In Alpha Zones
Culvert - 2016
AA Wallace's first long-player, 2013's (disambiguation), was a solitary affair, assembled with samples from broken toys and dollar-bin records from the confines of his Halifax bedroom. With a huge push from the press - The Toronto Star fawningly proclaimed it "the most insidiously catchy bedroom pop we've heard all year" - he cobbled together a live band and took to the stage at various festivals from NXNE and Halifax Pop Explosion over here in Canuckistan to southern England's massive Great Escape UK.
Wallace inked a deal with Toronto-based Culvert Music in 2015 and proceeded to rifle off a string of eighties-inspired synth-pop singles that included the curiously catchy 'Harlequin' as well as more prosaic tracks like 'Success' and 'VLT Girls (We Win Again)'. In Alpha Zones treads much the same path as those earlier records, evoking that antiseptic MTV-sponsored vision of the eighties that seems to captivate the kids so much these days. And, I suppose, depending on your age and your penchant for such nostalgia, much of In Alpha Zones will either be hit or miss. Still, there is no denying the more obvious successes here, like the aforementioned 'Harlequin' and the totally infectious bounce of 'Shake It Out', a song that could have crammed many a dancefloor way back in 1985.
Happy Pop Family