GREAT PLAINS: Born in a Barn: LP

May 23, 2018

The only review needed for this re-issue of Great Plains’ remarkable debut album appears on the sticker affixed to the front cover, a quote from Will McRobb—co-creator of The Adventures of Pete & Pete—that reads: “Great Plains is a spazzoid cry from the wilderness that was my inspiration for everything Pete & Pete had to be.” I’ll also add: They’re an underrated example of the agitated weirdo pastoralism, the farmland afternoon boredom turned into art that became a side effect of the endless American Midwest of the 1980s. It’s a strain of nervous punk psychedelia that showed up in The Feelies and The Soft Boys, among others, but in this case it’s from Ohio, where all the good records come from. It’s a rarity to hear someone write and sing about Rutherford B. Hayes, the pains and highs of love, baseball fields, and local newspapers with so much post-adolescent brilliance and humor and subtlety. “Lincoln Logs” and “Serpent Mound” will make it onto your next mixtape, if you’re smart. This is one of those missing-link records we didn’t know was missing. –Matt Werts (Rerun,