Cult favorites of the Delaware Valley punk scene Plow United headlined The Barbary on Saturday evening. It was a packed, slamdancey, screamalongy sweaty show in celebration of their brand new LP, Marching Band. The all-around bill was solid, with fellow Philadelhpians The Holy Mess, NONA and Ma Jolie on the bill. JUMP Philly’s Joseph Gallagher was in attendance, along with photogrpaher Jessica Flynn. Check out their report after the jump.
The overlooked band that had its first run in the early 90s as part of the same wave of post-Year that Punk Broke pop-punk bands that also birthed Lifetime and Weston (among hundreds of others).
It began with Ma Jolie, all big chords and shout-alongs that sometimes remind me of The Loved Ones.
Next were Nona, originally out of West Chester, now from parts all over including Philadelphia. Fittingly, they’re made up of kids who five years ago were inspired by Plow, the Chester County legends. Their music somehow finds the place where the longing poetry of Paul Westerberg and the Replacements meets the massive riffing and soloing of the Smashing Pumpkins.
The Holy Mess are likely the last bearers of classic punk attitude we have in this city. They’re a band of true weirdoes who seem equally at home in a basement or a big stage. I think they’re benefiting from the addition of Scarier Area guitarist/folk punk guy Jeff Riddle.
Since their reformation two years ago, Plow United has been quietly become the model for how to do the “reunion thing” correctly. We’ve seen hundreds of reunions over the last decade, most barely-disguised cash-ins. Plow, however, earned this after years of their records being passed around as lost classics.
Marching Band, the record being celebrated last night, is a study in realism and being an aging punk guy. It amazingly has no embarrassing moments and really ably brings together the fast, screamed punk they perfected almost 20 years ago (and the wisdom earned in the interim).
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