Last week, the Rock Band Downloadable Content released was from three acts I was relatively unfamiliar with: Paramore, Serj Tankian & Black Tide. These songs were released for 99 cents each, so it’s a good way to get people to download something they might not be familiar with. I know of Serj, since he’s the lead singer for System of a Down and, even though his material is not my cup of tea, I can recognize that some of his music might be a good fit for Rock Band. I then checked out the video for Black Tide’s ‘Shockwave’ on You Tube and didn’t like it at all. Therefore, I wasn’t holding out much hope for Paramore’s ‘CrushCrushCrush’. The video starts out in the desert and immediately kicks off with a hooky guitar line and a very solid female vocal performance. Anyway, fast forward three minutes and I just knew I would be downloading this song in Rock Band: it’s extremely catchy! Nothing absolutely stunning or innovative with the song, just some memorable riffs with some very catchy hooks. My gorgeous wife and I played the song through on Sunday and it translates extremely well to the game, which prompted me to pick up their album last night from their label’s website. After listening to a few more tracks from ‘Riot!’ this morning, I can safely attest that the rest of the album definitely keeps up with the infectious vibe from ‘CrushCrushCrush’: the songs are straightforward, melodic, and as for away from presumptuous as you can get. Both the main singer (Hayley Williams) and the guitarist (Josh Farro) take care of the primary song-writing duties, and there’s something absolutely genuine and honest that comes through that I can’t quite put my finger on. I guess you could call their style ‘Power Pop’ or ‘Punk Pop’ or any other of those catchy categories, but the bottom line is that from the strength I’ve seen of this second album of theirs, they’re an act to watch. I guess if you want an idea what they sound like, think Kelly Clarkson mixed with some earlier No Doubt (minus the ska). Anyway, they’re worth a listen.
The heating issue has been resolved thanks to my ever so helpful father: he managed to replace the thermostat downstairs and replaced a valve in the heating system that we suspected was acting up. We’re just happy we can control the temperature downstairs again, restoring that little God-complex I enjoy so much when it comes to modifying the indoor weather.