Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Gaming Needs: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Soundtrack

Posted in Gaming Needs, Heavy Metal, Music, Pop-Punk, Skateboarding, Video Games by Jacob Zinn on December 27, 2011
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With the announcement of the return of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game series, one of the hottest topics on gaming sites is THPSHD‘s soundtrack.

At the risk of getting new tunes by mainstream rap artists and irrelevant rock bands, longtime fans are worried that skating the Warehouse and School II levels won’t be the same without the ’80s punk, ’90s pop-punk and ’00s nü metal that accompanied countless hours of virtual shredding.

They want the music to fit the era in which the game came out, and while notable skate punk groups like Sum 41 and blink-182 were missing from the original soundtracks, that’s a small sacrifice to get the songs from the first release.

Here are the 10 best songs that should be in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD:

“Superman” by Goldfinger

By far the most requested online, “Goldfinger” is the song fans remember most from THPS. The Los Angeles four-piece cemented themselves in the lyrical memory of gamers and skaters alike. To have that kind of power over button-mashers is enough alone to make a case for bringing them back for THPSHD.

“Euro-Barge” by The Vandals

These Huntington Beach punk rockers delivered a stripped-down, fast-paced track in the first game. Who’s to say they can’t in the next one? The Vandals are popular in punk circles and the energy in “Euro-Barge” is still fitting for the in-game movements and skateboarding feel. There honestly can’t be enough Southern California punk bands in this title.

“Police Truck” by The Dead Kennedys

A Tony Hawk game wouldn’t be a Tony Hawk game without some classic SoCal punk music. The Dead Kennedy’s San Francisco sound, an underground phenomenon in their heyday, has become more socially acceptable mainstream with songs like “Police Truck” in THPS, among other video games. It would be unjust to exclude the f*** you attitude of ’80s punk from any skateboarding game, especially this one.

“Cyco Vision” by Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies isn’t a band for everyone, but there’s no denying their aggressive performances–live and in studio–that make their songs great to skate to. “Cyco Vision” complements any freak out moments you may have when repeatedly bailing on a long line or losing your balance while going for the high combo score. It needs to be in there to save your TV from yourself.

“Bring Tha Noize” by Public Enemy and Anthrax

As the “Walk This Way” of ghetto rap and heavy metal, “Bring Tha Noize” is a perfect fit for the New York City level, which (fingers crossed) should make it into the rerelease. Two hardcore New York bands clashing in double-kickin’, east coast fury made one of the best rap-metal collaborations and set the bar for all to come. None have reached it, so how couldn’t this be included?

“Guerrilla Radio” by Rage Against the Machine

The intro music for THPS2, “Guerrilla Radio” is one of RATM’s best, most aggressive songs, showing off Zack de la Rocha militant vocal style and anti-authority stance. It goes along with the teenage rebellion of gamers who grew up in the ’90s and played the first two installments in a time of edginess and extreme.

“Blood Brothers” by Papa Roach

When THPS2 came out, Papa Roach were riding on the wave of 2000’s Infest. Since then, their popularity has lessened and nü metal’s impact on the music industry at that time is often overlooked. To remind new and old gamers, a rockin’ song like “Blood Brothers” deserves a spot in the soundtrack–or even better, “Last Resort”.

“Subculture” by Styles of Beyond

No one seems to recall “Subculture”, which makes it an excellent song worthy of a second chance. Styles of Beyond isn’t all that mainstream, but he’s relatively well-known in hip-hop and an underrated talent. Not every skater or gamer will be down with rap music, but it’s hard not to bob your head to S.O.B.’ beats. Just try not to.

“When Worlds Collide” by Powerman 5000

As the younger brother of Rob Zombie, frontman Spider One has had his own success in a different style of metal with PM5K. “When Worlds Collide” is a powerful anthem that will shake your speakers (that is, if they didn’t break the first time you played THPS2. Let’s hope they bring it back, but maybe turn down your stereo to be safe.

“You” by Bad Religion

Seriously. There can’t be enough Southern California punk in the THPS series.

It’s likely that Activision will replace the original tracks with lesser, more recent ones, so here’s hoping they allow in-game playback of music on your console.

Next Week on Gaming Needs: THPSHD Skaters


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