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  • Archives
     

    Invisible Hands, The – “Teslam” – [Abduction]

    Latest installment from Alan Bishop *and* band. Riding a
    white and a dark horse, covering tracks near cemeteries,
    Bishop always one to point out the unmarkedgraves. The
    rotten flavor of totalitarianism never sounded so sweet
    when indicted by the shape-shifting character of Alan’s
    voice and the sweet, bright-eyed harmonizing of Aya
    Hemeda. Their interplay on many of the songs is
    exhilirating, as is the varied guitar approaches from
    Cherif El Masr, he and Aya were in a band Eskenderella
    in Egypt where Bishop has sprung up the past few years.
    Yet this is no milk-whitened coffee world music bleating
    retreat, it’s an AOR album, unique in this day and age,
    but likely hearkening back to Bishop’s FM rock blasting
    youth before enlisting in Jodie Foster’s Army. Sure the
    lyrics carry the venom of Sun-dried City griot Girls,
    and hit on political pitfalls that date back a milennium
    or two, but I could have owned this on 8-track back in
    the day! So great to hear choruses that rise to the challenge
    of a song, or a break that instrumentally articulates as
    well as the biting bitter lyrices. Is that Eleanor Rigby
    hanging out with “Priests and Poets?” Eyvind Kang guests,
    his violin on “Eyes in the Back of Your Head” is vital as
    El Masr’s guitar slithers alongside. How about the lenghty
    instrumental meditation walking up to the “Slaughterhouse.”
    That’s an old school rock move of anticipation. Great organ
    touches to the tunes from Adham Zidan add to the mix, listen
    to his cheery reverbed death march into “Places” unamed where
    acts unseen take place! Bishop’s voice changes costume
    frequently and interestingly from song to song, “Over Easy”
    summons the slippery sardonic spittle and dry heave disgust
    of Uncle Jim, and his amped-up jingoistic dingo delivery on
    “Weasel Down” could fill a whole mall where a secret cordoned-off
    military outpost hides between huts, pizza and sunglasses. I’m
    almost tempted to call this a drone album, not for its mix of
    music which ranges from operating ballads and surging rock,
    but there’s at least a couple of references to those metallic
    angels of death and spying, hovering over distant deserts and
    America’s inner cities. The lp is a catchy concoction, especially
    with Hemeda’s voice sounding like a lost member of Lush, sweeting
    the bitter underlying flavors. At least one definition of Teslam,
    the album’s title, refers to a notion of “may you be safe”
    En-effing-shallah!

    Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 16, 2015 at 2:50 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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