I’ll admit that my interest in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has dropped off in recent months. There not being a lot of major updates is the main reason, but also because I love when they announce new music kits. Just when I thought Valve was basically saving 2017 to be the “year of CS:GO,” they drop a bomb on us:
A bunch of gloves that are rare as a god damn knife, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about those darn music kit!
I know this whole project sounds silly, but I’m always interested in what musicians Valve can cajole into this project. This time, it’s all lumped into a $7 case called “The Radicals Box”, and they’re all “StatTrak” versions so any time you get an MVP in a competitive match, your teammates and enemies will know how awesome you are.
This time, we got seven more music kits. Three of them are from bands from Red Bull Records, which I covered previously, while three more are from a different record label, Hopeless Records, the band that notably had artists like Taking Back Sunday, Sum 41 and Yellowcard. Sadly those bands aren’t featured here, but instead we get the B-tier bands on their catalog. The last remaining kit is from a returning musician, and it fits with the theme of rock and metal. (Hint: It’s not Daniel Sadowski.)
Like before, I’ll link to a YouTube page and the CS:GO Stash page so you can listen along. That being said, let’s get rocking.
DESCRIPTION: Beartooth is back for round two. This new music kit hits harder and is even more aggressive. We’ve also made the MVP anthem extra heavy so your opponents feel really bad after they’ve lost to you.
LISTEN ON: YouTube (through the official Red Bull Records YouTube channel), CS:GO Stash
Our first returning act, Beartooth has another pack based on their newest album, Aggressive. Their last music kit was one of those that took a while to warm up to, but this one’s actually damn good. All the tracks are various cuts from the album, in instrumental form. “Loser” highlights as the main menu track, and their other singles “Aggressive,” “Always Dead” and “Hated” contribute to various parts of the kit from action cues to bomb timers. But they even went for album cuts for the remaining sections, such as “Censored” being one of the round/action cue timers.
Since these are the instrumentals, they really do highlight the rocking metal feel of the tracks without someone screeching over them. This also didn’t take long for me to like it, compared to “Disgusting”, which took a while for me to warm up to.
VERDICT: Recommended. A lot less harsh than Disgusting, and is quite catchy in spots.
Blitz Kids, The Good Youth
British Pop/Punk band Blitz Kids brings you the perfect music kit for rushing B while thinking about those night drives you had with your friends in High School. This kit is for going fast and feeling young.
LISTEN ON: YouTube (through the Red Bull Records official YouTube channel), CS:GO Stash
Another Red Bull Records contributor, Blitz Kids’ appearance here is a bit of an odd one. An alternative rock band, the music kit name and the songs are all from their second and final album, and their sole one with Red Bull Records.
Notice I said “second and final album.” Yeah, Blitz Kids disbanded in late 2015. I seriously hope that the disbanded band members are getting royalties from this kit, otherwise it’d be pretty scummy to make money off a band that’s no longer active.
The kit itself features “Run for Cover” as the main menu track, and much like the Beartooth kit above, Red Bull Records opted for lots of album cuts to round out the kit, such as “On my Own” being the bomb timer, “Sometimes” as the Choose Teamcue, and “Keep Swinging” being one of the action cues.
I like this kit because it’s got that nice alt-rock feel, with occasional synthesizer breaks and string sections, giving it a nice, grandiose feel to the music. Though, using the same song, “The Soul of a Lost Generation” as both the Win and Lose Round cues seem a bit off since they sound too similar. It’s not a deal breaker, but certainly weird.
Again, I hope Red Bull Records vetted this with the previous band members, otherwise they might be in legal trouble. It would be funny for a music kit to become “contraband” like gun skins did, though…
VERDICT: Like alternative rock? Want something a bit lighter than the harsher metal fare? This will work. Recommended.
DESCRIPTION: Hundredth is bringing heavy to the world with their unique take on melodic hardcore. Break free or return to Dust with this perfect soundtrack for fragging the unworthy.
LISTEN ON: YouTube (from the Hopeless Records official YouTube channel), CS:GO Stash
Our first collaborator from Hopeless Records, Hundredth is who you’d expect: Hard riffs, fast pacing, screeching vocals. If these guys were around just five years earlier, I’d see them being prime Rock Band Network candidates.
Now, at this point I’ve been lauding Red Bull Records and their PR/mixer guy using the entire album for various tracks in their music kits. I wish I could say the same about these guys.
First, no instrumentals, so these are the first music kits where we having singing and actual lyrics. Second, only three songs encompass the entire music kit, and they’re all album singles, and finally, lots and lots of awkward choices for tracks because they’re not instrumentals.
“Break Free,” “Unravel,” and “Inside Out” are the three songs used here, and they just seem so chopped together that they sound awful. It doesn’t help the “screechy heavy metal” is not my kind of genre, so this is one I have a hard time recommending to anyone, unless you’re familiar with the band itself. At least the MVP Anthem is probably enough to annoy people.
VERDICT: So lazily put together. Screeching vocals ruining good music, and using three songs to mash up into 6 minutes of music feels slapdash. Not recommended.