probably the trickiest bit to sing. Otherwise, there is a lot of tricky riffing and frantic drumming for the rest of the band, though the bassline does have a few light parts that just keep it out of impossible.

    Judas Priest need no introduction, and this single from their latest album is proof that they’re still amazing. Lightning Strike is fairly high-tempo but constant. Production aside, it sounds like it could easily have been a song Priest released back in the late 70s or early 80s. It’s a callback to the NWOBHM era, yet still sounds fresh. Totally love this song and the new album.

    Finally, with Élan we’ll have one song with each Nightwish lead singer. By quite a margin the easiest song in the pack on instruments and hardest on vocals. The lead single from the Endless Forms Most Beautiful album, it’s somewhat like Amaranth in terms of the arrangement, with a much lighter sound compared to the rest of the album and Nightwish’s discography as a whole.

    Bloodstock: Sophie Lancaster Stage Headliners Pack:
    Arkona: Yarilo (+KB) | Band Tier 4: Challenging [Pagan metal]
    Doro: Raise Your Fist In the Air | Band Tier 3: Moderate [Heavy metal/hard rock]
    Watain: Malfeitor | Band Tier Devils: Impossible [Black metal]
    Orphaned Land: All Is One (+KB) | Band Tier 4: Challenging [Oriental metal]

    A track I can see some alt-charting in, at least until the guitars kick in, Arkona mix metal with Russian folk music and in this particular song, give us some fun up-tempo music with a good balance between heavy and light parts, acoustic and electric instrumentation and an overall fun and bouncy little song. I actually wish it was a little bit longer!

    Not the best video, admittedly. Doro’s arguably on the fringe between metal and hard rock, but I think the overall point I’m making with this post works better if I put her as the former! There’s a fairly straightforward groove on this one, with the lead vocals proving pretty much all the challenge for the vocals. Guitar gets a few somewhat lengthy solos to add some difficulty, but they shouldn’t be too tricky.

    Watain actually does get the “every trve kvlt choon evahhhh” tiering, as well as bringing some much needed black metal to the series. Admittedly it’s a bit of a low impossible, as the guitars have sections with long, held notes that make things a bit easier and a bit more atmospheric with the drums going at half-time to match. Then there are the full throttle parts with the vocals which would really make this a stamina and timing challenge.

    Trying to pin down Orphaned Land’s tiers was tricky, with the choir vocals and what I think is either bouzouki or oud (which would likely get alt-charted at points, and is close enough to a guitar that I’m totally okay with that fact - when it’s not just replicating the guitar part anyway). As for the choir, it’s used somewhat sparingly and the vocals otherwise aren’t too broad in regards to range. As such I think a 4 is a happy medium between the two. The song as a whole has a bit of a power metal feel to it mixed in with the Israeli folk elements. Great, powerful-sounding music,

    Come back tomorrow when I'll have the second half of my Bloodstock gigapost up.
  • edited June 14
    For the other two packs, I picked a mixture of bands from the two main stages.

    Bloodstock: Ronnie James Dio Stage Miscellaneous Bands
    Combichrist: Maggots at the Party (+KB) | Band Tier 2: Solid [Industrial metal]
    Suicidal Tendencies: Institutionalized | Band Tier 5: Nightmare [Thrash metal/hardcore punk crossover]
    Alestorm: Drink (+KB) | Band Tier 3: Moderate [Pirate metal]
    Amaranthe: Drop Dead Cynical (+KB) | Band Tier 4: Challenging [Pop metal]

    Who says industrial can’t be party music? Maggots at the Party is a somewhat repetitive song, with the bassline being a synth bass rather than a bass guitar. It’s a great party kick-off song though, especially if you’re in the company of people whom might find Andrew W.K. a bit on the light side. Drums get some tricky bits later on in the song. Audio link above since the video’s edited in such a way that it doesn’t convey the song too well for our purposes - link here.

