Crash, Part VII: Drive In Drive Out

Man, oh man. I have to say, this might be one of the more underrated Dave Matthews Band songs out there (IMO). If you are a drummer, or like listening to awesome drummers, or just like awesome music, “Drive In Drive Out” is for you.

There is such a fun start to this, and then it just blows you away. I’ll stop wasting your time.


Song Meaning: About dealing with being alone, or at least finding your own way. It seems there’s a sense of abandonment in the lyrics, which adds to the connection of “driving” oneself crazy. Or at least it seems that way.

Studio Version:

Live Version:

Total Play Count: 301

Album Ranking: 9/12

Once again, don’t let my album ranking fool you. Just because I rank this song in the bottom-fourth of the album, doesn’t mean it’s a bad song. The album is just that good.

“Drive In Drive Out” starts with a bang, and never slows down. The calm before the storm (so to speak) is Dave’s little guitar riffs. That leads into a huge, “BUM BUM BUM!” from the whole band. That goes to show that this song is mainly dominated by Carter on the drums. After a few more of the intro, Carter gets fancy to lead into the first verse.

The dynamics of this song really play out… going from quieter and mellow in the verses, to loud and banging in the chorus. “DIDO” really displays the full power of DMB… especially Mr. Beauford. The rest of the band definitely adds its fair share to the song, including the horn parts in the chorus.

I think the dynamic apex of the song is when Dave gets to the bridge that starts out, “Oh, my head is pounding now. God has all but left me behind.” When he starts this out, Carter immediately cuts his power down to a murmur. He accents the bridge with some hard rolls on some of the drums, which adds to the mystique of this song as well (sidenote: mystique is a pretty good word for this song, because it just feels mysterious altogether. That’s all). But towards of the bridge… Dave seamlessly blends his tempo right back up to speed with the chorus, joined by the full horns and violin. Beautiful.

One of my fondest memories of this song is the first time I ever heard it live. It was in Hartford, CT… and just before Dave started singing the lyrics, he yelled out to the band, “faster, faster,” because he wanted the tempo of the song to pick up (clearly this is a fast paced song). Now, whenever I listen to this song, I yell “faster, faster,” at the same exact part, even though he never says it.

The addictive nature of “Drive In Drive Out” also adds to its underratedness. obviously¬†a repetitive chorus is going to get stuck in your head, but what always gets me is the little violin right after “Drive in drive out, I’m leaving.” It goes back and forth between high-low, high-low. See if you can hear it (warning: it might get stuck in your head).

Another repetitive, yet addictive, part of the song is the solo. It almost feels like a high school band warming up… going up and down the musical scale. Granted, it’s not like that at all, but if you listen to it, you might know what I’m talking about. LeRoi plays notes that range up and down the scale, with some ominous notes thrown in, as Carter keeps up the pace with his killer-drumming.

If you pay close enough attention, and are an experienced DMB-follower, you can tell that “Drive In Drive Out” is an older song. It was actually written well before Crash¬†was ever considered as a record. It was one of the earlier songs written by Dave, and one of the first songs ever played live by Carter. The reason I say you can tell it’s an older song, is Dave almost had a style in his earlier years. Simple, yet intricate. Granted, the song evolved over time, and probably very much so from when it was originally written, to its place on Crash. Regardless, there is just something about it that screams “early-DMB,” like a lot of their other work. I really thought I could have explained it when I started this paragraph. I guess it’s just one of those things.

In the end, “Drive In Drive Out” is the kind of song I hope to hear live. It’s not super long, but man can the band rock the shit out of it (especially Carter). As a drummer myself, I really appreciate and enjoy hearing Carter jam it up, but the song in general is just a fun one to hear. Especially when Dave belts out the lyrics (is is the case with any song, really. The more Dave screams, the more awesome the song is).

Song Rating: 4/5

Next Song: “Let You Down”


3 responses to “Crash, Part VII: Drive In Drive Out

  1. GREAT reminder of a very underrated song. It’s for sure dated, but I love when it comes up in the shuffle. I’ll confess that I’ve more been caught up in it’s beat than the lyrics, so way to make me take a step back and think about it.

    Let You Down will be a good change of pace – lookin forward to it.

  2. It’s one of my favorite “angry” DMB songs. When I hear him say “I hear more than I’d like to. So I boil my head in a sense of humor.” I take it to mean that he either overheard something someone said about him or someone said something as joke that wasn’t funny. As a result he’s supposed to act like its funny even though it’s really not.

    When he says the part “So when I beg you, avoid me.” He is asking someone to leave him alone. He needs time to vent. To me it sounds like a venting jam session. Near the end of the song all the band members are letting go.

    I appreciate what you’ve said. This is one of my favorite DMB songs.

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