Keeping Track of Rock Band Network

With the launch of the Rock Band Network (RBN) the biggest problem facing us gamers is keeping track of the plethora of music that is being released. Unlike the weekly DLC that Harmonix announces every Friday and releases the following Tuesday there is no release schedule for the RBN. When a song is finished and passes through the approval/testing process, it goes up for sale. Some days might pass with no songs being released and others might have ten or more songs hitting the network. While at the moment songs are trickling out because RBN has just come out of beta, in the future (especially if we are to believe the Harmonix hype) songs will be released at a fast and furious pace.

Luckily the team at Harmonix has come through once more. This handy web page, which should be an instant bookmark for any Rock Band fan, is updated constantly with all the new songs that are released and can be sorted in a variety of ways. Its elegant and simple. I know the last thing we all need is another web page to add to our daily routine of Internet surfing, but this one actually has some use as opposed to logging onto This Is Why You’re Fat every morning to check out the latest fast food monstrosity that is threatening to eradicate the human race.

I’ll be honest, part of the reason for this particular news update was that I wanted to announce that finally, after eight months of waiting and some strong campaigning by me, Third Eye Blind is on the Rock Band platform. Though I’m almost positive that our Editor-in-Chief wouldn’t have appreciated it if I just wrote an update that said something like ” ZOMG 3EB ON ROCK BAND!!!” However, last night, Semi-Charmed Life was released onto RBN. It is actually a re-recorded version of the original 90s hit. The band went back into the studios back in August to re-record at least six of their greatest hits for Rock Band. Originally it was thought that they would be part of the weekly DLC, but now it seems that all of them will eventually make their way through the RBN instead. Having already played it a number of times I can say unequivocally that its as much fun to rock out to with plastic instruments as it is to sing at the top of your lungs in the car or at a party. The guitar lines and bass are challenging and engaging, while the lyrics are fast moving and the pitch is ever changing, making it tricky to nail down. Fans of the album version will need a run through or two before they get it down totally since this is a re-recording. Steven Jenkins, the lead singer, changed up the rhythm and timing of the lyrics ever so slightly, sort of the way a lyricist will alter them during a live show. It’s not jarring or anything and doesn’t really impact the song and will probably only matter to those who are trying to perfect the song or gain a considerably high score. Either way, Semi-Charmed Life ’09 prooves that the alternative rock superstars from the 90’s are right at home on the Rock Band platform, and it was worth the wait.