B.Y.O.B. to the FC Party!

July 30, 2009 at 8:26 pm (Rock Band) (, , , , , , , , )

A couple of hours after posting yesterday’s article, I checked the song selection poll results, and once again found that two songs were neck-in-neck for the top spot, argh! This time, my readers were split between “Like a Fool” by Shaimus, and System of a Down’s “B.Y.O.B.”. I put out the call for some tie-breaking votes, but the first batch of responses did nothing to declare a winner. After a final last-ditch plea over Twitter (a pleet? a twea?), salvation came in the form of redion1992, who tipped the scales in favor of “B.Y.O.B.” with his last-minute vote. Thanks redion1992! Even though I knew that my unfamiliarity with the song would make it somewhat challenging, I felt like the really hard part of the process was already behind me. With a sigh of relief, I got to work…

My first attempt was also probably the 3rd time I’d ever heard/sung this song. I messed up a fair bit as I tried to keep up with the sudden and jarring changes in vocal melody that occur throughout the track. This song is just all over the place on vox, both melodically and rhythmically, and I knew it would take at least a few more runs just to be able to predict what was coming next at certain points. I flubbed a total of 5 phrases on this run, and also missed my 2nd overdrive activation window, which undoubtedly contributed even further to my low score. I put a large mental checkmark in the “Needs Improvement” box, hit restart and prepared for round two…

This time around, I only missed two phrases, 3 (“Barbarisms by Barbaras”) and 26 (“And where the — are you?”). I had messed up both of these phrases on the first run as well, but it was immediately obvious which of the two was going to present me with a real issue. On my next full attempt at the song, I found that phrase 26 was simply a finicky talky that required a slight adjustment in how I pushed my breath to the mic. Phrase 3 however, was an entirely different animal…like a bear. Yeah, a big grizzly with sharp teeth and claws with breath stinking of salmon! That’s EXACTLY what phrase 3 was like!

So why did this particular line give me such issues? Well, for starters, its the first pitch-charted line of the song, it comes immediately following a talky phrase, and its also extremely short. This gives the singer no lead-in (pitchwise) and virtually no time to correct if you don’t hit the right pitch right from the start of the phrase. Also, the low-ish monotone that is actually heard on the game’s vocal track is mostly drowned out by the instruments, making it nearly impossible to latch onto the correct pitch by ear – a technique I happen to rely on. Individually, none of these factors are terribly difficult to overcome, but in combination, they ensured that getting an Awesome rating on this particular phrase would be more of a hit-or-miss fluke scenario than anything consistently achievable. Over the next 11 runs, phrase 3 was my stumbling point a whopping 8 times!

While I never reached a point where I felt entirely familiar with this song’s lyrics or melody, after half an hour and 14 tries I was able to get all the way through it without missing any phrases or ruining my streak, hurrah! I still don’t know whether to laugh at or be embarrassed by my performance on the YouTube video of this FC, where all my mumbling and harmonic fumbling is laid bare for all to hear! For now though, I’m happy with my 8th place ranking for this song on ScoreHero (tied with a buttload of other people, BTW), and I’m ready to tackle my readers’ next selection…whatever THAT may be!



  1. RedIon1992 said,

    Given the other thing I’ve pulled on the poll before, I’m not sure whether thanking me is the best course of action… :-P

    • deadlystingnyc said,

      Well, you seem to be learning…don’t disappoint me now!

  2. OnefromNV said,

    Best part, at 3:00 — “FREEEEEEEEDOM!!!!!” Lol — nice screaming :)

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