Fun Fact: The music you listen to in high school will be, more or less, the music you listen to for the rest of your life. This is due to the fact that it can be associated to some of the more memorable moments in your life, i.e. prom, graduation, and the close friends you make. This is also why our parents tend to dislike our generation’s music and stick to listening the music they listened to when they were young.
Back in my day (meaning 3 years ago), I wouldn’t be caught dead without my headphones hanging from my shirt, listening to alternative or indie bands like Arctic Monkeys, We Are Scientists, and Metric. However all through middle school I was listening to what I now consider terrible rap music. My complete 180 in taste all started because of one game: SSX On Tour.
If you’re not familiar with SSX, it’s an extreme snowboarding series with over the top tricks that are literally impossible, like taking off your snowboard and swinging it around your neck, or doing the worm on it.
I picked up the original SSX as my first game when I got my PS2 back in 2000. Since then, I’ve played every game in the series, but never got around to SSX On Tour. Then, one day, I came across it at a yard sale and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. On Tour has an edgy, alternative punk style to it, and menus are presented through a sketchbook as if they were doodles. This really spoke to me as I was always into drawing in my notebooks. Then came the soundtrack.
The fast paced music synced perfectly with the speed of SSX. Hitting jumps and doing the most obscure tricks with Avenged Sevenfold’s “Bat Country” playing was just perfect. All the while, free riding down the mountain and just cruising to the smooth sounds of Bonobos “Flutter” showed the diversity of the soundtrack to this game.
By around 2006, I got my first MP3 player and all the songs I downloaded were from SSX On Tour. When looking up bands like Queens of the Stone Age, I would also listen to some more of their music, which made “Go With the Flow” one of my favorite songs to this day. When people were talking about the YouTube sensation of OK Go’s “Here it Goes Again” treadmill music video, I had already heard it dozens of times on SSX On Tour.
After playing On Tour, I had grown tired and bored of listening to rap on the radio. Then I discovered WFNX which played alternative rock and indie bands and this just forever changed my life. Suddenly I had an interest in Nirvana and wanted to play Guitar Hero. WFNX got me interested in seeing concerts and now I can’t stop going. This April I will be seeing We Are Scientists, a band I discovered through SSX On Tour. The impact that this game has had on me musically can not be underestimated– I would not be the person I am now were it not for the songs that influenced me, from the bands I loved, from the game that introduced me to the genre.
If I had to name drop some songs to check out from this game, these would be my top 5 songs. Please take 5 minutes and just give these songs a listen and imagine an angsty teenager getting ready for high school.
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Maximo Park – Apply Some Pressure (Which I might also be seeing in concert)
- Goldfinger – My Everything
The Hives – No Pun intended
Death From Above 1979 – Romantic Rights
Bloc Party – Banquet (My MySpace profile song for the longest time)
Honorable Mentions: SSX (2012)
Towards the end of high school, dubstep became immensely popular, and I was (and still am) a huge fan. The soundtrack of the SSX reboot changed with this trend, featuring remixed songs from Flux Pavilion and Nero. They also kept some alternative bands from On Tour like Naked and Famous and Foster the People. Not to mention that gameplay would effect the music– the music would fade out when you were in the air, and rewind when you spun around while grinding. This was a cool little detail that never affected the game, but was such an interesting addition. I find it fascinating how SSX evolved with me musically.