All of these albums have been tested by me on my daily 40-minute commute to and from school and my internship. Also, they are listed in no particular order.
1. Three Days Grace – Transit of Venus
To be honest, I actually don’t particularly like Transit of Venus. It seemed misplaced in its time period – for being released in 2012, it sounded a bit too much like it was trying to be a combination of Linkin Park and Papa Roach circa 2002. However, the consistent driving beats and plain lyrics make it perfect for long drives – the angry energy is just right for barreling down a highway at 70 miles an hour, and the words are generic enough that you’ll remember them after a few listens, and be singing along to the whole thing within a week.
Song to repeat: Operate. This song turns down guitars and turns up the drums for a nice upbeat break from heavy overload.
Song to skip: Time That Remains. This song is one of my favorites, lyrically, but makes me want to fall asleep at the wheel.
2. Rise Against – The Sufferer and The Witness
Rise Against makes great music to drive to in general, but I love this album in particular because it doesn’t take a break from the motivated energy that makes you want to put the pedal to the metal and go somewhere and do something. The instrumentals to these songs would make great driving music all by themselves, but Tim McIlrath and his fucking angelic voice that was sent from heaven never fail to psych me up for interstate drives.
Song to repeat: The Good Left Undone and Survive. There’s an instrumental part at the end of TGLU that leads right into Survive and it’s just… ggfioadgjoi. Fantastic. And then Survive, by itself, is a fantastic song.
Song to skip: n/a
3. Yellowcard – Southern Air
Transit of Venus is angsty. The Sufferer and The Witness is motivational in a pissed-off way. Southern Air, though, is a generally happy album, and is pretty specifically suited to driving on a sunny spring day when you’re in a good mood. I’m pretty sure my car is sick of this CD because I play it so often – but listening to something so upbeat to start my day almost always ensure that I’m going to have a good one.
Song to repeat: Telescope – and not just because of the lyrics “let’s just keep driving on,” though that is pleasantly ironic. Telescope is about moving on and moving forward and “heading fast as we can for the unknown,” and I swear it was written to be a driving song.
Song to skip: Ten. Ten is a fantastic song, but it’s sad as hell, and the first time I heard it was actually while I was driving to school, and I had to pull off into a random parking lot because I started crying too hard to see the road, and then I was late for class. Yeahhhhh.
Enjoy, and happy driving!