Alison's Halo emerged out of the "Beautiful Noise" shoegazer
scene in Arizona in the early 90's. In 1997 they released one
of the best shoegazer albums i have ever heard, Eyedazzler.
Then the husband and wife singer/guitar team moved to Chicago
and started doing indie rock in the band Insta.
The 8Bit EP gathers together some instrumental
snippets that Alison's Halo recorded over the years (1993 to
2001, if you believe the liner notes) and presents them to the
public for the first time. This CD is available only through
Alison's Halo website.
I am such a collector geek that i ordered it from them. I was,
in all honesty, expecting something along the lines of Eyedazzler.
I guess i never noticed the bit of text on the website which
mentions that this is an instrumental EP...
And that's a problem. What makes Eyedazzler so
brilliant is that it combines Catherine Cooper's high-pitched
"tiny girl" voice with really luscious walls of sound, all to
a toe-tapping beat.
The 8Bit EP sounds more like the guitarist recorded
some interesting guitar textures that just never got worked
into full songs. This EP is full of wandering music that remins
me of AMP, Flying Saucer Attack
(without the dance beat), or Windy
and Carl. But it's not as good as those artists. They all
create music that is purposefully instrumental and droning.
The songs on 8Bit sound as if they are unfinished.
The fact that they are all really short (6 tracks in just under
15 minutes) might have something to do with this feeling. The
drones never really have time to go anywhere, and nothing seems
That's a shame because these little experiments show promise.
After getting over my initial disappointment at having no vocals,
i grew to be disappointed that this music doesn't go anywhere.
So i wonder: why was this released? Is it a blatant attempt
to captialize on the buzz associated with the "Alison's
Halo" name? Is it an attempt at completism -- making available
the last little snippets of a now defunct outfit? Is it an attmept
to move Alison's Halo out of the dreampop market and into the
I dunno. However, i honestly can find no one to recommend this
to. Alison's Halo fans won't like the instrumental nature of
the music, and drone fans won't like the incompleteness of the