    Institutionalized is… interesting! Vocals are mostly talkies, but get knocked up a tier for some of the rapid-fire lyrics without a pause during the choruses. Guitar’s got a lot of improvisation in it, and there are tempo changes throughout the song that make it quite difficult to keep up with, in a fun way of course! As for genre, I could see the argument for classing this as punk rather than metal, but I'm not done with Suicidal Tendencies and genre tags seem to be consistent across a band's work for the most part.

    Alestorm’s a tough band to nail down stylistically since their attitude and style changes considerably depending on the album (partly due to them having so few constant members), but they’re one of the few “gimmick metal” bands (I’ll likely do a rant on those one day) where I can definitely consider their gimmick a full-on subgenre. Drink is a straight-up drinking song with nods to their previous songs. While it’s one of their easiest songs to date, it’s still got some pretty snazzy metal guitar arrangements and a solid rhythm to it.

    I’ll admit that Drop Dead Cynical’s chorus does have a bit of Imagine Dragons in it, but I vastly prefer this. Amaranthe draw influences from all over the place, from power metal to melodic death metal to dance and pop music. Guitar and bass are very riffy, while the clean vocals take on some very interesting melodic and rhythmic patterns that make it tricky to keep up with. Amaranthe’s entire discography is a very intriguing mix, and well worth checking out.

    Bloodstock: Sophie Lancaster Stage Miscellaneous Bands
    Lovebites: The Crusade | Band Tier Devil: Impossible [Power metal]
    Bloodshot Dawn: Shackled | Band Tier 5: Nightmare [Melodic death metal]
    With the Dead: Isolation | Band Tier 1: Apprentice [Doom metal]
    Pallbearer: I Saw the End | Band Tier 3: Moderate [Progressive metal]

    Star-shaped cymbal attachment for pro drums when? The Crusade is fast, has numerous key changes, has duelling guitar solos and soaring Halford/Dickinson-esque vocals. Lovebites as a whole draw quite a bit from NWOBHM-era bands, as well as more recent power metal, with The Crusade being no exception. This song is badass, melodic as all heck and utterly relentless, and my number one choice in this entire post.

    So, Shackled. The choruses just keep this out of the impossible tier for bass and drums, but the solos firmly place it in the impossible tier for guitar. Still, I’m glad that it’s not quite impossible for the rhythm section. Otherwise, I’d have to break out the “literally anything extreme af” tier again. Not saying that this Bloodshot Down song doesn’t utterly slam, but it lets up just enough to keep things fresh throughout.

    Do not let Isolation’s low tiers fool you for a moment - this is musically one of the heaviest songs in this double post, with utterly crushing guitar and bass tone, and loads of speedy drum fills for an otherwise slow song. The fact it’s just over seven and a half minutes long brings the intensities for the guitars up a tiny bit. Otherwise, there’s not too much that should pose a challenge. Yet, I love this anyway.

    Atmospheric and melancholic, I Saw the Dead kind of reminds me a bit of Dead Black (Heart of Ice) (itself one of my favourite discoveries from RB4) but with clean singing and less of an emphasis on the heavy shredding. I’ve said it before, but I would love to see more atmospheric songs in Rock Band.

    I think after Sepultura and that little lot, next week I’ll give you something lighter, along with a bit more of a preview of my next Rivals season.

    EDIT: Bloodstock's official site.

    Also, I updated my 20 RBN requests - Bodies is out (because we're getting it) and replaced by Kittie's "The Truth".
  • So apparently the link to The Crusade doesn't work in all territories. Here's an alternate link.

    Dunno why they'd make it that different uploads work in different territories but there you go.
  • Going Under confirmed, added Survive by Lacuna Coil to the RBN wishlist.
  • edited June 14
    This week’s DLC:

    Guilty pleasure time!

    Avril Lavigne 02
    Sk8er Boi | Band Tier 1: Apprentice
    I’m with You | Band Tier 2: Solid
    Girlfriend | Band Tier 3: Moderate

    After the last fortnight’s mostly unrelenting yet ever-changing heaviness, I thought I’d lower the tone. A lot. Rapidly. So, here’s a song with txtspk in the title, a pop ballad and some absolute cheese.

