PLOW UNITED - Three (LP)
Plow United are back at it again with Three, their fifth album, second since reforming a few years ago, and first on It's Alive Records. After reuniting in 2011 following more than a decade long split, the band came back with some of their strongest songs, holding their own even among the band's impressive back catalog of influential fan favorites. But the cohesiveness wasn't quite there yet. It felt more like a collection of songs from three individuals who were each doing their own thing in their own style. On Three, Plow United has found a collective groove in which all three members are able to showcase their individual musical and songwriting strengths, yet have them all tied together by an overarching feel of togetherness. Plow United now sounds like a band truly reunited in every sense.
Brian, Joel and Sean have found a way to organically merge their unique songs in a manner that makes Three standout from past efforts as perhaps Plow United's best album to date. That's saying a lot considering all three band members are spread out across 3,000 miles. This distance isn't just geographical ether. Each member has started a family outside of their musical family. With that comes new experience and perspective, all of which finds its way into the songs. Three might be the band's most personal album as well, with songs about children, parents and partners intertwined throughout. Each song bears the marking and unique personality of its writer, while still existing as part of a greater whole.
Three was produced, recorded and mixed by Pete Steinkopf. He's no stranger to the band, having spent much of the 90s playing alongside Plow United in his own band The Bouncing Souls. Much credit for crafting this album is due in part to Pete. From song selection to sequencing, Pete played a role at every step. Having someone outside of the band filling in these vital roles definitely contributed to the strength of Three.
As with any band that has been around for over two decades, there will be old fans and there will be new fans. And the old fans always wanna know if they still have the energy and enthusiasm that they once did. Plow United prove with Three that they have all the energy and ferocity that they ever did, if not more! That frantic drumbeat blasts on. That gravely scream still pierces straight through to the heart. All of the passionate storytelling and socio-political commentary remain in abundance. Plow United are as punk rock as they've ever been!