Imagine that Syd Barrett and the Bonzo Dog Band had been born in Stinking Creek, KY, and joined forces to create bizarre, darkly humorous backwoods psychedelia in a variety of styles. Or that the Holy Modal Rounders decided to go electric and sing with fake British accents. Or that there was a time in the early '90s when groups as dissimilar as Guided By Voices, Tall Dwarfs, and Freakwater could be somehow lumped together. The latter is, of course, the real-life environment into which the Strapping Fieldhands sprang with a series of cracked singles on the Siltbreeze label, something of an American version of New Zealand's Xpressway. Gobs on the Midway compiles 17 songs from these singles, from the nearly straightforward rocker "October Kentucky" to "Ol' Jimmy Cole," which sounds like a manipulated country blues field recording. "Mysterious Girl" and "Eggs in the Reservoir" suggest a hillbilly incarnation of XTC bashing away in a machine shed, and are among the more conventional tracks on the collection. This is unusual and interesting stuff far removed from the tame alt-country suggested by its rustic trappings.