    First up, Sk8er Boi is probably my favourite of the three songs here. The guitar part is mostly chords with a few straightforward licks thrown in. Bass follows the rhythm guitar for the majority of the song, dropping out for the first verse and coming back in at the chorus. Drums are livened up with a few fills scattered throughout the song. This song's the easiest on vocals by a considerable margin.

    I'm with You is relatively stripped back, with the easiest instrumentation of all seven songs from this week. The guitar chart would go between electric and acoustic, while the bass and drum charts are fairly stripped back. It's also the song where Avril really shows off her vocal strength. Due to that and the aforementioned sparse rhythm section, the strength of the vocal track really pulls up the band intensity ranking.

    Finally, a song that was supposed to be ironic but I think ended up being lost on a lot of people. Girlfriend is catchy af, with a similar, chord and lick-based punk-pop feel to Sk8er Boi and a lot of Avril's better-known songs. This is generally a bit trickier, however, with faster changes and less of a straight rhythm.

    Modern Day Singles:
    Within Temptation: Paradise (What About Us?) (feat. Tarja) (Spotlight) (+KB)| Band Tier 4: Challenging
    Jack White: Over and Over and Over | Band Tier 5: Nightmare
    Myrkur: Ulvinde (+KB) | Band Tier 4: Challenging
    IDestroy: Lemons | Band Tier 2: Solid

    I thought I’d get the Rivals Theme started earlier, and since A Journey Through Time won by a landslide of 100% of the votes, that’s what we’re doing. I’m also going to kick things up a notch by doing four songs per week (ignoring the little Avril bonus).

    Paradise (What About Us?) is another one of those songs that I think really suffers from the lack of keyboard in the current instrument setup, as does a lot of Within Temptation's discography. The guitar parts are mostly pretty straightforward and rhythmic, with a noodley solo putting the guitar intensity up a little bit. There's also one of those exceptionally rare solos that never counts as such - a vocal solo! That, along with the fact you've got Tarja Turunen and Sharon Den Adel as your vocalists pretty much put it straight into impossible tier on vocals. Incidentally, I put Within Temptation in the rock category rather than metal since a lot of their more recent material in particular strays just outside of what I would consider metal (but not outside of what I would consider good, of course!)

    A big part of Over and Over and Over is the same guitar, bass and drum part over and over and over creating a rather tense feeling. Nearly 2 minutes in the song takes a bit more of an experimental vibe, with a few points that would likely be charted as guitar solos and even a drum solo at one point. The backing vocals make this a rather odd one to try and tier, as they're deliberately pitch-shifted to sound off-key.

    For the next two, I want to shout out @LiveHomeVideo for tiering them in her own thread at my request. First off is Ulvinde by Myrkur, someone whom I’ve been looking for a good time to bring in. Ulvinde is a cool mix of dark atmosphere and Scandinavian folk melody that would be very interesting to see put into Rock Band. I didn’t use Live’s tiers for this one, but they turned out somewhat similar nevertheless.

    For Lemons, I went with Live’s tiers exactly since I absolutely agree in regards to them. So IDestroy is a band I’ve seen a few times now, two of those times at a bar that’s a five-minute walk from my flat. As with a lot of their material, the bass is the stand-out part here, though all four parts are pretty solid in their own ways. For a song with a hook of “you ain’t no fun”, it’s pretty damn fun! The one difference between Live and I is the genre - IDestroy have been fairly consistently been described by both the music press and themselves as a punk band, and who am I to argue? Indie wouldn't be inaccurate either, of course.

    Rock Band 5 Rivals Season 3: A Journey Through Time
    Week 1: We're Looking Into the Future, Chuck

    Play songs released from 2014 to the present day

    Peaks: Eden
    Within Temptation: Paradise (What About Us?) (Featuring Tarja)
    Charlie Puth: Attention

    Oh look, another band that I know members of personally! Peaks were formed at my university. Eden has a rather loose structure to it, with some tough drum parts. It's another song that would have pretty varied guitar chart and a bass part that loosely replicates the rhythm guitar. I'm not sure where I'd put them in terms of genre, but there are some definite metalcore and progressive influences there - luckily the game comes with a good catch-all term of "Rock" to put such things under!

