My attitude towards the proliferation of Guitar Hero-esque games has been to wonder why you’d bother spending all that money on a game, some plastic guitar-shaped controllers and an Xbox when you can buy the real instruments for about the same price and have, you know, a real band. And I’m not sure I buy the assertions of Metallica‘s James Hatfield that the plastic Gibson Explorer of Guitar Hero: Metallica is a ‘gateway drug’ to playing an actual guitar.
But here’s something to change all those snobby opinions: it’s The Beatles Rock Band and it looks like it might be actual fun. It’s almost as if some bright spark recognised that the Beatles videogame ought to have a bit of effort put into it; accordingly, you can now live out all your Beatles fantasies – albeit in your living room along with some hideously expensive imitation instruments. But just think: you can now be Ringo warbling Yellow Submarine, all whilst racking up “Double Fab Bonuses”, whatever they are.
I don’t know whether Today’s New Band, Radiant Dragon, harbour latent wanna-Beatles ambition, but they sure know how to make ace pop tunes.
Oysters is a brilliant, swirling, psychedelic jab of pop, filled to the brim with skittering drum loops, weird sounds and melodies more catchy than Swine Flu. Taman is ear-deep in polyrythms, and refuses to buckle as layer after layer of chewy, enticing sound gets piled on top of one another.
Radiant Dragon lubricate songs like Cold Ghost – that could have been clumsy and obtuse – and make them bristle with life. Instruments squelch, shimmer and punch, and the listener can only marvel at the pleasantries of it all.
Some bands pop up unexpectedly and make songs that twist and turn exactly as you’d want them to, just as you’d like them to. Radiant Dragon do this, blithely and simply, with oodles of good-time swagger. A treat. Listen here!