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In Alisons Halo's two-year history, the band's self-described "beautiful-brooding, guitar noise pop" has secured opening slots for such other nationally known beautiful brooders as Swirlies, Sky Cries Mary, Ultra Vivid Scene and The Elastic Purejoy. At the same time, the band's gone through several drummers, and has gigged with a drum machine cleverly named Alison.

Now, with a human drummer back in the ranks, we can expect to see some gigs from this act in the near future. In the meantime, if you're a fan of the ethereal expansiveness of Cocteau Twins, pick up Alisons Halo's just-released seven-inch on Independent Project Records. Both tunes, "Dozen" and "Calendar," share a hypnotic tempo, echoey, distorted guitar filling up background space, and Catherine Cooper's breathy, sensuous vocals. But be forewarned, this single is supposed to be played at 33 rpm! Since there was no indication of this anywhere on the recording or the sleeve, we had to do some guesswork, and we decided that Catherine sounded much more evocative than her helium-ingesting, 45-revolutions-per-minute counterpart. A splendid vinyl debut. Tel/fax 204-1332.

Everything sounds better in a dance club coming through eight-foot speakers and $50,000 sound systems. Mind Set Out's techno/rave likewise probably sounds great in its intended natural environment. Especially after you've downed a couple of "smart drinks." Once you try these booming, sterile sounds on your home-entertainment system, it all seems a trifle silly. "Better" boasts a guy singing "I look down at your shoes and I can tell that I'm bettah than you! Bettah than you! Bettah than you! Bettah than you!" Who needs that kind of berating? Lily Tomlin once had a line about pairing up all the crazy people who talk to themselves so it would look like they were carrying on a conversation. While we're at it, maybe we should pair up all the one-man synth bands so they'd be forced to write songs someone else on the planet could enjoy listening to or playing along with. Call 437-9359.

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic
Peter Gilstrap
Contact: Peter Gilstrap