    I just realised how many parentheses I had to use to put Paradise (What About Us?) into the post. (It's not my fault.) (It's standard practice at this point to put featured artists in parentheses.) (Well, I suppose using parentheses to denote the spotlight song is kind of my fault but I've been doing it for all this time at this point I'm not going to stop or change.)

    Attention actually came to RB4 in 2017 (Feel It, Still was in the spotlight pass and the other two songs in that pack were fairly hard passes for me) but has 2018 listed as its release date. It's also by a long shot the best song I've ever heard Charlie Puth on and went straight onto my wishlist as soon as it was released. A few months later I got it and it didn't let me down. The guitar and drum parts might be simple, but that bassline plays as good as it sounds, and it sounds really good. I might do a "forced bassist counterpicks" playlist at some point, and this would probably be one of the first songs put on it along with Longview.
  • edited June 14
    So, I noticed a few people are doing setlists based on their home nation or state. I love this idea for two reasons: I'm a sucker for music trivia, and I love the idea of giving lesser-known artists a bit of free publicity. However, I won't be doing one, and here's why.

    I'm from the UK, and I've already suggested 111 songs featuring UK singers and musicians (out of 255 in total so far if my maths is right), and with the theme weeks based on the various patron saint days, I feel a bit like I'm repping my country just fine! ;) Plus it has the potential to either majorly screw with my post plans by diverting what would be DLC songs to such a post, or force me to come up with a load of material that I'm not as interested in having for the sake of numbers. Either way, it's not a fun prospect to me.

    "But Vexus! You could just do one for whichever bit of the UK you're from!"

    Yeah... about that. I currently live in Wales, but I was born in Scotland, have lived most of my life in England and probably have Irish ancestry if my surname is anything to go by. Right now, Wales is what's local to me, but Scotland's my country of birth and England's the country that's probably had the most impact on me as a person. As such, I don't really consider myself English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish. I'm just British, so picking one feels a bit cheap.

    That said, I'm not ruling out the possibility for a themed game setlist of some kind in the future. I just don't see the point of doing one based on my home country when over 40% of my suggestions are already British in some way.

    (For the record, I've been sort of trying for roughly 30/30/30/10 between the UK, USA, mainland Europe and the rest of the world, although collaborations and multinational bands do mean there's some overlap.)

    And just so I'm not totally wasting your time, I recently got Audiosurf 2. A YouTube Poop maker and video game streamer called cs188 has set his viewers a challenge to dethrone him on a particular song in mono mode. Much as I'm trying, I'm nowhere near.

    If it was Rock Band 4 on the other hand...

    Big Data: Bombs Over Brooklyn (+KB) | Band Tier 3: Moderate

    Obviously, this would require quite a bit of alt-charting, but it's pretty dope nevertheless. The "guitar" is some primarily pretty sticky synth hooks, while the bass is big long synth drones that add to the song's darker tone. Vocals are a mix of rather hushed verses and louder choruses with some notes quite obviously pitch-shifted. As such, I'm not entirely sure how those would be charted, but they're not used too much and don't detract too much from the melody.

    Usual service resumes on Wednesday.
  • edited June 14
    This week's DLC:

    Mixed Singles: 2010-2013
    Halestorm: Love Bites (So Do I) | Band Tier 4: Challenging
    Arch Enemy: Yesterday is Dead and Gone | Band Tier Devils: Impossible
    Muse: Panic Station (Spotlight) (+KB) | Band Tier 4: Challenging
    Haim: The Wire (+KB) | Band Tier 4: Challenging

    Bits of hard rock, melodic death metal, funky alternative rock and pop this week. For this season I’m trying to have something heavy, something poppy and something in the middle each time. Little bits of something for everyone, you know?

