Game Theory’s Lolita Nation was released in 1987 at the prime of U.S. dream-pop and has been out of print since then. So, Omnivore have got involved and pressed this lost-classic to translucent green double vinyl LP and CD, with new material (it has 48 tracks!). This dense and experimental pop music is full of wit and luscious orchestration.
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 08 February 2016
Oh my goodness where to start with this. The most sprawlingly ambitious power-pop/pop-psyche record ever made. Me and 'Lolita Nation' go back a long way. It was a sign of my youth that when I bought it (from York's legendary Red Rhino records) that I was unable to play it straight away as I had to go on a picnic with my parents. So instead I stared at the sleeve wondering what songs such as "Watch Who You Are Calling Space Garbage Meteor Mouth" and "Pretty Green Card Shark" actually sounded like. As well as being a bona fide songwriting genius, Game Theory leader Scott Miller was a wizard with language. Even if you don't like the music, the song titles alone are worth the purchase.
Game Theory always straddled between being a pure shiny '80's power pop band and wildly experimental sound collagists and 'Lolita Nation' is the one album they made that flits between the two. It seems improbable that an album which has the odd track that edges towards Belinda Carlisle ("Mammoth Gardens") could also contain an experimental suite of cut up collages culminating in the remarkably brilliant 'Vacuum Genesis' (a Miller song drowned out by rampant Hoover).
In between the thing is jammed full of too many wondrous pop songs. Miller has a high pitched quivering voice that he uses to compose twisting turning songs where the choruses never quite go where you expect them to thus constantly thwarting Miller's attempts at pop stardom. It contains one of my favourite moments in pop history when the skewed guitar part from pulsating rocker 'The Waist and the Knees' re-appears in the glistening R.E.M ish pop of 'Nothing New'. Maybe you had to be there but it sums up this album perfectly, constantly self-referencing, polished but seemingly constantly on the verge of falling apart.
It goes on forever, it's like five albums in one. For review purposes I listened to it again in it's entirety. I had a shave this morning and now I have a beard. Perhaps the best thing to do is throw all your other records away and simply listen to this for the rest of your life.
Miller sadly passed away a couple of years ago. I'm still upset about it. His later work as the Loud Family was good (particularly the bonkers 'Interbabe Concern') but this was him in his most insanely productive mode.
Hard to sum up but if you like Big Star, William Burroughs, Sparks, Todd Rundgren, The Go-Go's, Let's Active, Guided by Voices, maybe give this a try. Ah feck it comparisons are useless. It's like nothing else on earth.
10/10 Gary Bell Customer review, 2nd February 2017
What your Clinton said, only more so, and whatever the extreme opposite of "shit sandwich" might be. Everyone should own this - it may not make perfect sense, but that's what makes it perfect. Do I have to add more characters to this in order to make the cut? OK, while I'm unavoidably detained, let's also recommend The Loud Family's 'Plants & Birds & Rocks & Things', the 'Ask Scott' blog (http://www.loudfamily.com/old/askscott.html), everything else that Game Theory and The Loud Family did...and much more. RIP Scott...............
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