Plow United - Sleepwalk: A Retrospective (Cover Artwork)

Plow United

Plow United: Sleepwalk: A RetrospectiveSleepwalk: A Retrospective (2011)
Paper and Plastick

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: JeloneJelone
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Plow United's Sleepwalk: A Retrospective is a gift. It combines the band's three full-lengths with choice rarities and one unreleased song to form a flawless, 34-track compilation. For people just now learning about the seminal Delaware pop-punk group, it's essential one-stop shopping. Formed in .
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Plow United's Sleepwalk: A Retrospective is a gift. It combines the band's three full-lengths with choice rarities and one unreleased song to form a flawless, 34-track compilation. For people just now learning about the seminal Delaware pop-punk group, it's essential one-stop shopping.

Formed in 1992, Plow United was one of a slew of '90s punk bands that meant a whole lot to a quite a few people despite a brief run. Their three albums--Plow United, Goodnight Sellout and Narcolepsy--dealt in stellar drumming, distorted guitars and enthusiastically snotty vox. But the band broke up in 1998 just a few years before the Internet made getting exposure for a DIY punk band a whole lot easier. Their releases became legends; per the liner notes for this deluxe re-release, "Now stop selling our records for $70 on eBay." While they never quite carried the influence of, say, Discount or Avail, Plow United still meant something to a core faithful. With the release of Sleepwalk, it all becomes so obvious why.

There have been bands that I liked casually, that took me years to really dig into, that didn't quite click for me until I hit a certain age. Then there have been bands that just caught me at the right moment, that made sense in the now, that made me question why I bothered listening to other acts at all. Plow United falls into the latter category. After witnessing the group's Riot Fest East reunion set, I needed to consume as much recorded material as possible. The songs were that fun.

Of the 34 cuts collected on Sleepwalk, only three surpass the two-minute mark. Plow United did not fuck around when it came to songwriting. The trio of Brian McGee, Sean Rule and Joel Tannenbaum played as fast as they could. The vocals could get pitchy but they were always passionate and hooky regardless. Their output recalls Gilman St. pop-punk a la Mr. T Experience or early Green Day circa the '90s, but faster and with better drumming. On a more contemporary level, Plow United isn't quite as different from Iron Chic as one might think.

Track one, "Tour Guide at the Alamo," is kind of a novelty song at 18 seconds in length, but track two, "Spindle," is pretty much all you need to hear in order to understand and crave Plow United. Listeners get heartbreak, nasally vocals and propulsive drums condensed into 109 seconds. There are catchier songs for sure--"Reason" and "Dance" pack huge choruses--but "Spindle" is one of those "oh shit I get it now" songs. Yes, there have been tons of pop-punk bands over the years. But Plow United cuts to the essentials. The songs are fast ??n' fun. That they're collected on one shiny compact disc is a nice bonus.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
jymiscool (May 27, 2012)

Great band and three of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. And, no, I'm not one of their mothers.

runneruprecords (October 13, 2011)

One of the best bands of all time. DUB C NUCLEAR WINTER!!!

JohnJohannah (October 12, 2011)

Dear Dead Head Rectums,

Did you not comprehend the meaning of the word retrospective? I lost my copy of the Dance 7" when I went to college, so I'm psyched to have it again. And I'm going to buy the vinyl too, when P P puts it out.


moisheoreilly (October 12, 2011)


1. Do you think it is unreasonable for a band to want some editorial control over music that they wrote and recorded?

2. Yes, Killtaker said the way the retrospective is being presented is confusing. Maybe (s)he's right. But (s)he also said that calling it a rip-off was completely misguided. You forgot to mention that part.

3. I'm willing to bet if you were to approach the band or the label and voice your complaints they would be happy to refund you the cost of the retrospective. Of course, that would entail complaining to someone DIRECTLY, rather than just talking about them on the internet. Are you up for that?

deadbrokerekerds (October 12, 2011)

JohnJohannan- killtaker said it right when he said " It gets confusing because everything I read about this they keep saying "compiling their 3 lps" or "featuring their 3 lps". It should be described differently.

And ALL of narcolepsy should be included. I think we need the album plow songs more than the 7" stuff. Thats what "Dustbin" was for.

killtaker (October 12, 2011)

I actually do have the full lengths but haven't listened to them in a while. I can't remember how many songs were on each LP but I kind of figured it couldn't have everything from those records, with extra stuff, and be only 34 tracks. It gets confusing because everything I read about this they keep saying "compiling their 3 lps" or "featuring their 3 lps".
That being said I can't see how this could be considered a rip-off. If you don't want to wait for Paper and Plastick to send it just get it from them digitally. Its only 8$.

PlowUnited (October 12, 2011)

Hey all!

First off, thank you for this review! We're so glad that we make music that folks want to hear. It's our sincerest pleasure to play it for you.

Please, feel free to drop in and visit us online, or at our shows in the (near) future. Info can be found at any of these sites:


http://plowunited.wordpress.co m/

Thanks, all, so very, very much.

JohnJohannah (October 11, 2011)

I had all three full lengths on CD and lost them, so I'm psyched that Sleepwalk exists. I love Plow United, but not every song was great. This is a great collection for old and new fans, and really sums up their body of work pretty well. And all you P P haters.... aren't you bored yet? And deadbrokerekerds-how can you say this is a complete let-down?
Did you all not see where it says RETROSPECTIVE. In most worlds (and I'm mainly referencing the art world), retrospective does not mean complete body of work. It's an exhibition or compilation showing the development of the work of a particular artist/band over a period of time.

moisheoreilly (October 11, 2011)

In all fairness, I'm not sure how much new fans are missing out on by not hearing "Generator" or "The Prince."

deadbrokerekerds (October 11, 2011)

this is not all 3 albums. its part of each album, (only half the songs from "Narcolepsy") plus some weird pick 7" songs. Who knows if the vinyl will ever even come out cus its P P. ??? It is awesome Plow is back and trying to reissue some stuff, but overall this collection is a complete let-down. How about reissuing them LPs (in their entirety) that sell on ebay for $50-100???

Dycelot (October 11, 2011)

it's nice to see this release, looking forward to it

suburbanxcore (October 11, 2011)

@killtaker - Unfortunately it doesn't have all their songs (even from the full lengths - I don't expect it to have all the splits, b-sides, etc). It's pretty annoying, and I hope that the vinyl version has everything. I mean, not that I don't have them all already, but for people new to the band it kinda sucks.

phil_lewago (October 11, 2011)

nice to see plow finally get some recognition....everyone should own this album

killtaker (October 11, 2011)

This doesn't have every song from the 3 full lengths does it?

r3vengetherapy (October 11, 2011)

I got their discography from someone years ago and remembered liking it, but I have no idea what happened to those files or how they even disappeared. I'll have to revisit this band.

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