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Preview: Speed the Plough to Release "...and Then"

Artist: Speed the Plough
Title: ...And Then
Release Date: December 8, 2017
Label: N/A
  • CD
  • Digital

...And Then is a brand-new studio album from veteran New Jersey band Speed The Plough. It was recorded in 2017 by John, Toni and Mike Baumgartner and Ed Seifert, joined by former STP bassist Dan Francia and drummer Ken Meyer (Life in a Blender, The Thousand Pities) at Mix-o-lydian Studios and at the group's home studio, Ruff Tracks. It's being released exclusively via streaming services and download including physical package with artwork, booklet and download card December 8.

...And Then represents a return to the band's more stripped-down origins... sparse, a little psychedelic, heartfelt. And, in a departure for this outfit, this collection boasts a pair of covers - one by Eno and Bartok apiece; STP are trying to keep good company! Two more tracks comprise an even bigger surprise.

Speed the Plough rose out of the ashes of The Trypes, a group formed in 1982 by the Baumgartners, Marc Francia and Elbrus Kelemet, and later joined by Feelies Glenn Mercer, Bill Million, Dave Weckerman, Stan Demeski and Brenda Sauter. The new album boasts two bonus cuts performed by the original members of The Trypes - John, Toni, Marc, Glenn, Brenda and Elbrus - revisiting songs from the band's beginnings.

The core trio of John, Toni and Marc began playing as STP in 1984 and would lead numerous iterations of this outfit over the years, with alumni that'd include Rich Barnes and Chris O'Donovan (of Wild Carnation), Stanley Demeski and Brenda Sauter (of The Feelies), NPR host Jim DeRogatis, John Neilson (Wharton Tiers), and veteran DJ Frank O'Toole.

STP released four full-length albums on the East Side Digital label: Speed The Plough (1989), Wonder Wheel (1991), Mason's Box (1993) and Marina (1995). In addition, they released a limited-edition single on the French label Acetone and had songs featured in two independent films: Strangest Dreams (1990) and Paradise Park (1993).

After a long hiatus, Speed the Plough was re-launched in the Summer of 2009 with John and Toni's son Mike on guitar and Marc's sons Ian and Dan on drums and bass, respectively. They recorded Swerve, the band's first album in 15 years, which was self-released in May 2010. Later that year, they recorded three new songs, dubbed The Summer Sessions, which were released that September. 2011 continued to bring exciting developments. First, Ed Seifert joined the group, bringing his distinctive guitar-picking and vocal talents. In August, STP released their sixth full-length album, Shine, on Dromedary Records.

2012 saw the April release of a retrospective of The Trypes short career, Music For Neighbors, on Acute Records. The reception to the music was more than could have been expected, with raves from nearly all quarters, including Pitchfork, Dusted, Other Music, and Prefix.

The highly-regarded indie label Bar-None Records released the Speed the Plough compilation, The Plough and the Stars in September 2013. It featured a CD that includes 17 songs from the band's first four out-of-print albums tucked into a 12" sleeve that also included a bonus LP with six brand new songs on one side titled Tag Sale and five live tracks from a 1993 appearance on WFMU's Live Music Faucet on the other. Early 2013 also saw the departure of Dan and Ian to pursue their own musical projects so the band recruited Cindi Merklee on bass and vocals, and John Demeski, filling the drum seat once occupied by his father Stanley two decades before.

The band's eighth album - Now - was released by Steve Fallon's Coyote Records in January of 2016, the first new release on that legendary indie label in more than two decades.

Track List: