Sounds like: Botch, Converge, and Coalesce.
This download includes the band’s five-song demo from 2002, their definitive 2005 demo, and a live recording from 2004. Another demo and live set are rumored to exist.
You can stream the above files here.
Hail G.G.: Remembering the Rabid Animal That Was A Game of You
A short retrospective by fan and friend
A Game of You is one of those bands that in just a few more years might be completely lost to time. I don’t mean that because they weren’t great. They were. But there’s virtually no information on them anywhere (and my memory is starting to fail me). I don’t even know if they ever made tee-shirts. It’s a shame too. Now you can’t move an inch inside a show without bumping into some half-ass photographer watching the band through their smart phone.
A Game of You was a technical metalcore band from my hometown of Daytona Beach. Technically (HA), three-fifths of the members hailed from in and around Orlando, but vocalist Scuba Steve and bassist Shane Spiker were Daytonians. And they played in Daytona a lot. A Game of You was active during and after the lifespan of my first two bands, which places their existence somewhere between 2001/2002 and 2005. In that time they played a ton of shows and made several recordings.
The band’s most unique characteristic was Scuba, whose stage presence earned him the nickname “G.G.” He didn’t throw his shit around or cut his chest with beer bottles, but he was a madman when they played: thrashing and flopping all over the place, shrieking and howling like a mental patient. Which is exactly the type of front man you’d want for such a chaotic-sounding band. It was something to behold. Shane once told me that Steve didn’t even have lyrics when they recorded their four song demo. He just ad-libbed his vocals and made up lyrics later. Punk.
A Game of You went through a number of line-ups. Before Shane, I remember a younger guy named Junior was the bass player. He looked a little like Mario Lopez and he never played with his shirt on. Then, before they got Josh Dulcie to play drums, there was Taylor. And I don’t really like to talk about him because even all these years later, the thought of him causes me pain. Taylor was what you got when you cross-bred a 2001-era Poison the Well fan with Beavis. Anyway, after undergoing several changes, A Game of You settled on their definitive roster: Steve, Shane, Steve’s younger brother Andrew on guitar, and Josh Dulcie on drums. Andrew actually started the band and – the way I understood it – was the driving force behind it. For a while A Game of You was a four-piece because they were just good enough to do it that way. Andrew was an incredible guitarist and there was no need to add anybody else to round out the sound. But the band eventually did acquire a second guitarist. First the slot was filled by Josh’s older brother Ken and then later on by a guy named Brad. Brad was some whacky goon from Orlando who would try to hit everybody with his guitar during the set. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but he was always seconds away from getting beat up by the crowd. To be fair, all five of them used to freak out something fierce in a live setting, but Brad did it in a dumb way.
Aside from Steve, the other notable thing about A Game of You was the musical ability of its members. I’ve already mentioned that Andrew was a great guitarist. He was cocky-as-shit about it too, but he at least he could back it up. I always thought him something of a musical prodigy. Far and away on another level than I’ve ever been. When it came to the bass guitar, Shane was (and still is) like Matt Freeman on crack. And Josh is still the best drummer I’ve ever seen in a band at this level. I’d say best drummer ever, but I was lucky enough to see the Red Chord with Mike Justaine. But Josh was great, nonetheless – a really gifted musician.
A Game of You played a lot of shows. My first band Every Waking Moment was lucky enough to share the stage with them on many occasions and it was always a lot of fun. I got along really well with Steve. He was an older dude who took myself and my bandmates under his wing. Without Steve I would have missed out on a lot of bands and music. As much as I credit Billy Regar – who did shows in Daytona for over fifteen years – with shaping my mindset towards punk and hardcore, I’ve got to give it to Steve too. For a good chunk of the early 2000’s, he was ever present in our little world. Whether he knows it or not, he made a significant impact on me in terms of music, ethics, and attitude.
A Game of You called it quits in 2005 and we all went ape shit for their last show. It took place at Nicely’s and Shane was so out of control he just tossed his bass into the air at one point and smashed Andrew in the head with it. Steve was either crowd surfing around the room, or crawling on the floor screaming at the tile. It was a pretty intense set and an admirable way to put the band to rest. Once A Game of You bit the dust, I realized the roster of local bands I had come up with was effectively over. The early 2000’s had come to end and soon every band in the universe was wearing Nikes and trying to sound like Blacklisted.
Steve ended up joining Trap Them a few years later as their bassist. He was in the band for quite a while and now he’s married and lives in Arizona. Last I heard he plays in Hesitation Wounds with a dude from Touche Amore and Jay Weinberg. I gotta say, I miss the guy. Andrew and Josh went on to play in Khann with Pat and Josh (different Josh), who ended up starting the initial version of Axis (which I ended up joining). Andrew played bass in KEN Mode for a while – the metal band that won a Canadian Grammy. After that, he was the guitarist for an Orlando-based band called Mr. Pussy. Shane has a lot of kids and still plays in bands with me.
I realized the other day, back when they first started playing, I didn’t even know A Game of You was a Sandman reference. I didn’t find that out until Steve lent me the trades. See? Forget punk rock, without Steve I might never have read Sandman.