Game Theory (Omnivore)
4 stars out of 5
The good folks at Omnivore have spent the past several months doing their very best to introduce (or reintroduce) the music of Game Theory to a new generation of listeners. The expanded reissue of the band’s 1985 album “Real Nighttime” is the third such release since September and is must for anyone who loves the indie/alternative rock of the early- to mid-1980s. The Scott Miller-fronted outfit may not have ascended to the heights of contemporaries like R.E.M. and The Dream Syndicate, but that’s not a reflection on the quality of the music Game Theory were making.
“I believe ‘Real Nighttime’ is a pinnacle of Scott’s early days,” journalist Byron Coley notes in the expanded liner notes. “For all its surface flash, it’s an album that rewards deep listening. Let’s hope it makes the rounds again for a while so youngsters can unravel its beautiful mysteries.”
The original 12-track platter has been augmented by 13 bonus tracks with all 80 glorious minutes squeezed onto a single disc. Tunes like “24,” “Friend of the Family,” “If and When It Falls Apart,” “She’ll Be a Verb” and “I Turned Her Away” still sound great 30 years later. The real find is the bonus cuts, most of them live recordings, that add a layer of depth to the proceedings. Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)