Can the cops really blame us for thumbing our noses at their speed limits? The intoxicating blend of raw power under the hood and Raw Power blasting through the stereo is enough to strip away the inhibitions of even the most defensive drivers. But, not all music inspires machismo motoring. The only reason you’d drive fast with Yani coming through the speakers is to plow harder into a brick wall to end your suffering. Here are a handful of tracks that redline our engines and eardrums.
The Stooges: Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell
Iggy Pop isn’t one to pull punches, and this song starts off like a right hook to your temple. You might feel the urge to run some jagged glass over your chest by the time you get through the first verse, but stay your hand, my friend. The last thing you want to do is bleed out all over your Naugahyde bench seat while you’re screaming down the streets at full speed.
The White Stripes: Stop Breaking Down
Robert Johnson’s original version may be bluesier, but it doesn’t inspire the kind of reckless driving that the White Stripes’ cover does. On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself mashing the gas pedal in time to Meg’s throbbing floor drum, jut-jut-jutting forward until I was well over the posted speed limit.
Black Flag: Rise Above
If you could somehow harvest the naked aggression of Los Angeles traffic, bottle it up and toss in a handful of Mentos, the foaming geyser of angst spewing out would not even come close to matching the rage in this classic Black Flag track. I would not recommend that you hit play anywhere near school zones, retirement homes or Winchell’s donut houses because you’re liable to traumatize some kids, grandmas or cops.
The Rolling Stones: Street Fighting Man
Look. This may not be the fastest Rolling Stones track out there, and yes, you might be questioning my fast-song picking skills because I opted for a track with some sitar accompaniment. Bet let me tell you: when you crank this bird up to 10 and let Mick’s roller-coaster vocals seep into your soul, you’ll be breaking your personal land-speed record faster than you can say Altamont Speedway.
Sonic Youth: Teenage Riot
Just as the Laforza is the best SUV you’ve never seen on the streets, Sonic Youth is one of NY City’s most rocking acts that you’ve never heard on the radio. They carve driving beats out of a wall of feedback feedback like Harley Earl sculpted works of automotive art out of sheet metal and chrome. This track in particular adds some extra lead to my GO!-pedal foot every time it pops up in a playlist. It may start like it’s idling at a red, but after a minute and some change, it throws the hammer down in true Sonic Youth Fashion.
So that’s just one man’s opinion. If you want to suggest your personal favorite fast-driving music, tell me about it in the comments.