A driving new videogame soundtrack featuring Sugar Ray and CIV

Unless you’ve been living at the bottom of the ocean, you’ve noticed that soundtracks are huge. Titanic has sold 10 million copies, while CDs pegged to City of Angels and TV’s Ally McBeal currently sit in the top 10. Now videogame marketers want to play, too: Atlantic Records has released an adrenaline-packed album of music used in the upcoming PlayStation game Road Rash 3D. Featuring unreleased songs from such popular skate-punk bands as Sugar Ray and CIV, the record is the highest-profile release yet from a fledgling videogame-soundtrack industry that has until now concentrated on collections of previously released music (Astralwerks’ electronica-heavy Wipeout XL) and score-style soundscapes (Riven, The Lost World).

But do game nuts really care about the background music? “If the music is exciting, the game is more exciting,” says Sugar Ray’s Craig “DJ Homicide” Bullock, a self-confessed PlayStation fanatic. Not that Road Rash needs more excitement: “You can [beat guys up with] a stick or run over an old lady while going, like, 180 mph,” says Bullock. “That s—‘s cool, man.” Just what we need: newly licensed kids mowing down pedestrians on their PlayStations, then hopping into their cars and cranking up the tunes they were just listening to.