You've probably never heard of Guster - a folky, poppy, rocky band that is reasonably popular with college kids across the country - but they've heard of you. OK, that's probably not true, but Guster is one of the great folky, poppy, rocky bands and they would make a great addition to Rock Band's massive DLC library. Don't believe me (or still don't know who Guster are)? Give some of their songs a listen while you read my reasoning right here:
The Lyrics Are Just Fun Some songs are just more fun to sing as a group. From "Should I Stay or Should I Go" in the first game all the way up to the inclusion of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in this Fall's Rock Band 3, sing-a-long songs have always had major appeal in Rock Band. Guster's catalog has several sing-a-long gems that can get a concert crowd crooning entire sections of the song. Some fan favorites include Barrel of a Gun's "4, 3, 2, 1" refrain and Fa Fa's chorus of "Fa, fa fa fa, fa fa fa/Never be the same again."
Everyone Wants to be a Thundergod No, not Thor. But Brian Rosenworcel, Guster's drummer. Instead of using a traditional drum kit, Rosenworcel uses hand drums on all of Guster's earlier songs (and some of their newer ones) to create a truly unique sound. This one-of-a-kind drumming experience is further expanded upon in songs like "Barrel of a Gun," which supplements the percussion section with a typewriter sound effect (because the song is told from the point of view of an obsessed fan). The Guster percussion experience is so different that any Guster tracks might have to be Wii-exclusive to make use of Donkey Konga's bongo peripheral to accurately simulate the life of the Thundergod. The absolute chaos of the drumming in "Airport Song" should be experienced no other way.
Piano Men Guster has done multiple tours with Ben Folds, and the modern-day piano man has sat in with the band many times. While Guster's repertoire is not too keyboard-heavy, they do have a few classic songs that would make good use of Harmonix's new peripheral, including "Manifest Destiny" and "All the Way Up to Heaven" (which could also double as Harmonix's great entry into testing whistling during a song).
They're From Boston! Harmonix lives and breathes their native Boston - so much so that the developer has used the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games to promote local bands such as Freezepop and Anarchy Club. Guster was formed in the early 90s at Tufts University when Adam Gardner, Ryan Miller, and Brian Rosenworcel began jamming in the dorms together. Since then they've won multiple Boston Music Awards and been introduced at a concert at City Hall by mayor Thomas Menino (who called them "My good friends Goose-ter"). They're probably even... ugh... Red Sox fans.
Their Fans Are Great I speak from a bit of experience here, but Gusterrhoids (as we're known) are absolutely in love with this band. Just look at our nickname, we let this band call us by a name they got by smushing together Guster and hemorrhoids. That's love, baby.
They've Got a New Album Coming Out Today Synergy. Cross-media exposure. Merchandising tie-in. Whatever corporate buzz words you speak, a new album is a great time to get your music out to the masses. And Guster's next album, Easy Wonderful, was added to store shelves (OK, and the iTunes Store) today, just a few weeks ahead of Rock Band 3.
It's the End of Rock Band As We Know It This week marks the release of R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" to the Rock Band Store, thus crossing off the previous top song from my own personal Rock Band bucket list. And seeing as how "the entire Guster catalogue" is number two, I'd say the time is definitely right.
Let's Go to the Phones... Harmonix maintains a suggestion page on their website for fans to submit songs for inclusion in a future Rock Band update. So if you want to play your favorite band's song with a plastic guitar, they are listening. And if your favorite band is Guster, all the better.
Be sure to hit up the comments section to let us know which bands you want to appear in Rock Band and/or Guitar Hero.