Gym is for January

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Ten Songs to Murder Your Elliptical To

You could go with conventional stadium anthems that pumped up your machismo uncle in 1993, or you could root around for some unusual leg slayers. We’ve picked ten of the most aorta bruising jams to christen your new year to. And while we wholeheartedly believe that you cant go wrong with Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”, we’re going to some alternate depths.

10. True by Operators

Sludge-rock by any other name. Like Bruce Springsteen being hit in the face by an oil pan, Dan Boeckner’s whiskey-croaking is a thing of guttural beauty. Paired with some electronic rumbling, “True” is a legit banger that drills into your subconscious with its repetitious and uncompromising lament of a chorus.

09. Crow – Audri Nix Remix by 18+

Penetrating, dead-eyed, and hypnotic caws of a crow strafe this remix with a sort of temporal madness. You’re probably not going to get a weirder, stupefacient track to blast in your headphones during your cardio. You can totally outrace that rando track star from Loyola Marymount to this song, and not even break a sweat, probably.

08. Cant Keep Checking My Phone by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

A rattling, serpentine track with some glacial vibes that still manages to tenderize the heart with its vibrant hook. It’s a contemporary and nuanced battle cry that none of us can deny, and one that deserves a place on this superfluous list.

07. New Dorp. New York by SBTRKT & Ezra Koenig

The frequency here, led by some unorthodox production, whispers and bays in a cold, steely harmony. The lyrics are assertive and confident. The beat is immense in its minimalism. And the chorus slays with a nonchalant lilt of joy. “My girl’s got a city to run.”

06.  Guggenheim by The Ting Tings

This song really peels the sanity back, and provides a catwalk for open nerves. By the time 3:30 rolls around, you’re roaring and flashing your incisors. It pays to be livid at the gym, and this will draw your ire while scaring your friend Brent Doughty as he works out next to you.

05. Good for You by Icona Pop

MORE JILTED POP-CACOPHONIES, THIS TIME WITH A CHASER OF VENOM. I’m going to take out my pain on this stationary bike and I hope you feel it while you’re hanging out with your new best friend, Brett Cohen.

04. Blue Suede by Vince Staples

When the bass kicks in, you’ll be running faster than Usain Bolt after he mainlines a brick of dark roast coffee. Check out that sweet flow, and that monochrome production that harks back to early 90s west coast hip-hop. This would make Daz Dillinger turn his head.

03. Harold’s by Freddie Gibbs

This is my favorite list with both Freddie Gibbs and The Ting Tings. “Harold’s” is a contemptuous, baritone, and smooth hip-hop track that lives in a syrupy zone of assertive coolness. Plus it feels really great to mouth “fuck my enemies” while you’re on an elliptical.

02. Diane Young by Vampire Weekend

Ezra Koenig’s voice is a horcrux that you cant deny. There’s some frantic, chaotic, and gorgeous instrumentation in here. And when the band gives their best Buddy Holly impersonation (“baby, baby, baby”) you cant help but motor a little faster.

01. Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison

“I guess you didn’t know” and “baby I got the flow” are battle cries that are sure to instill some extra endurance in those weary muscles. This is the greatest song ever made, tbh, and there isn’t a reason why you cant run 39 miles to this with 10 bales of hay on your back and one pulled hamstring.

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Author: Rob Patrick

A member of the San Diego Film Critics Society, Rob created Cinema Spartan after he stepped down as the editor of a weekly. He has written for The East County Californian, The Alpine Sun, The East County Herald, The San Diego Entertainer, and the San Diego Reader. He has also introduced films with the Pacific Arts Movement. He co-owns two dire wolves, Buckley and Ruffin. At any given time, he can tell you superfluous hockey statistics. He is the chancellor of Tapatio, an advocate of iced tea, and an owner of at least 70 pairs of Vans.

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