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Music Review: Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ – Songs About Cars, Space and The Ramones [EP]

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Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is a multi-faceted band, and to celebrate that fact the band is releasing four EPs over a 12-month period. Songs from the Laundromat was released in June and represented rock. This one, Songs About Cars, Space and The Ramones represents punk. Future EPs will cover country and some mystery category not yet revealed.

From the first notes, “punk” is exactly what this six-song set delivers. The driving guitars and hectic rhythms ensure a heart-thumping, fast-paced thrill ride for about 15 minutes of unrelenting rock. The subject matter is pretty well summed up by the title. “Hot Wheels” and “Acceleration” are the car songs, while “Johnny Rides Shotgun” is about The Ramones, and “Out Here in the Middle of Nowhere” certainly sounds like The Ramones. Space is represented by “Moonshot” and “Space Eyes.”

Even though it’s all punk, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ has fun with different types of sounds here. “Hot Wheels” has a fuzzy ’60s sound, reminiscent of The Kinks. “Acceleration” is good-humored surf punk, while “Johnny Rides Shotgun” is pure anarchic Ramones in style, with thrashing guitars and almost unintelligible lyrics. “Out Here in the Middle of Nowhere” is a mix of Ramones and Kinks, with a guitar riff straight out of the Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night.”

“Moonshot” is closer to the classic Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ sound, but with lots of attitude, while “Space Eyes” is a flat-out rocking surf punk instrumental with twangy Duane Eddy-style guitars. It takes this reviewer back to the early, heady days of the Space Race in the ’60s, as I’m sure DNC intended it to do.

If there were 12 songs in this set, one might start to miss the other twangy, more obviously Southern songs Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is also known for and want to mix it up a bit. However, for six songs this EP is just a whole lot of fun and certainly should be part of the collection of any Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ fan.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.