bandsWe’ve seen social games based around music before, some of which burned brightly then faded away (Nightclub City, Loudcrowd) and others of which took off like a rocket (well, just one: SongPop).

Now there’s a new game in town called Bands, launched as a Facebook game by Berlin-based developer Newtracks.

“Form a Band with your Friends on Facebook! Discover new hot music and become a Superstar!” explains the blurb for the game, which sees your virtual band winning fans, going on tour and playing along to real songs from emerging artists – hence doubling as a way to discover new music.

Newtracks has licensing deals in place with Universal and EMI, and says artists and labels will be able to sell in-game merchandise and virtual items, with links to buy songs on iTunes also provided.

The ability for players to upload any track they like could be interesting for rightsholders, mind. From our play this morning, Bands looks fun, but finding an audience will be the key challenge, as for any social game.