Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Battling Traffic | Sons & Daughters | Arctic Monkeys

Since I don't really have any sort of a commute, I do most of my music listening while sitting at my desk doing work. That setting doesn't really lend itself so some varieties of music; generally, high energy stuff. Therefore, two bands that folks have been raving about and not clicking for me have been Sons & Daughters and Arctic Monkeys. However, I found the right setting for them on Monday and they started to groove for me.

Every once in a while for work, I have to drive down to northern NJ. It's about a five hour drive with the last hour being the worst. After four hours in the car, I start getting achy, stiff and worst of all...tired. However, around this point, I reach the southern end of the Merritt Parkway in CT and the stretch of I-287 in NY leading up to the Tappan Zee Bridge. It's a miserable length of roadway where everyone is flying at about 70 mph, constantly shifting lanes and close enough to each other that we could roll down our windows and join hands. Certainly, not a good time to be achy, stiff and tired.

Needless to say, this isn't an "Iron & Wine" moment. You need something roaring out of your speakers with a lot of kick to it to keep your focus on the near-fatal-crash situation you are constantly experiencing. Well, this week, my iPod was rolling through a playlist of recent downloads when it came upon Sons & Daughters' "Johnny Cash" and "Hunt". Holy crap. They were the perfect tunes. Both songs have a surging beat, frantic vocals and sonic western-style guitar that drives your adrenaline up a dozen notches.

Those tracks were followed by English blog darlings Arctic Monkeys with "Fake Tales of San Francisco", "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" and "Scummy". These tunes live in the border town between discoville and punktown. Big booming bass lines, neck-breaking guitar hooks and unyielding beats. Hell, they even sneak in a "Clearmountain Pause" or two.

Like Underdog after woofing down his energy pill, I was cruising through the last leg of my drive with zeal. I never would have understood the fun behind these songs if I hadn't ever listened to them in the right setting. Somehow, the right setting just happen to be a soul-crushing nerve-wracking stretch of highway.

Insound is taking pre-orders for Arctic Monkeys' January release and the Sons & Daughters' albums are available here.

Sons & Daughters - Johnny Cash

Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales of San Francisco
Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
Arctic Monkeys - Scummy


c said...

i do most of my listening on an ipod on the subway/train, but i have to say that hearing music loud while driving a car is really the ultimate way to judge. it's something about having speed in your hands and your head, i don't know. that's the reason i try not to listen to music when i snowboard, cause it makes me way more have a cool blog.

1974punkmom said...

Great list of tunes! I especially love the Johnny Cash pick...and it is a great one to drive to!