A Bard’s Eye View: Let’s Take a Road Trip


Road Trip!

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You and I are going across the country and we need music.
Luckily, I exist, so I will be assisting in this process by providing some songs that go really well for a long rides. I’m not wasting any time. Seriously, get in the car. The music starts now.

SNOT (UNITED STATES) – JOY RIDE, FROM GET SOME (1997)

A one album wonder, Snot picked up a lot of notoriety from being a fusion of nu metal, hardcore punk, and funk metal. Additionally, Lynn Strait, the singer, was killed in a car accident in 1998. This song often helps to remind me that regardless of circumstances, speeding is not ideal for me.
1000 MODS (GREECE) – VIDAGE, FROM SUPERVAN VACATION (2011)

For some reason, Greece is currently experiencing a spike in the rise of stoner rock bands. From the aptly named Supervan Vacation, 1000 Mods brings a song worthy of traveling for miles and miles. Reminiscent of Truckfighters (featured later) in many ways, it’s a great choice for any road trip playlist.

THE MARS VOLTA (UNITED STATES) – DAY OF THE BAPHOMETS, FROM AMPUTECHURE (2006)

From the beginning drum sounds and terrific bass line to the explosion that occurs about a minute in, this jazz fusion, psychedelic trip is great for enjoying your drive. Long songs tend to work well if they’re dynamic and hardly anyone does dynamic better than The Mars Volta. Just when you think you’ve figured out the groove of their song, they mix it up.

P.O.S. (UNITED STATES) – BUMPER, FROM WE DON’T EVEN LIVE HERE (2012)

A nice, quick, and refreshing track filled with live drumming and a cool set of effects, P.O.S. is an excellent source of hip hop while maneuvering through the freeways as you pass cities (Salt Lake City comes to mind for some reason).

JUNO REACTOR (ENGLAND) – CONGA FURY, FROM BIBLE OF DREAMS (1997)

Really any Juno Reactor song works but this one in particular sticks out to me because it reminds of when I would drive through large expanses of nothing (see: Interstate-80). I must have listened to Bible of Dreams nearly every time I made that drive.

LED ZEPPELIN (ENGLAND) – MOBY DICK, FROM THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME (1973)

This is taken from The Song Remains the Same, which was recorded in New York. This is a live performance and you can see the late John Bonham going absolutely nuts on the drums. When you hear people say he was the best drummer to ever live, a lot of that is based on this individual performance.

STEVEN WILSON (ENGLAND) – THE WATCHMAKER, FROM THE RAVEN THAT REFUSED TO SING, AND OTHER STORIES (2013)

You probably shouldn’t listen to this album late at night is spooky stuff can get to you. But if you’re like me, someone who enjoys the macabre and alike, this is a great song for driving late at night. Ghost stories are awesome!

OPETH (SWEDEN) – BRIDGE OF SIGHS, FROM WATERSHED (2008)

A super sweet Robin Trower cover that has the slow blues guitar and amazing guitar. You get a different side from Opeth than you may be accustomed to and it makes those early morning drives all the more worth it.

THE GLITCH MOB – MIND OF A BEAST, FROM LOVE DEATH IMMORTALITY (2014)

The Glitch Mob dominates. Simply put. This is a great song for traversing through the cities, taking in the nightlife and really appreciating the culture we have.

SAGE FRANCIS (UNITED STATES) – PRESSURE COOKER, FROM COPPER GONE (2014)

This is a song that could easily start your drive. Start this song, the very first on the album, and just the album play out. It’s a very good mix of energetic, emotional, and comforting. Then go through the rest of Sage Francis’s discography because it’s all gold.

MASTODON (UNITED STATES) – THE HUNTER, FROM THE HUNTER (2011)

That long, slow drive. Those moment where you just shut the hell up and get introspective for a bit. I like to put this song on with a friend in the car and just blast it. It’s a real mellow song that showcases some super cool guitarwork.

MASTODON (UNITED STATES) – STARGASM, FROM THE HUNTER (2011)

Looks like I’m beginning a trend of featuring back to back songs from the same album in my featurettes (not in sequential order on the album in this case, though). This one is another great song for driving, especially if you hit snow! Because this song reminds me of being out in space, like The Magic Schoolbus!

TRUCKFIGHTERS (SWEDEN) – DESERT CRUISER, FROM GRAVITY X (2005)

And what would a road trip soundtrack be like without Desert Cruiser? Stoner rock is the best music for driving, hands down. I had to remove about five other bands because I didn’t want to saturate the list with so much of one genre, but Truckfighters completely epitomize the concept.

What’s coming up?
I am reviewing Aesop Rock’s new album, The Invisible Kid next week.
We have a Soilwork with Fear Factory concert update the following week.
And a Dream Theater concert update the week after that.

See you then!

-Ryan

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