    First off we’ve got a fast and energetic track from Halestorm. Love Bites (So Do I) contains lots of fast riffing on guitar and a fill-heavy drum part with the whole thing tied together neatly by a solid bassline and emotive vocals, and would be one of the trickier Halestorm songs to come to Rock Band.

    Yesterday is Dead and Gone doesn’t quite earn impossible tiers for the rhythm section since both parts drop down a bit at parts to really give the guitar parts time to shine and oh boy, do they ever! The guitar chart on this would be pretty varied between frantic shredding, strong melodic hooks and gritty rhythmic playing. Khaos Legions was the last album that Angela Gossow sang on, and she brings her signature raspy growls to this track, just as she always did.

    If the guitar was the stand-out part for the last two songs, it’s definitely bass for Panic Station. Those rhythmic thumps and bass chords lay down the groundwork for the song, the rest of the song building from that. The guitar chart is also pretty solid, with some tricky lead work.

    The Wire has a great drive to it, with a fairly varied guitar part for a pop song. The bassline (which should be performed with a ridiculous bass face) is mostly straightforward with a few fills in it. Vocals are the standout tough part here, with a delivery that jumps between notes quite frantically at points with some rapid-fire delivery. I was somewhat torn as to whether it was a high Nightmare or low Impossible, but went with the latter. This was initially going to be my spotlight song for last week, but then when it came to making the tiers I found out it actually came out in 2013 and not 2014. Oops!

    Rock Band 5 Rivals Season 3 Week 2: A Small Step Backwards
    Play songs released 2010 and 2013

    Within Temptation: Faster
    Muse: Panic Station
    Gym Class Heroes: Stereo Hearts (ft. Adam Levine)

    There are some bands that I really like that I've been iffy about putting into this thread due to them having a major keyboard focus or having some great vocal lines but somewhat drab guitar and/or bass parts. I believe I called this "the Epica problem" but really, I think I should have called it "the Within Temptation problem". While Faster does have a fairly straightforward riff and chord-based guitar part (broken up a little by the solo) and the bass is all root notes, it's still chock full of nice melodic phrasing and powerful vocals. Besides, not every song needs to be tricky, especially in an on-disc set. Even "hard" games like Rock Band 2 and GH Metallica had relatively simple songs in the beginning of the game!

    It's funny. The 2nd Law is my least favourite Muse album (at least based on the songs I've heard from it and the others) but I like Panic Station on its own enough that I was more than happy to put it in this thread. Muse is another band with a mild case of the Within Temptation problem, but there's still plenty of stuff of theirs that fits the four instrument arrangement flawlessly (or close to it).

    Finally, I decided to have something a little bit outside my usual taste for the legacy DLC spotlight slot. Specifically, Gym Class Heroes baby! Stereo Hearts is mostly a pretty chill pop-rap song with a surprisingly tricky guitar line, though nothing too ridiculous. Drums and bass are the real stand-out parts here, as one might expect in a rap track. This is just a pleasant song that I ended up getting as part of the Fueled By Ramen pack years ago that I sometimes go back to as a bit of a warm-up.

    Rest of the season preview:

    Back in season 2, I did a list of the artists I planned to include in that season. So, why not do it again? Though I think the era for most of them will be pretty obvious...

    New DLC: Alphabeat, Aretha Franklin, Ashlee Simpson, The Bangles, Barry McGuire, Clutch, Cornershop, Coven, The Cult, Electric Light Orchestra, En Vogue, Fuzzbox, Joan Osbourne, LA Guns, Limp Bizkit, Marty Robbins, Meat Loaf, Mindless Self Indulgence, The Osmonds, Pantera, A Perfect Circle, The Romantics, Sex Pistols, Sick Puppies, Velvet Revolver

    Other spotlight stuff you get the privilege of reading me gushing about: Avenged Sevenfold, Biffy Clyro, Busted, Cake, The Clash, Iron Maiden, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, No Doubt, Suede, Suzi Quatro, The Who

    Finally, no RBN songs off my wishlist this week, but I'm still having better luck with those than with new songs. Next week, the first half of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Or is it the second half? It's a funny one since we're counting backwards...
  • edited June 14
    Another week, another couple of songs not checked off the RBN wishlist. Another early post since I've got the post ready to go anyway. Guess I wasn't as busy as I thought I'd be this week.

