Blame it on my late ’70s and early ’80s New Jersey upbringing, but I’m a sucker for these sort of driving highway anthems. They’re songs so uniquely American, borne of both a desperate longing to escape and the faint glimmer of something brighter and better in the distance. You know the type of track I’m talking about: Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” Jackson Browne’s “Running On Empty,” Seger’s “Hollywood Nights.” Shit, pump me full of enough beers and you can include Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” on the list if you don’t mind a whole lot of self-indulgent bombast muddying your romantic tales of longing and salvation.

I’m not saying Slow Parade’s new single “Bangs” is in that rarefied company, but it does seem to possess all the necessary elements to at least be worthy of consideration: dynamic guitars tied to a rollicking backbeat, infectious vocals, and inward-looking lyrics that strike at the heart of the mid-American ethos. “Who’s leaving? Who’s left behind?” bandleader Matthew Pendrick pines wistfully on the track’s snappy chorus. They’re not so much questions as they are accusations, because it seems clear he knows the answer.

“Bangs” reveals a warm and ragged side to Slow Parade’s songwriting, and it’s nice to hear them tear through it with upbeat abandon. The end of summer may be nigh, but at least there’s still time to squeeze in one last road trip before the leaves start falling. Check it out below.

The “Bangs” b/w “Jackpot” single is out September 23 via Bear Kids Recordings. Pre-orders are available here. You should also take note that BSK has a new website and now offers direct downloads for all their artists in the format of your choice. Pretty snazzy, amirite? AND it’s also a better way to support the label directly.

Slow Parade will perform on Thursday, October 13 at Red Light Cafe in support of Ethan Fogus (album release show), andi. (Night Driving in Small Towns), and Cortez Garza. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $8 in advance and $10 DOS.

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