Formed 1984 in New Jersey, Speed the Plough has dealt with multiple personnel changes over the years, but through it all they’ve always remained totally committed to the music they love and believe in. Aside from boasting a solid support system dating back to the beginning, the band has gained flocks of new fans in the process.
Speed the Plough’s most recent album, Now (Coyote Records) asserts their credentials left, right and center. Juggling pop rocking finesse with experimental episodes, the band not only benefits from mixing and mashing genres in attainable measures, but democracy is also the key word here. The interplay is exciting and effortless, leading towards the realization the members are moving in the same direction.
A progressive folk-rock stance arrives on “Telegraph,” and “Midnight in the World” skillfully blends a stroke of soul with psychedelic wah-wah guitar action. Guided by brash and bruising rhythms, “Ed’s Song” rocks with crackling electricity, a jazzy groove graces “On A New Day,” and the longing tones and textures of “Miss Amelia (For Carson McCullers)” are charted of a country influence.
Harmonious vocals, both male and female, complemented by an intrepid usage of instruments, including the standard rock and roll line-up of guitars, bass and drums, as well bouzouki, cello, and woodwinds are heard on the album. The composition and construction of the songs are rife with imagination, characterized by a knack for downloading just enough novel surprises into the stew to keep things lively.
Poised but spontaneous, Speed the Plough emphasizes their musical independence on each and every song on Now, which is available on good old-fashioned vinyl. Those with a yen for vivid soundscapes that alter the senses and encourage invitations into such spaces will definitely relate to this very fine album.
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