Driving is a stressful occupation, but nothing releases the pressure better than slamming your fist into your vehicle's roof in time to some boom therapy. Whether revelling in the highs (be it on the triumphant route home after another merciless eight hour grind at the office) or tunnelling your way out of the lows (such as dragging yourself down the long, grey road home after another merciless eight hour grind at, of course, the office) bashing your car roof with tightly clenched mitts provides a reflexive form of psychoactive treatment. It's as beneficial and cleansing as a deep session with the most masterful of therapists. All it costs is a litre of gas and maybe some brain cells, which let's face it were probably dying anyway. It's a compelling act that can be performed alone or as part of a group, where the shared intensity can transform an otherwise mundane trip into a potent bonding ritual. But first, a cautionary note: thumping the roof of your car is a different exercise to air drumming. A tad more mechanical and with the animal satisfaction that can only be derived from hitting something, it requires less expressive swinging of the arms - a good thing as your passengers are less likely to get smashed in the chops. As a result, many kickass songs that have plenty of extravagant rolls which are great for air drumming (say Arctic Monkey's R U Mine), or others that feature pummelling poly-rhythmic complexity, (Meshuggah's Bleed for instance), just don't work here. Hands at the ready, let's see what's up first on the block.
12. White Stripes - The Hardest Button To Button
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4dx42YzQCE Much has been made over the years of the supposed talent imbalance in The White Stripes. Jack White would write and sing nearly their entire output whilst Meg White plodded away predictably in the background; a situation exacerbated live where JW's sprawling Jimmy Page-esque fretwork would hog centre stage. Nevertheless, she earns her crust here. The dynamic tension wouldn't be possible without her focus and compact work on kick drum. The Hardest Button to Button was the third single from The 'Stripes jumbo-selling Elephant album, which elevated them to festival-headlining status and ignited further expectations that perhaps could never have been reasonably fulfilled. With piano, mandolin, marimba and impenetrable song themes all featuring on the divisive follow up, Get Behind Me Satan, the duo spectacularly forgot to do the thing they did best keep it simple. Here's a good example of what was missing; streamlined, effective and arrow-straight. Suggested punching pattern: Hold back if you can, until the cymbals crash in at the 1.07 mark. Then match the snares all the way. The Hardest Button to Button is a good steady, evenly paced groover to get you warmed up for the meatier stuff to follow.