    This week's DLC:

    Is symphonic coffee a thing?

    Another load of singles, from 2005-2009
    Alphabeat: 10,000 Nights (+KB) | Band Tier 1: Apprentice
    Clutch: Electric Worry (+KB) | Band Tier 4: Challenging
    Mindless Self Indulgence: Shut Me Up (+KB) | Band Tier 3: Moderate
    Sick Puppies: Odd One (Spotlight) | Band Tier 4: Challenging

    Europop, blues rock, electropunk and the alternative end of alternative metal, and not a single UK act in sight!

    You may remember Alphabeat for their song Fascination, which made it to the series as DLC as well as showing up in Band Hero. I'm not sure how big they were in America but they had a few other hits here in the UK, and this is the one I remember most after Fascination and is probably my favourite. The guitar part has some fills and mini-solos to keep it varied, but it's the vocal parts that really stand out here.

    I was a bit hesitant to put Electric Worry on here due to how much I hated the harmonica solos in Run Around by Blues Traveller. I'm also a bit iffy about charting keyboard solos, and as such, this is generally another "Within Temptation problem" song to some extent. That said, the guitar parts that are there would still be pretty satisfying even without alt-charting those parts. Lead vocals follow the guitar during the quieter sections, giving singers something to lock in with during those parts and helping with finding the key of the song. This is a song that would have been amazing in RB3, but would still be pretty good in RB4. Official, slightly truncated video here.

    Oh hey, speaking of songs that would have been amazing in RB3 but would still be pretty great in RB4, it's a song with a title that reflects what you probably want to do to me when you're reading these blurbs! Shut Me Up is a fairly straightforward, but fast punk song with electronic flourishes. Vocals have a bit of an unhinged delivery that rapidly switches between high and low notes, while the guitar parts are mostly rhythmic in nature.

    I sort of wish I'd done this theme before the world tour theme, as we'd have at least one other Aussie band by adding Sick Puppies to the game. This is another song where the bassline is more interesting than the guitar part, with the mutes and chords in the intro and outro and overall a fairly similar part for the rest of the song. It feels like the guitar is following the bass rather than the other way around. Even that aside, it's just a nice little alternative rock song.

    Rock Band 5 Rivals Season 2 Week 3: Depression and Hysteria
    Play songs from 2005 to 2009

    Spotlight songs:
    Biffy Clyro: Bubbles
    Sick Puppies: Odd One
    Avenged Sevenfold: Afterlife

    Oh wait, there's your UK act. Biffy Clyro is a band. I thought I'd clear that up immediately as I've heard waaaaay too many people refer to singer/guitarist Simon Neil as Biffy before. Anyway, this song's a pretty interesting mix of parts carried by a solid bass rhythm. The song as a whole is pretty anthemic and would create some great singalong moments. Just look out for that tricky little HOPO lick in the intro and pre-chorus!

    I've seen Sick Puppies listed as an alternative metal band, which I suppose makes them a great little transition from the alternative rock of Biffy Clyro to the metal of...

    Avenged Sevenfold is admittedly something of a meme given how popular their songs are among a certain segment of Rock Band players. In fairness, I get it. They're mainstream (for a metal band) and generally pretty challenging on guitar and drums, so there's a good amount of crossover appeal to them. Afterlife is my personal favourite of theirs, even ignoring the context of RB or this particular challenge, with some nice guitar leads and the obligatory noodly solo, solid drumming from the late Rev and even the odd bass fill. Vocals are a bit more varied than the typical metal song (though if you've been following this thread for any amount of time, you know how much I sneer at the concept of "typical metal") so it really is something for everyone. Well, everyone who doesn't hate Avenged anyway.

    Next week... well, you should know the format by now!
  • edited June 14
    So you know how I hinted I might do a themed setlist and I've made a few posts about "the Within Temptation/Epica/Clutch problem"? Well...

