Rock Band 4 DLC - Week of 9/27: Disturbed & Fitz and The Tantrums

This week sees a cover that took YouTube by storm, and a pop song with a good amount of soul. But will September end with a bang or a clap (you'll see as we get into it)? Let's find out!


Disturbed- The Sound of Silence:

...Well, this is interesting. Allow me to explain: so, we got the original Sounds of Silence (aka the one with more instrumentation) by Simon & Garfunkel in 2009 and that was great. 7 years later, one of the most requested bands in this franchise cover the song and because metrics are metrics, here we are now.

Guitar on this song is mostly alt-charted piano, though there are some nice acoustic flourishes in between. Some three-note chords during the “fools say I you do not know” section and then again during the last big moment (“And the people bowed and prayed”). The easiest Disturbed song we have, yet still one of the best.

Bass starts with a 34-measure break. And once you DO play, it’s alt-charted strings. Fairly easy single-note sustains with a few single notes to break up the monotony. Also two-note chords near the end. Boring chart, but it fits with the tone of the song.

Drums are...decidedly tame. Once the 48-measure break is finished, all you have are cymbal swells and timpani rolls. They’re charted all across the kit so you have a lot more variety than expected (though timpani rolls on the snare? Feels off personally) and some single hits in between. Can you handle roll lanes? You can probably FC this then.

And now the most debatable of the instruments, Vocals. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel could harmonize like nobody else. David Draiman sticks to the haunting tone of the original and while some Disturbed-isms (mostly the way his voice sounds in the higher registers) still remain, this is a beautiful rendition of an all-time classic. Only one Harmony phrase, but it’s in the most poignant spot, so it fits wonderfully. If you like the original, consider picking this cover up as well.

Vocalists should definitely try singing this song. While the other instruments don’t offer a lot, they’re easy enough that you could do Voxtar or Voxbass at the same time and still pull it off.


Fitz and The Tantrums- HandClap:

Guitar starts with a synth riff, and then promptly a 14-measure break. While there is some actual guitar in the pre-choruses, you’ll mostly be playing the keys and saxophone parts (which reminds me HMX, how ‘bout that there King Crimson?). Kinda….sorta….repetitive.

Bass has a nice main riff (even mixing in a few chords), though I hope you like that riff cause you’ll be playing it a lot. Not a lot of blank space, but some ascending single notes in the choruses. Toe-tapping, but easy.

Drums are pretty varied, but you’ll soon see WHY this song is called HandClap. LOTS…OF…. CLAPS…. CHARTED….TO…. THE SNARE. And sometimes as Red-Yellow flams.. Enough to almost seem obnoxious. But the main beat is pretty consistent, even mixing in some cowbell to switch it up. The end turns the beat into a slight disco beat (Bass, Hi-Hat, Snare+Bass, repeat) for a few measures, and that’s pretty fun. If you can get past the claps, this is a great song to groove to.

Vocals are pretty hooky, with the main line being backed up by some nice two and three-part Harmonies. The pre-choruses add some nice range before the choruses hammer in that this band can make your hands clap. Which as true as that may be, I think I want a break from doing anything with my hands for a while now.  Good stuff, but I hope someday we’ll get The Walker or Out Of My League.

Vocalists and Drummers will have a good time with this, but you don’t even know. RIP Clappers everywhere.


Final Verdict:

Disturbed- The Sound of Silence:

It’s honestly a very faithful cover of a song that while we’ve had the original for years, is a blast to sing and offers some unique instrumentation even if it’s not hard as balls. Worth the purchase.



Fitz & The Tantrums-HandClap:

Vocalists and Drummers will have a good time. Guitarists might want to skip out on this, Bassists might want to try it, but the riff is pretty repetitive so exercise caution.



And that does it for the first full month of Behind The MIDI Notes! Thanks to everyone for reading these things, and I hope you’ll join me for more reviews to come.

Next week, we’ll find out the DLC artists for October  and have another week of freshly charted DLC. Judging by the fact that Rivals comes out in 3 weeks’ time, it may be a smaller list than expected. Or not, and my prior hunch was right after all. But the world may never know….

I’m JC, and I’ll see you guys next week, with 10% less hand-clapping.