February's Rock Band 4 DLC is a bit of a mixed bag

First batch of downloads aren't very "rock", but February could bring some surprises

Februarys Rock Band 4 DLC is a bit of a mixed bag  Everybody Plays
2nd February, 2016

It's that time of the month again. Making good on their promise of keeping plastic guitar strumming music game Rock Band up to date, with a regular stash of new tunes being made available to download, developers Harmonix have lifted the lid on a few of the tracks you'll be able to download in February - along with the artists that'll be contributing tracks for the rest of the month.

And, well, we'd be lying if we said we weren't a little bit disappointed. Here's the tracks for the first week of February, which you can download as of today:

  • Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams - "Get Lucky"
  • Kelly Clarkson - "Heartbeat Song"
  • Outkast - "Hey Ya!"
And here they are in game:
 

Now, call us strange, but is it just us that finds it a bit tricky to hear what the guitar part (on the far left) is actually playing in Get Lucky? Not only can you not really hear a major guitar part in Hey Ya, but Daft Punk's Get Lucky also seems to consist solely of those horrible on-and-off chords that totally break our fingers. When the Kelly Clarkson tune seems to be the one that fits a Rock Band game best, you know you're doing your download songs wrong. Seems Harmonix have temporarily forgotten that just because a song is uber popular, it doesn't make it a good song to play on a music game. In fact, often the opposite is more true - sometimes you'll see a song that looks fun to play, and download it, even if you've never really heard of the track in everyday life.

But it's the decision to go with Get Lucky, rather than any other Daft Punk song, that baffles the most, especially when you think about the other tracks that would have been on offer - like Aerodynamic, which features an amazing guitar solo, and would have been an insta-buy:
 

Sigh. We guess we'll carry on dreaming.

Either way, this is just one week of downloads, with plenty of artists lined up to provide the rest of February's weekly releases - and some of them at least have potential, if Harmonix choose the "right" tracks:
  • Bruno Mars
  • Five Finger Death Punch
  • Generation X
  • J. Geils Band
  • Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
  • masaya matsuura
  • Motörhead
  • Orleans
  • Royal Blood
  • Zac Brown Band

It's certainly an eclectic selection, even if we have only heard of a handful of the bands. Bruno Mars seems an unusual choice, as one of his only really playable tracks - Uptown Funk - is already on the disc. Five Finger Death Punch might be OK, depending on the track; Generation X is punk; the J. Geils Band are 60 US Rock; Joan Jett is a mystery, seeing as we've already had both "I Love Rock n' Roll" and "Bad Reputation", which are arguably her biggest tricks; Motorhead will be a welcome track in the wake of Lemmy's passing; Orleans is more 70s US Rock; Royal Blood could be OK, or at the very least fit with the game, while the Zac Brown Band provides the country fix.

The one we're most interested in there, though, is masaya matsuura, whose name may be familiar to anyone with more than a passing interest in music games. The godfather of the "rhtyhm action" genre, Masaya is the man behind the original rhythmic button mashing game, Pa Rappa the Rapper and Um Jammer Lammy. While he's released several albums outside of his gaming career, we're still hoping they'll manage to find a track of PaRappa or Um Jammer Lammy that might work well with Rock Band... Guess we'll wait and see.
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