For Philadelphians who grew up on the DIY punk rock scene of the mid-90s – and many more the country around – Plow United was everything. You could lose yourself thrashing at a basement show to minute-and-a-half songs like “Spindle” or “World According to Me,” or by simply sitting down and listening to singer-guitarist Brian McGee’s introspective, dare-I-say philosophical lyrics. Maybe you heard yourself reflected when he sang “I wanna cry, I wanna scream, I don’t wanna do anything”; maybe you were a way-enthusiastic listener (and Plow fans are nothing if not loyal) who drove from record store to record store around the Delaware Valley until you found a copy of that split 7″ they did with Throttle Jockey. Or maybe, like me, you came to them after the fact, discovering them in college a few years after their 1998 breakup (fun fact: bassist Joel Tannenbaum and I are both Temple News alums) and working your way through their catalog in reverse.
There are many entry points into Plow, and with their reemergence on the music scene – with a tremendous appearance at Riot Fest Philly in 2011, and the subsequent recording and release of this year’s excellent Marching Band – they prove to be as vital as ever. They are still high-energy, intense performers (watch Sean Rule destroy his drums in the videos below), and not only is the new material stronger than any other first-album-in-fifteen-years, it downright holds up to the band’s output of yore. Below, we present this week’s Key Studio Session with Plow United – their second appearance in the series, and their first as a full-band – recorded on location at Studio A in South Philadelphia. Stream and download live performances of three songs from Marching Band, watch a video of them covering “Burn-Up” by Siouxie and the Banshees, and check out the bonus video of “Coda.” To see Plow in person, you’ve got two opportunities this weekend – at The Boneyard in Atlantic City on Saturday (tickets and info here) and at Mojo Main in Newark, Delaware, on Sunday (tickets and info here). The Newark show should be a blast – it’s their first visit to their onetime stomping grounds since the late 90s.