Hey, Hey, It’s The Monkees...Again
The Monkees, largely regarded as the precursor to The Arcade Fire by at least one critic in San Narciso County, are allegedly reuniting to promote the release of “Rock Band -- The Monkees’ Edition,” the latest installment in the popular video game franchise by Electronic Arts and MTV.
In January, Bennington Vale Evening Transcript music contributor Wendell “Mucho” Maas observed, “Isn’t The Arcade Fire just Gen X’s The Monkees? If you think about it, ‘The Suburbs’ seems to revisit ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’ and ‘Shades of Gray.’ But, you know, with desperation, guilt and a roving brigade of Blackwater agents. Then again, ascribing an in-depth examination of moral relativism to The Monkees might be going too far.”
According to Stephanie Welterhalt, a spokesperson for Electronic Arts, it’s not going far enough.
“The Monkees never got their due,” Welterhalt mused. “Sure other people wrote their material, played their instruments and ruled their creative processes with iron fists, but the songs came alive only through the intense souls of these boys.”
But she also warned the public of potential misunderstandings, akin to those Electronic Arts suffered during the release of the Def Leppard edition of Rock Band.
The Monkees Rock Band
“We’re still dealing with the fallout over Walmart pulling the Def Leppard version because of the ‘missing drum stick’ non-issue,” Welterhalt explained. “But, as we’ve stated from the beginning, we stand by the authenticity of our games and the experience we’re trying to recreate. That’s why I want to get a jump on any customer service issues that might occur as a result of The Monkees release. It will be as authentic as possible, which could once again lead to confusion.”
The mechanics of the game play, Welterhalt admitted, would present a departure from other Rock Band versions, primarily because The Monkees also strayed from the musical norm at the height of their popularity.
During the initial rounds of the game, players may be disappointed to discover limited interaction with the band. Welterhalt insists that each player’s immersion in the game will progress through subsequent stages.
“At first,” Welterhalt said, “players will be responsible for all the instruments, but will not perform any of the vocals. Their avatars will also be made up of session musicians, not The Monkees themselves. This is because The Monkees, although trained musicians, were only allowed to sing on the tracks when they began.”
After that point, the game takes on a unique puzzle-based feel, where players must renegotiate contracts, strong arm producers, and have key personnel fired. The ability to do so will enable players to unlock on-screen Monkees characters and eventually take full control of Jones, Tork, Dolenz and Nesmith.
Electronic Arts also hinted at the inclusion of a new instrument -- a tambourine with special motion controllers. The game is slated for release on April 1.