Sound Central resident hardcore gamer here. As a fan of both music and video games, Rock Band is one my favorite games of the last couple years. If you are not a fan, or have not heard of the game you can read about it here. It is a full band simulator with plastic guitars and drums that allow you to play songs with other people, much like Guitar Hero but with a full band.
Recently Rock Band made history by releasing a band’s new single through their game simultaneously with the release of the video and radio play. Next week they will make history again by offering the first ever full album in a music game. More after the jump.
One thing Rock Band has done that is worthy of notice in the music world, is offer hundreds of songs to the gamers, exposing them to music across decades and genres. It is the hope of the developer Harmonix to allow their fans to experience music they may have never heard, or introduce them to historic albums and bands. They are able to do this by releasing new songs for download every week, something no other game has done before. These last couple weeks they have begun to turn a corner.
This coming Tuesday, April 22, Rock Band players will be offered their first full album download. Judas Priest’s Screaming for Vengeance will be available to all Xbox 360 and PS3 users. Originally released in 1982 it is the first Judas Priest album to go platinum. It is considered by many to be one of the more influential metal albums of all time. It has the #1 hit and hard rock radio mainstay, “You Got Another Thing Comin'” as well as a staple of live performances and fan favorite, “Electric Eye.”
Personally I find this to be a great addition to Rock Band. The game needs more 80’s music, especially harder stuff in general. As an album, Screaming for Vengeance delivers. More mainstream than a majority of metal now, or even back then, the album is straight up rock. “The Hellion/Electric Eye” is a fantastic open to a great album. Catchy and fast paced, they set the tone for the other 7 songs. It does slow down a bit towards the middle with “Bloodstone” and “Pain and Pleasure,” but picks up again nicely with the up-tempo “Screaming for Vengeance” and the popular “You Got Another Thing Comin.'” Capping it off with “Fever” and “Devil’s Child,” Screaming for Vengeance could leave you screaming for more. This is a must listen for any metal fan, and a good gateway to heavier stuff for people on the fence/unfamiliar with the genre.
Also announced were two more albums for the upcoming months. You can expect to see The Cars from the Cars and Doolittle from the Pixies by the time summer hits full swing. I’ll give those an in-depth preview once a release date is set.
In other news, on April 15, 2008 a band released their new single through a video game for the first time. Motley Crue’s newest single, “Saints of Los Angeles” was released for download at the same time as radio stations began to play it, and the video was premiered. It is the first single for their upcoming album titled Saints of Los Angeles, due out June 17, 2008.
“Saints of Los Angeles” has a retro feel to it, and rightfully so being from a band that saw their prime in the 80’s. Yet at the same time it is exactly what present day mainstream rock should be. It’s not very technical, fast paced, and catchy as hell. Bass, guitar, and drums all shine here, though vocals are a little lacking, but they are straightforward and coherent which is a good thing in this case. This isn’t the greatest song in the world, but if more mainstream rock was like this we just might be better off.
You can hear the new Motley Crue single, “Saints of Los Angeles” here.