This isn't even the greatest Game Theory album but is still one of the finest most energetic bursts of oddball future thinking power pop seen in the '80s. Scott Miller and pals had the route to my heart back then and this record contains some of his most direct pop bursts such as 'Erica's Word' and blitzkrieg opener 'Here It Is Tomorrow'. If you like early R.E.M, Sparks and Let's Active then this is for you. Contains loads of bonus tracks too.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 29 September 2016
This isn't even the best Game Theory album yet it still contains enough inventive and loquacious power pop to fell a small horse. It also contains three of their very best songs so just buy it and we'll debate it all later right?
Opener 'Here It Is Tomorrow' is an opener to rival 'Debaser' as the best beginning to an LP ever. It fairly rushes at you through the speakers grabbing you by the lapels and screaming "why the fuck are you listening to Toad the Wet Sprocket you fucking idiot". In its rush of adrenaline you'll probably miss this line... "Ah you've got me drinking in Canadian bars, trade sad stories with the New England coast guard". Which is just one of many extraordinary couplets that emerge out of the mouth lurking beneath singer Scott Miller's curly hair. It also contains their one almost pop hit 'Erica's Word' which re-defined what pop could be to my younger self with its gated snare reverb and chorus that is one part singalong yet never quite hits the chord you are hoping for. Closer 'Like a Girl Jesus' proved that when Miller wasn't thinking mathematically about pop music he could come up with a touching melody that could affect real people.
The rest is....good. If this were by anyone else I'd say it's a lost classic but much else of what they did was lusher, more affecting, more experimental. 'Big Shot' is probably the most straightforwardly garage sounding record of their incredible career which...compared to most bands of the era is still fairly left of centre. This re-issue contains a mammoth 13 bonus tracks which means I'll have to buy the damn thing again.
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