The Six Best References To Drunk Driving In Song
3. Atmosphere - "Hair"
"Lyndale Avenue on the way to her rest / Her drunk ass turns to look at me and she says...."
SPOILER ALERT: If you have never heard Atmosphere's "Hair," or never paid attention to it from beginning to end, take the three and a half minutes to listen. I'll wait. Okay, done? Good. You didn't see that one coming, did you? Atmosphere MC Slug starts by mocking musicians who pick up girls, lets his defenses down, and goes home with a girl who drunkenly gets the pair run over by a pickup truck. Offhand, I can't think of another song that uses a buzzkill as a climax.
2. Minus The Bear - "Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!"
"Windows down, the wine in our hands / The city lights just blur"
Minus The Bear's goofy song title phase (roughly 2001-2006) was also its vice phase. Of the fourteen tracks on the Seattle band's debut full length Highly Refined Pirates, eight make references to either drinking, smoking, or taking pills. Five of the remaining six tracks are instrumental. The tune "Monkey!!! Knife!!! Fight!!!" not only references drinking and driving, it romanticizes the act. "We'll drive around the lake just a little too fast," Jake Snyder sings in a way that, blended with the track's hazy synth pads and dangerous curves tempo, makes him sound like an enabler. I'm positive that this song's hook has inspired its share of joyrides - and field sobriety tests.
1. Gin Blossoms - "Hey Jealousy"
"You see I'm in no shape for driving / Anyway I've got no place to go"
Gin Blossoms' best song is also its most tumultuous due to the fact that its author Doug Hopkins was kicked out of the band due to his alcoholism and committed suicide before the album cycle of debut New Miserable Experience was complete. Even without the Hopkins angle, "Hey Jealousy" deals with tricky subjects like dependency, alcohol, regret, and police chases, but it avoids their weight without appearing irresponsible. This song is the friend you always give the benefit of the doubt to, the song you let sleep on your couch for too long without paying rent. Its protagonist is a self-effacing wreck that you just want to hug, and the track plays the endless-night summer jam angle without making you feel pathetic for wanting to go to bed before midnight. Such a context would ruin a lesser song. "Hey Jealousy" is outright transcendent.