Loud Family's Interbabe Concern A Winner

New Loud Family album features guest appearances by members of Veruca Salt and the Posies.

While it never got the press Double Nickels On A Dime or

Zen Arcade did, Game Theory's Lolita Nation holds it's own

against the more well known double-albums of the '80s. It was the crowning

achievement in the career of a band that began by winning CMJ's "best unsigned

band" subscriber's poll in 1984 and went on to release four albums of

sophisticated stream-of-consciousness power pop, enjoying fruitful

collaborations with the Three O'Clock's Michael Quercio and ace producer Mitch

Easter. Leader Scott Miller wore his young-adult hurt on his sleeve by mixing

Alex Chilton hooks with James Joyce steam-of-consciousness, and the result

earned Game Theory a devoted college radio following. The dependence on

pop-culture references and off-kilter structures (songs would often splinter

halfway through an album, only to materialize as a harmony riff or chorus

phrase later on) demanded a rather concentrated and academic listening

experience, however, and their following never really surpassed the college

radio community. Game Theory disbanded in 1990, and Miller continued in 1991

with a new, more-aggressive outfit, The Loud Family.

After two rather

difficult albums, The Loud Family finally make good on their potential with

their new album, Interbabe Concern, which is due out this Tuesday, Aug.

13. Miller's writing is catchier and more emotional than anything else he's

done, yet given song titles like "Sodium Laureth Sulfate" (check your shampoo

ingredients) and "I No Longer Fear The Headless," as well as a fascination for

pseudo-scientific terms and phrases (he rhymes "rate equation" with "beta

radiation" at one point) the listening might be easy but never simple. Produced

and mixed by Miller at his home, it features appearances by members of Veruca

Salt and the Posies. Compared to earlier work, the guitars have less jangle and

more buzz, with an emphasis on weird rhythms and riffs instead of weird sounds.

More than ever, Miller's soundbite ruminations on love and life perk out of the

tracks with remarkable insight, making Interbabe Concern rewarding on

all sorts of levels, but particularly to those adventurous listeners who make

the effort to keep up with Miller's geek-rock wordplay and melodic moves. Given

that radio playlists have opened up a ever-so-slightly since Game Theory's

heyday, we can only hope that this refreshing return to form is heard by a

larger audience.