Sunday, March 29, 2020

Game Theory
Across The Barrier Of Sound: PostScript
Omnivore Recordings

The very last Game Theory album comprises the only recordings--some studio, some live, some demos--of the last Game Theory lineup: Michael Quercio of the Three O’Clock on bass and vocals, Scott Miller on guitar and vocals, Joe Becker of Thin White Rope on drums, and Gil Ray on guitar and keyboards. This lineup toured the West Coast, was only active for about a year, and broke up simply because of distance. Michael Quercio lived in L.A. and the rest of the band were based in San Francisco.

A lot of these recordings later surfaced with different band members on the Loud Family’s first album, Plants&Birds&Rocks&Things. This was Scott Miller’s 90s band, and final band. He passed away in 2013. Gil Ray passed away in 2017.

These PostScript recordings are great, showing what was, and the promise of what might have been. Even Scott's home demos sound wonderful, still the same experimental power pop and head-spinning lyrics, with Scott’s unique voice. Michael has an equally fine original song, "Water," and there is a cover of The Three O’Clock’s “A Day In Erotica” sung by Scott.

In the end, I kind of like these songs more than P&B&R&T, which is not a put-down of that album. It’s great too, it’s just that the last GT lineup had extra special chemistry, and made these songs their own, just as much as the first lineup of the Loud Family did. So if you’re a Scott Miller fan and want a conclusion, or just more, this is the album to get. You’ll be rewarded by a very fine farewell.

Andrea Weiss

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Fifth Wave

Big Stir Singles: The Fifth Wave
Big Stir Records

All of these songs are anthems, or at least anthemic, in their expressive good feeling. The songs about life are wise, like the line, “Even a broken Nostradamus will be right some of the time,” from The Morning Line’s "Nostradamus.” That song also has a runaway electronica remix.

The love songs, while some are wistful, like Lannie Flowers' “Summer Blue,” about unrequited love, still manage to keep their chin up; things will get better.

This comp of happy, powerful, fast, modern pop/rock from Big Stir is a great one. I will never tired of hearing these albums. They never disappoint.

Andrea Weiss

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Recovery Room

Jim Basnight
Recovery Room
Precedent Records

What I like about this so much is the versatility of the music. Basnight tries everything from R&B on his cover of Stories' “Brother Louie,” to the jangle pop of “Miss America” and “Look Inside,” to mellow power pop.

The lyrics are about adult relationships, most of them troubled in some way, but they’re never dark and never try to be more than they are. They’re just relationship songs.

Basnight is one of the best power pop musicians out there, and this album is another in a long line of great ones by him.

Andrea Weiss


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