Thursday, November 11, 2010


 Gaming has come a long way since Computer Space. The arid days of analog and Atari are long gone. In their place we have the wide world of MMORPGs and other multi-player platforms like PSN. Much like the essential staple of sugar soaked soda, the gamer's soundtrack can be equally as important as their selection of snacks. In this post, we'll listen to some choice cuts for a gamer play list, which are classified to a specific gamer genre.

Heads Up, Hearts Down by I Fight Dragons - from Cool Is Just A Number (2009)
For Role Playing Games; Especially Zelda

Hailing form the windy city, chiptune band I Fight Dragons incorporate sound effects made by Nintendo consoles into traditional guitar-based rock music. The band formed in 2008 and quickly achieved success around town by winning numerous band competitions. The Deli Chicago named the band "Best Emerging Chicago Artist of 2009." While their music is pop/geek and upbeat; vocalist Laura Trainor's head and heart may be down as the band revealed she is no longer a member as of October 2010. Their latest EP, Overcool, was released earlier this year.

Fall Behind Me by The Donnas - from Gold Medal (2004)
For Racing Games

Before The Donnas went all sludge and hair metal, with 2007's Bitchin', came their most accessible and polished album, Gold Medal. Fall Behind Me is a consummate companion to the competitive racing spirit.

Sonic Reducer by Dead Boys - from Young Loud and Snotty (1977)
For First Person Shooters, Sports

Dead Boys rose out of the ashes of Cleveland cult band Rocket From The Tomb's demise. Their popularity failed to peak in North America, however these CBGB regulars are credited with influencing a slew of modern acts including Pearl Jam. Sonic Reducer would later be sampled by Beastie Boys in An Open Letter to NYC.

Take You On by Peaches - from I Feel Cream (2009)
For Any Versus Game

The majority of Canadian electroclasher Peaches' music harmonizes competently with any gaming experience. Aggressive in nature and based in synthpop, Peaches' pulsating track Take You On matches perfectly with a classic kart game or any versus play.

Going Steady by Death From Above 1979 - from You're A Woman I'm A Machine (2004)
For Any Game

DFA 1979's pulsating music has been featured in various forms of media including games like Project Gotham Racing 3 and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland. See Musical Duos part I for the history behind DFA 1979.

Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones - from Ramones (1976)
For Sports Games, Racing 

A popular sports rallying cry, Blitzkrieg Bop was named "18th Best Guitar Song of All Time" by Rolling Stone and can motivate any gamer to get revved up and ready to go.

Broken Face by Pixies - from Surfer Rosa (1988)
For First Person Shooters, Survival Horror; Especially Zombie Games

Frank Black's screeching vocals and Joey Santiago's frantic guitar work on Broken Face exemplify the Pixies punk knockout punch. Perfect for pulverising perished people in games like Dead Rising 2 or hunting down hicks in Red Dead Redemption.

A Song to Sing When I'm Lonely by John Frusciante - from Shadows Collide With People (2004)
For MMORPGs; Especially World of Warcraft

The title of this gamer playlist entry says it all.

Hot Night Crash by Sahara Hotnights - from Kiss & Tell (2004)
For Racing Games, Sports

Hot Night Crash is played in Burnout 3: Takedown and Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam. This garage rock refrain by four Swedish ladies is apt for any game in which you try not to crash and burn. The band's latest album, Sparks, is a collection of covers and includes a rendition of Foo Fighters' Big Me.

Pacman by The Hextalls - from Get Smashed (2010)
For Arcade Games; Obviously Especially Pacman

The Hextalls' album Get Smashed is essential for any gamer who adores pop-punk. Many of their songs allude to gaming, yet their effervescent tracks also speak of relationships (I Met Her At The Ropetow), hockey (I Don't Wanna Be A New York Ranger), alcoholism (I'm Not An Alcoholic!) and one appears to be about pleasuring yourself to country music (My Dad vs. Shania Twain.) This Vancouver-based band is a new incarnation of the now defunct outfit Dr. Evil and much like crashing a castle, The Hextalls may soon be a favourite of Canuck gamers everywhere.

Horse Power by The Chemical Brothers - from Further (2010)
For Racing Games

Realistically any electronic music acts as an adequate addition to the gamer's experience. However some techno songs that feature vocals can distract the player. Horse Power is not only the title of the track but those two words are the only words spoken through out the song, keeping it simple. Further is the first Chemical Brothers album not to feature vocal collaborations. Furthering its pitch perfectness as an addition to a gamer play list.

Phantom by Justice - from Cross (2007)
For Any Game

Hugely popular French house duo Justice's music has been featured in games such as Grand Theft Auto IV and DJ Hero. Honestly any track from Cross fits well with gaming. My pick, Phantom, has the electronic pair doing their best distorted Daft Punk impersonation.

Threshold (8 bit) by Brian LeBarton - from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Soundtrack (2010)
For Arcade 

L.A.'s Brian LeBarton enjoys incorporating odd instruments into his music. Skilled at manipulating the children's toy Speak & Spell, LeBarton was recruited by Beck to be his keyboardist/musical director in 2004. LeBarton also contributed this track for the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World Soundtrack, which is so retro you may be reduced to a pile of tokens.

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