Search - Game Theory :: Two Steps from the Middle Ages

Two Steps from the Middle Ages
Game Theory
Two Steps from the Middle Ages
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop


CD Details

All Artists: Game Theory
Title: Two Steps from the Middle Ages
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Red Distribution, in
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 018777335010, 018777335041, 018777264921

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CD Reviews

"We make our mistakes young": now they are older
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 09/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is the last GT album, but since GT and Loud Family have been, Mark E Smith-like, a collective and unstable band (both with members coming and going and arriving again a few years later) under the direction of their only permanent member and long-time leader, the band here sounds far different than the first phase at the start of the 80s. Like Sonic Youth with Rather Ripped, Yo La Tengo with Summer Sun, Pere Ubu with Cloudland, the Velvets 3rd s/t LP or arguably The Fall's This Nation's Saving Grace, this record displays an experimental fringe band who decides well into its checkered career to follow efforts critically acclaimed but perhaps of less than chartbreaking sales with a streamlined, more accessible, pop album. Pop if only by comparison, of course.

Listening to this again recently, after I had been disappointed for a long time by TSFTMA, I found it has worn well with time. Mitch Easter here, in hindsight, applies some of the richer textures that he would apply to Pavement with Brighten the Corners: he takes a determinedly quirky and eccentric band with a literate and vocally challenged frontman and by deepening the sound's depth, produces a record that moves forward rather than sideways or spirally. Like BTC, TSFTMA at first may sound too mainstream. But, the vocal compression into the sonic density behind the singer on both albums builds into a propulsive vehicle rather than an ornamented artifact.

The backup vocals by Shelly LaFreniere and Donnette Thayer integrate much more into the leads by Scott Miller, who sings noticeably less idiosyncratically than on his previous fascinating but admittedly oblique LPs. This allows the band to eschew solos and tangents. In a De Lorean is one of the band's best songs since it fits the tune to the title, and soars. Leilani approaches slowly and swayingly like its title. Throwing the Election fits with its anthemic insistence the lyrical admonitions. Only Picture of Agreeability returns to the jittery keyboard ditties that earned the band one of its genre categories as New Wave. A few songs just meander along plainly, but this happens on any Scott Miller LP, as if to balance the exuberance on other tracks. His genius emerges on all of his total recordings, but not in all of his specific songs. In a way, the melancholy prevalent here also in hindsight resembles the autumnal last CD by LF, Attractive Nuisance. Mainly, for TSFTMA the amplified arrangements and close harmonies are very linear and cropped down--not that the synths and big drums are absent, for this very much sounds like an end-of-the-80s LP, --so they can be stacked on rather than spread out by Easter's production.

Like Summer Sun or Rather Ripped, the results may sound samey, as if one song broken with only brief pauses. I would, however, not recommend this most accessible of their LPs as an introduction to GT, for its strongest melodies and most characteristic songs and lyrics occur on the three earlier LPs (see also the marvelously titled compilation Tinker to Evers to Chance). But, if you have the more acclaimed Lolita Nation, the more consistent Big Shot Chronicles, or the rawer Real Nighttime LPs, you should complete your collection of GT's "real" studio contributions with this often overlooked selection."
Get it while you still can!
H.G. Lovecraft | Leeds Point, NJ USA | 10/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Two Steps is an absolute must for Game Theory/Loud Family & Scott Miller fans in general.Very similar to Tinkers to Evers, but with a bit of Lolita Nation which is in my opinion one of thier very best. To be fair, if you are into this sound,you really need all of them as each one has its own distinctive mood & style. There will never be a band like Game Theory (with the exception of the Loud Family of coarse) Way ahead of their time,its a shame these cds just keep getting harder to find & keep going up in price. One things for sure at this rate it won't be long until thier unavailable. Get em'while ya still can!"