    Basically, I'm going to do a Return of the Keyboard expansion setlist. Thirty-five songs that would be great if we had keyboards back, plus adding a little (+KB) to all songs I've put in the thread thus far that would get keys added to them. I'll not be re-tiering anything, but I might add keyboard tiers to future DLC posts where appropriate after RotK is up. All songs in the RotK expansion will have a guitar, bass, drums, keys (obviously) and at least one vocal part, though the keys part might be another part alt-charted to the keyboard (a form of alt-charting I really had no issue with in RB3) and will be tiered relative to each other and the RB5 on-disc list. Not sure when that will be up, but it's in the works.

    EDIT: Added the (+KB) tag to every song I think would be relevant, but if I've missed any then please let me know.
  • This week’s DLC:

    Well, let’s wrap up this century then!

    Variety singles: 2000-2004 Edition
    A Perfect Circle: The Outsider | Band Tier 4: Challenging
    Velvet Revolver: Slither (Spotlight) | Band Tier 5: Nightmare
    Ashlee Simpson: Pieces of Me | Band Tier 3: Moderate
    Limp Bizkit: Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle) | Band Tier 3: Moderate

    It’s funny. The first week of DLC after I announce a keyboard expansion has no keyboard parts in it, but does get a song with a standout part for each of the other instruments. - bass, guitar, vocals and drums respectively!

    Guitar Hero managed to get two A Perfect Circle songs on-disc, and this is my preferred one of the two. This track uses two different time signatures, though both are fairly common ones (6/8 and 4/4). Guitar’s fairly laid back, with the bass being more prominent and even getting a solo. Official video here - audio-only link above due to the use of dialogue over the music in the video.

    Another GH/Rocksmith catchup, Slither would mark the third act featuring Slash on guitar (after GnR and Slash’s solo material) and to be expected, it’s a very riff-driven song. While the bassline is no slouch, the fills and solo give the lead guitar a bit more of a stand-out part.

    A much lighter song, Pieces of Me is all about the vocal. There is a good mix of short and long notes sung, with a very catchy chorus and very dynamically varied performance. Of course, dynamics aren’t marked, but there are some trickly little melodies in there. Guitar is mostly chord-based but has a few little licks in there to keep things varied.

    Finally, a song I’m surprised we didn’t get sooner. I speculate it’s because it has a few too many swears in it, but we got Killing in the Name and songs like “The B**** is Back” and “Beethoven’s C***” which have it right in the title so who knows? The biggest guilty pleasure here (yes, more than Ashlee Simpson) with one of the easiest vocal tracks in the whole thread. The guitar and bass licks are simple, with the drums getting the standout part here.

    Rock Band 5 Rivals Season 2 Week 4: A Century, a Decade, a Millenium
    Play songs from 2000 to 2004

    Busted: Crashed the Wedding
    Velvet Revolver: Slither
    Evanescence: Everybody’s Fool

    Crashed the Wedding isn’t quite the biggest Busted song but is one of my favourites. A pop-punk band with heavy emphasis on the “pop” part, Busted were a pretty big deal in the UK circa fifteen years ago. As such I’m a little surprised the only song of theirs we got thus far was a tie-in for a Thunderbirds movie which to my knowledge absolutely tanked. I do plan on making up for that with a three-pack including their two biggest songs at some point though! This one gives all three vocalists a spotlight and in a fairly balanced manner. While of course a solo vocal chart exists, this one would pretty much need to be played on harmonies.

    Just realised - I should probably compile the spotlight pass packs at some point. But yeah, Slither’s there for variety in both the spotlight pass and the spotlight tracks themselves.

    Finally, I was a bit torn on which song from Fallen I wanted to put in the spotlight. I decided to go with Everybody’s Fool as I personally find Bring Me to Life rather overrated (decent, but overrated) and Going Under has already been an actual spotlight song. While not particularly highly tiered on anything, the HOPOs in the guitar part are pretty tricky, so be careful! Official video here - similar deal with A Perfect Circle.

    Next week, it's the decade I'm from.
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