BY RON HART
Sir Richard Bishop has already shown us his dexterity within the context of his first proper rock band since Sun City Girls as a member of Rangda. Now his brother Alan–or Alvarius B. if you will–translates his own brand of Arab-American Primitivism to a more amplified setting with the eponymous debut of his new band The Invisible Hands.
The one-time voice of SCG traveled to Cairo, Egypt at the height of the fabled city’s season of civil unrest and governmental turmoil to find his main Hands, recruiting members of such popular local groups as Eskenderella and Land of Kush to help him lay down the album’s eleven tracks. What’s delivered is a more electrified, melody-friendly version of Bishop’s work as Alvarius B. as evidenced on such highlights as “Dream Machine”, “Dark Hall”, “My Skull” and “Black Blood”, a seething comment on the United States’ notorious interrogation techniques with lines like “Cuffed and blindfolded/beat senseless, waterboarded/But I’m still gonna lie/What’s the hurry if there is no jury their filthy cash won’t buy.”
The Invisible Hands LP was recorded in both the English and Arabic languages. And in doing so, it offers its sentiments not only to Alan Bishop’s rabid cult fanbase in the Western World, but will hopefully open up a wider base of listeners across the Islamic landscape that has inspired the music he has created for over three decades.
DOWNLOAD: “Dream Machine”, “Black Blood”