Smashing Drive (Gaelco, 2000)

I want to talk about Gaelco. Because someone has to.

Gaelco is a Spanish developer of…ah, let’s call them “lower-tier” arcade games. Its catalog largely consists of clones, cheaply produced original titles, and games that are just shy of what would be considered “good.” Few of Gaelco’s games (exactly two) were ever ported to consoles, and many of their best-known efforts were never released outside of Spain.

If you’ve heard of Gaelco at all, it’s probably because of Smashing Drive, an arcade Crazy Taxi knockoff that, for whatever reason, Namco’s North American branch identified as a surefire hit and subsequently ported to the Xbox and GameCube in 2002. The game was a moderate success in arcades, but flopped on consoles, largely because you can finish the thing in about an hour and never have any reason to return to it.

Smashing Drive itself is not a remarkable game. It’s fun in a shallow sort of way, and it’s worthwhile for the 99 cents-plus-shipping you’ll pay for it on eBay nowadays. The only truly exceptional thing about Smashing Drive is its transcendent soundtrack.

Yeah. This plays in the background during the first level, and you’ll hear it loop many times over by the time you get to the second stage. It’s bizarre, isn’t it? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more abrasive and less intelligible vocal song in a video game. The lyrics are in English — I think — but what are these words?

Upon first listen, I had the feeling that I’d heard this song before. Somewhere around the 20th loop, it hit me: it’s a total ripoff of Rob Zombie’s “Dragula.” More specifically, it’s modeled after the Dragula remix in Jet Grind Radio — it even uses the same flanging and stutter effects, in the same places. Except, well, somewhat ineptly.

This track plays in the second level, and it’s at least a little easier to understand. I can pick out individual words and phrases, anyway.

It’s probably a ripoff of something, like the first song is, but it’s not immediately identifiable. The guitar riff reeks vaguely of Aerosmith. And now that I think about it, the vocal style kind of resembles “Walk This Way.”

Among the few lyrics that I could decipher:

– “Heeeere we go againnnnn”
– “One two three four. One two three four. ONE TWO THREE FOUR. ONE TWO THREE YEAAAHHHHH
– “LOOSEN UP YOUR DIAPERS” (Huh? And what’s said afterward? “Get your crotch curling?”)

This one’s catchy. It’s also a complete ripoff of something that I know I’ve heard before, but can’t quite recall. Parts of it remind me of Franz Ferdinand, but Smashing Drive was first released in arcades in 2000 — Franz Ferdinand didn’t exist until 2002. Smashing Drive was clearly ahead of its time.

The melody at 1:16 was totally stolen from Cream’s “I Feel Free,” though.

So hey, here’s a fun thing to try: listen closely to these songs and try to figure out what words you’re hearing. There are no officially published lyrics that I’m aware of (or an official soundtrack release, for that matter). Can anyone decipher them? If you have any guesses, post them in the comments!

[Next time: Radikal Bikers]

20 Responses to “Smashing Drive (Gaelco, 2000)”

  1. substrata Says:

    here we go againnnnnn stay on the side walk- STAY ON THE SIDEEEE WALKKKKK

    Also: I always heard “Get your crotch curling?” as “Catch your cat’s scurvy”

  2. sardoose Says:

    STAY ON THE SIDEWALK, GRAMPA

    Listening to these again, the third song’s probably the easiest to decipher:

    The other car’s your enemy
    Driving through the speed of sound
    Cabbie, take me through the streets
    And smash this town

    The other car’s your enemy
    Step aboard the yellow sun
    Take me through the crowded streets
    And smash this town

    Me and the city alone
    Fighting together
    Steel, giant towers of steel
    Witness forever

    We play a dangerous game
    Spinning wheels of burning flames
    Win the game of this to feel
    Our destiny to be

    Woooooo-ooooo-ooooo-oooooh

    Me and the city alone
    Feeling emotion
    Watching the twilight alone
    Feel the emotion

    I think I’m pretty close. The first two are still driving me nuts, though.

  3. Skrybe Says:

    Heya Sardius.

    Listening to that third track, the first 30 seconds or so really sounds like it belongs in one of the Gradius games.

  4. John H. Says:

    Oh man, there was a Smashing Drive in a theater game room near me for like a couple of years. It’s such an obvious rip-off, but it has none of the wonderful design work of Crazy Taxi, which is a solid game that requires more than reflexes and memorization to get good at. Smashing Drive looks to be such an ordinary driving game, just one with a taxi theme. It’s depressing.

