Speed The Plough
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Speed The Plough , 6/10
Wonder Wheel , 6/10
Mason's Box , 5/10
Marina , 6/10
Wild Carnation: Tricycle , 5/10

Speed The Plough started as a Feelies side project. The EP The Explorers Hold (Coyote, 1984) was credited to the Trypes and performed by a seven-piece line-up. As the Feelies resumed their course, the others became Speed The Plough (Coyote, 1989 - East Side Digital, 1992). John Baumgartner on keyboards and Toni Paruta on woodwinds are quite impressive in the way they build simple harmonies out of complex arrangements. Jim DeRogatis rivals Stan Demeski as a sensitive and creative drummer. Brenda Sauter on bass and Marc Francia on guitar add geometry to a sound that often tends to bounce out of its folk/country edges.

Wonder Wheel (East Side Digital, 1991), with Demensky in person behind the drums, sounds like a Walkabouts bootleg: John Baumgartner on keyboards and Toni Paruta on woodwinds are quite impressive same folk-rock craft, same warmth and epos, same light rhythms, same vocal harmonies. The Tide Won't Tire and Story Of The Moon are gems of understated emotion.

Mason's Box (East Side Digital, 1993) was even gentler and more bucolic. Sauter began to emerge as a creative force with Follow Your Vision.

Raga, jazz and classical elements made Marina (East Side Digital, 1995) a complete departure from the innocent folk-rock of Mason's Box, a far more conscious compositional effort and a mature achievement for a group of veterans.

Sauter, joined by guitarist Richard Barnes and drummer Chris O'Donovan, launched Wild Carnation, a more restrained trio that on Tricycle (Delmore, 1994) plays moody folk-rock in a vein halfway between Freakwater and Yo La Tengo. While a few songs boast hooks and charm (The Rising Tide), Sauter seems more interested in venting her existential traumas.

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