The news of a new Tony Hawk’s game in 2015 is cause for celebration for the nature averse thirteen year old inside of me. My formative years and beginnings of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome shaped by spending hours of popping ollies I couldn’t replicate in real life and somehow finding Bam Magera funny. Soundtracked by music that I listened to obsessively when failing at nailing high score challenges, it left an imprint on my musical education and was what I turned to when I was shoving headphones in my ear holes to ignore people on the bus to school.
Here’s a quick memory prod for ya.
Ahem, I got a bit misty eyed for a second there. Considering I equate Tony Hawk’s with Music I Like, any new Tony Hawk’s game is going to need a monolithically formidable playlist attached to it if it’s going to try and recapture the magic that the 2012 remake got absolutely nowhere near. THPS – as all abbreviation fans demand it to be known by – needs music that gives each run a sense of urgency and style – because just like Jaws – it all looks a little bit silly in silence.
I’ve aimed for songs that capture the energy of racking up the multipliers and gliding between half-pipes like a bearded bird without wings; songs that have the necessary propulsion that can make a nailing a 900 feel more transcendent than that (allegedly) awful Johnny Depp film. But overall, I want songs that are very good and that I can play Tony Hawk’s to without having to whack on Spotify to blare over the top of the TV.
If this list is light – read: pretty much devoid – on the pop-punk of the early games, that’s mainly because my music tastes have changed since I was 13, as I’m sure yours have, and a THPS reboot really shouldn’t be about showcasing who’s on the Vans tour this year. Yeah, Superman is a great song, but non-stop catchy Ramones-esque chords aren’t exempt from the too much good things rule and to be honest, I preferred the soundtracks of later year games which tried to distance themselves from wall to wall pop-punk.
Sorry about all them words, let’s crack on.
Run The Jewels – Blockbuster Night (Part.1)
It would take a lot – a lot – of editing to make RTJ’s song safe for a Tony Hawk’s game, but it would be worth it, thanks to a beat that could knock down houses at the right volume. It also possess the necessary magic of being able to get you hyped for pretty much anything through lyrics that are drunk-guy-who-thinks-you-stepped-on-his-shoes aggressive… in the best way possible, of course.
TV On The Radio – Mercy
Yes, there are other TVOTR songs than Wolf Like Me that could work well in a game. Mercy is all nervy, jittery energy before rumbling into a chorus that feels like a frantic sprint towards the end of the song. It’s perfect for THPS, imagine it building up in the background while you *attempt* to rack up a big score and then it bursts into life to drive you on through that horrendous bail that should leave your skater looking like a melted Picasso painting.
Death From Above 1979 – Right On, Frankenstein!
No strangers to a Tony Hawk’s game – Little Girl appeared on American Wasteland, a game renowned for it’s er, pink cover – DFA1979’s return gives us one of the most perfect for a Tony Hawk’s game ever. As fast as a Sega mascot, pleasingly chaotic and near impossible to keep up with, it’s just begging to be the background noise for thousands of ludicrous combos destined for the YouTube promised land.
St. Vincent – Birth In Reverse
Birth In Reverse’s hook might sound like a guitar riff played while falling down the stairs, but it’s hard to resist stomping your foot along with it and that energy is a must for any good THPS song, which by being on this list means it would be, obviously. Pointless fact: it also has the best lyric of 2014 in it, shame that has nothing to do with skateboarding games.
Bloc Party – The Once And Future King
Bloc Party are probably one of my favourite bands of all time so no musical list I compile would be complete without their indie riffs plonked on it.The Once and Future King is a b-side that only obsessive fans like myself would have hunted through the internet to find, but it’s racing beat and sharp guitars are perfect for the grind-manuel-grind routine I’m so very, very fond of.
Fucked Up – Queen Of Hearts
As you’ve probably guessed from the rest of my picks, my ideal Tony Hawk’s song is very loud and more than a tad bit fast. Queen of Hearts is both, it’s the sort of song that hits you at high speed and doesn’t slow down until it’s last few seconds. Well over 4 minutes long, you’ve got a nice little challenge keeping your final combo going if you want to hear the final notes squeeze themselves out of the speakers, which I promise you will.
Why don’t you sound – sorrynotsorry – off in the comments as to what you want to see in the next Hawk’s game.