by Nathan Cardiff

Slightly country/western and certainly indie rock, Plains’ self titled record brings a deadpan delivery to their relaxed tracks. Listen to the chugging bass guitar on “Jail Bird” with the lyrics asking “Where’s the fire?” a perfect description for Plains easy going sound; no hurry to get to the end.
The slow-burn of opener of “Circus,” the bluesy guitar on “Loyalty Test,” the great opening line of “Shoot The Square” (“We were bored, so we got drunk”), and just the title “Whatever” have the band’s attitude pegged. But the best part of this laid back approach is the fact that when Plains turns it up, they really rock. The Midwestern drawl on the vocals strain till they crack as the music swells on “Circus” and the band gets louder and louder on foot-stomper “Recluse Girl” (featuring great piano and howling group vocals) and the middle of “Spaceman” gets rowdy quick. The lyrics are equally fantastic too; “Write a letter to your friends/But to your family you’ve got nothin’ to say” they sing on the droning “Spaceman.”

My favorite may be “We were raised on Keystone Light/Mamas and our papas taught our brothers how to fight” on “Shoot The Square.” And the vocals get sweet too with the harmonies on “Second Cousin.” Plains are a perfect match of modern lyrics, a little bit of nostalgia, and rough around the edges rock.

Favorite Tracks: “Goldmine,” “Recluse Girl,” & “Shoot The Square”



Nathan has contributed to I Heart Local Music since November 2012. He lives in Kansas City, MO.

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