Rock Band DLC Breakdown

If you're in the market for Rock Band DLC, odds are you tend to buy what you know and leave the rest to rot. We used to do the same... until we realized how many kickass songs we were passing by simply because we'd never heard them before.

That's where DLC Breakdown comes in. We review each song by instrument, so bassists know to check out a starred song even if they've never heard it. We give each instrument a one-to-four-star ranking, with one being "don't bother at all" and four indicating "holy crap buy it NOW." The goal is to help everyone discover new tracks they'd otherwise pass up.

To browse by instrument, use our handy nav below, or scroll through theweekly videoentries. All songs are played on Hard unless stated otherwise.


Stop! | Against Me! | 160MSP, $1.99 PSN

Vocals: Love this guy’s voice – it’s somewhere between The Who’s Roger Daltrey and the late Kevin DuBrow from Quiet Riot. The song itself is catchy and the vocals challenging, with lots of quick spoken words leading into the notes. But it does get redundant. ***

Drums: Great foot tapping intro – we’re shocked this is the first time we’ve come across the pedal-yellow-pedal-yellow dance beat. It’s kinda simple though, even on Hard, and you could probably play the first half without much focus and then close your eyes for the rest. Expert players will love it even more. ***

Guitar: Really diverse and challenging – lots of variation demands repeat play to get it just right. ***

Bass: This is only slightly fun, with almost just enough neck work to make it worth your time in the slightest. Better with the whole band, and while you're at it crank it to Expert for a more rocking good time. **

All Right Now | Free | 160MSP, $1.99 PSN

Vocals: This may be a classic mellow-out tune, the vocal line is full of ad-libbed burble like “wooo”, “yeah”, and “mmmm”, keeping things from being too straightforward. It’s fairly fun, if laid back, but the extended instrumental bridge will bore you to death. **

Drums: Extremely basic structure will bore drumming vets. It may sound strange to say, but there literally is a whole lot of nothing to do – it’s a long, repetitive song that only classic rock fans will want to tap through. *

Guitar: Fun solo, but overall pretty slow and repetitive. **

Bass: A lot of down time in this one - just stand there and look good. What is there is simple and repetitive with only one or two phrases where you get to cut loose, but those alone might be worth the investment. ***

Bad to the Bone | George Thorogood & the Destroyers | 160MSP, $1.99 PSN

Vocals: One of the most perfect blues rock songs of all time, plain and simple. The vocals may be more growled speech than singing and the stuttered “ah-b-b-b-b-baaad” may sound like you have a speech impediment, but there’s still just no way to sing this without feeling like a total ass-kicker. Even the double-tapped tambourine hits are testosterone-y. ****

Drums: Long stretch of same-y notes, but it’s such a damn fun song to play in a group you won’t mind treading familiar ground. Even when playing solo there are some challenging fills to overcome. ***

Guitar: Apart from the iconic main riff and the waits in between, there’s a LOT of variation, and a lot of quick fingerwork required to keep up with it. ***

Bass: It's the same rhythm loop all the way through. Sounds lame but this blues-y bit isn't as boring as it sounds, for some reason. **

Cream and Bastards Rise | Harvey Danger | 160MSP, $1.99 PSN

Vocals: Who knew Harvey Danger had a song that wasn’t Flagpole Sitta? It’s great fun to sing too, with a breathless vocal line that’s both fast and high, almost like hyperactive Cheap Trick, with lots of vocal acrobatics to keep you paying attention. ****

Drums: A forgotten band pulls out a surprisingly diverse and slap-happy set. It’s not gonna blow your mind or anything, but the note arrangement will have you moving around and mixing things up so much it’s well worth the digital cash. ***

Guitar: Overall repetitive, with lots of two-finger chords that demand sudden splits to pull off. **

Bass: Mostly straight eights with a few intermittent hammer ons and pull offs. There's no great challenge to it, but it makes a good warm up. ***

Gone Away | The Offspring | 160MSP, $1.99 PSN

Vocals: This one’s a real workout, stupidly high but sung with real power. It’s simple, but everytime that chorus hits, you’ll be carried away by it. Aside from the original version ofLast Kiss, this has to be the happiest “you’re dead” song ever. ****

Drums: Despite loving the song to death, we have to admit it’s probably the weakest of the Offspring Pack when it comes to drums. Middle of the road blah-ness. **

Guitar: Slow, repetitive and more than a little dull on guitar. *

Bass: Don't even hesitate about playing this one on Expert – do it. It's the same pattern looped, there's some quarters and some sustains – purely rhythm and progression. **

Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) | The Offspring | 160MSP, $1.99 PSN

Vocals: This one isn’t terribly interesting for a singer; the verses are rapped and the chorus isn’t fairly typical. Fans of the song or of rapping in general might get a little more mileage out of it, though “serious” rockers will likely find the novelty humor wearing thin quickly. **

Drums: Abhor the song, but sadly have to acknowledge that it’s the best drum set in the Offspring Pack. It doesn’t stick to one pattern too long and keeps you moving. A very remorseful recommendation. ***

Guitar: Lots of variation in the guitar riffs it throws up, and just challenging enough to be fun. **

Bass: Once again another bass riff put there for structure. There are a couple sort-of-fun spots that just leave you craving something more. Other than that it's the same progression most of the way through – go for Expert. **

Self Esteem | The Offspring | 160MSP, $1.99 PSN

Vocals: A great Offspring tune that shows why Dexter Holland is such an underrated vocalist. The melody is super high – most male singers will need to drop a full octave just to keep from screeching – and gets even higher as he goes, but he never loses his vocal power. It’s kinda redundant near the end, but it’s also effortlessly catchy. ***

Drums: The most popular, overplayed Offspring song of all time is a welcome addition to the Rock Band roster (along with anything else from Smash), but other than a few hyperactive fills it’s not meant for solo drummers. **

Guitar: REALLY repetitive filled with long stretches of nothing to do. More of a bassist/vocalist song. *

Bass: It's a looping pattern with a decent amount strumming eighth notes working their way up and down the neck, nothing too complex though. ***

Nearly Lost You | Screaming Trees | 160MSP, $1.99 PSN

Vocals: Calm and smooth, with mahogany-voiced vocalist Mark Lanegan doing his trademark “I’m so calm and mellow you probably think I’m on valium” thing. There’s not a lot of challenge here, but the groove is nice, so it’s still fun to sing. ***

Drums: Excellent on Hard, plenty of pedal action without getting crazy. You can’t zone out as with many Rock Band songs – it keeps changing things up and altering the beat, which is something of a rarity in a lot of drum notes. ***

Guitar: Kind of an interesting melody, with some challenging fingerwork, but overall sort of dull. **

Bass: Meh… What is there to say? The bass line is there and it keeps time. It's some quarters and staggering notes here and there – a must play on Expert. **

Push It | Static X | 160MSP, $1.99 PSN

Vocals: The good news for your vocal chords is that you don’t have to try to imitate all the screeches, angry whispers, and flat-out screams in these vocal lines – 80% of the song lacks note values, so as long as you make some noise in time with the words, you’ll ace it. The bad news is that this makes it really easy and just not very much fun. *

Drums: Holy crap you will be all over that damn drum kit, alternating which hands will strike which pads in which order in an attempt to keep up. It’s hard, but not insane, and that’s why we have to highly suggest it for drummers – though it looks like everyone else might hate the song’s guttural-screaming guts. ****

Guitar: Most of the song was just the same two finger-straining, two-button chords over and over again. So repetitive it actually became confusing. *

Bass: All Green and Yellow notes in the same looped pattern all the way through. Surprisingly, it's not as boring as it sounds. Kinda crunchy. ***