  5. BBH Says:

    While Gaelco’s always been a rather ehhhh company, they did do one thing that was pretty cool. For many years in MAME, Gaelco’s racing game World Rally was unplayable because of copy protection issues or some such. Gaelco ended up actually providing the decryption tables or whatever was needed to get the game running, and then officially declared the game to be free for personal use… and they even provide the roms for the game on their website. That was a rather… unexpected thing to do, but good for them.

  6. masterhibb Says:

    This is the best I could come up with on the second song. No matter how many times I listen to it though, I’m just not getting any closer to figuring out the capitalized words:

    You better move on, you better move on
    You better move on, you better move on
    You better move on, you better move on
    You better move on, you better move on

    I’ve gotta keep up the speed and drive like crazy
    Feel the devil in my TOE
    I’ve gotta FEED MY VEINS, a smile on my face
    As I crash along this lane
    You better move on, you better play for your life
    ‘Cause I’m burning down the lane
    It’s a smashing drive that’s going crazy
    It’s a great feel on this groove

    You better get out!
    Now now now!
    Cause I’m feelin good
    So good now
    You better move on!
    Move on and on
    Before I start kickin’ ass
    Aww, kickin’ ass!

    You better get out
    Yeah you better get out, you better get out

    You better move on, you better move on
    You better move on, you better move on
    Here we go again
    You better move on, you better move on
    Stay on the sidewalk, grandma
    Stay on the sidewalk

    I gotta keep up the speed and drive like crazy
    Feel the devil in my TOE
    I’ve gotta FEED MY VEINS, a smile on my face
    As I crash along this lane
    You better move on, you better play for your life
    ‘Cause I’m burning down the lane
    It’s a smashing drive that’s going crazy
    It’s a great feel on this groove

    You better get out!
    Now now now!
    Cause I’m feelin good
    So good now
    You better move on!
    Move on and on
    Before I start kickin’ ass
    Aww, kickin’ ass!

    You better get out
    Yeah you better get out, you better get out

    Smashing drive
    That scares flags to hell
    It’s the smashing drive
    That can make the devil slave!

    One two three four
    One two three four
    One two three four
    One two three yeahhh!

    Loosen up your diapers
    Get your CATCH CRAWLING
    Loosen up your diapers
    Step on it, step on it, step on it, step on it, step on it

    Here we go again
    Stay on the sidewalk grandma
    Stay on the sidewalk

    I’ve gotta keep up the speed and drive like crazy
    Feel the devil in my TOE
    I’ve gotta FEED MY VEINS, a smile on my face
    As I crash along this lane
    You better move on, you better play for your life
    ‘Cause I’m burning down the lane
    It’s a smashing drive that’s going crazy
    It’s a great feel on this groove

    You better get out!
    Now now now!
    Cause I’m feelin good
    So good now
    You better move on!
    Move on and on
    Before I start kickin’ ass
    Aww, kickin’ ass!

    You better get out
    Yeah you better get out, you better get out

    Loosen up your diapers
    Loosen uy your diapers
    Get your CATCH CRAWLING
    Get your CATCH CRAWLING
    To step on it, step on it
    Step on it, step on it, step on it
    One two three four
    One two three four
    One two three yeah!

  7. sardoose Says:

    Hibbsy – Whoa, nice! A lot of those lyrics were so garbled that I couldn’t even begin to guess what they were. Now I know that it’s a song about kicking ass, on a smashing drive, to make the devil a slave, I guess.

    BBH – That’s actually really cool of them. I was wondering what that link on their site was for. It’s really unusual for a still-active arcade developer to be pro-MAME, but yeah, definitely a nice gesture.

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  10. Camo Yoshi Says:

    I think I *might* have deciphered the lyrics of the first song: (lines with ?s are only rough guesses)

    =================

    Take your time
    Take your time

    Faster than you want to go
    ?It’s better than a tree?
    No matter how much you need
    ?To get yourself out right now?

    Faster than you want to speed
    To lose your life on the street
    ?You found yourself all over the place?
    ‘Cuz he wants to be my frie-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-end!

    No one’s gonna trust
    No one’s gonna trust
    ?Keep your hands all free?
    Make it fast!

    No one’s gonna trust
    No one’s gonna trust
    ?Keep your hands all free?
    Make it fast!

    Faster than you want to go
    ?It’s better than a tree?
    No matter how much you need
    ?To get yourself out right now?

    Faster than you want to speed
    To lose your life on the street
    ?You found yourself all over the place?
    ‘Cuz he wants to be my friend!

    Take your time
    Take your time

    ===================

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