I’ve already talked about how much I enjoy playing Guitar Hero III and how the rhythm game is one of my favorite things of 2007. More recently, I picked up Rock Band for the PS3 and that’s been a heck of a lot of fun too (the drums are so much harder than singing or the guitar). As much fun as these music games are to play, I’ve come to experience one of their greatest side effects too.

Having enjoyed a variety of Bemani-branded music games in the past, in addition to Dance Dance Revolution and Pump It Up, I’m no stranger to timing button presses to the beat, but most of those older Konami and Andamiro offerings featured Japanese and/or Korean songs that we’d never hear on North American airwaves. Where Guitar Hero and Rock Band found success is that they include songs that are more familiar to us. There’s no denying that playing Paint It, Black by The Rolling Stones (Guitar Hero III) and Enter Sandman by Metallica (Rock Band) are crazy fun to play. In fact, Enter Sandman was one of the main reasons why I was interested in Rock Band in the first place; Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld was a close second.

So, what’s this Guitar Hero side effect that I’m talking about? It’s the exposure to a number of songs I probably would have never heard otherwise. This isn’t only restricted to North American bands either — although I never listened to much of Radiohead or Soundgarden before, I think they’re great after playing Creep and Black Hole Sun in Rock Band — but also international groups that are totally foreign to me.

Easily the best non-English song available on Guitar Hero III is Hier Kommt Alex by Die Toten Hosen of Germany. The name of the song translates to “Here Comes Alex”, whereas the band name literally translates to The Dead Trousers (though most say it means The Dead Beats). I’m thinking that Danielle would totally dig this song. Check out the music video.

[Go to Beyond the Rhetoric if you can’t see the video]

Anyone want to translate the lyrics? Here’s a YouTube clip of the song on expert in GH3, in case you’re curious.

UPDATE: I found the English lyrics translation! It’s not just “Here Comes Alex”, it’s the “Return of Alex”. Whatever that means. The band also has a song called “Bye Bye, Alex”.