Album Review

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

Naysayer   3/19/2013   A Library, CD

The Invisible Hands is the latest project from Alvarius B., a.k.a. Alan Bishop. After moving to Cairo, Egypt, Alvarius pulled out songs he’d been carrying around for some time, songs he did not like and thought he’d never use. But they “resurrected themselves” (his words). Hooking up with Cairo musicians (Cherif El Masri and Aya Hemeda, former members of Eskenderella, drummer Magued Nagati and other luminaries from the Cairo scene such as Sam Shalabi on oud) Alvarius has put together a straight forward, solid, psych/folk and sometimes blues influenced album with hints of Egyptian musical stylings. The musicianship is definitely strong. But what is it about? Who knows. Even he doesn’t know. Some songs seem to be an obvious nod to current political situations. Others are obscure, dark and foreboding filled with violence and a bit of paranoia. Most obvious, though, is Bishop’s skill at phrasing. When he sings he is able to get at meaning and mood with just a slight change of inflection, a pause or a dropped ending. This is an interesting new project from a seasoned talent.


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