Alvarius B. (Alan Bishop) – ‘What One Man Can Do With An Acoustic Guitar, Surely Another Can Do With His Hands Around The Neck Of God’ LP / DL [Abduction]

In addition to a split Record Store Day release this month, Alvarius B. managed to drop this absolute gem of a full length release. Coming to us on the Sun City Girls founded Abdudction label, it’s a limited to 400 pressing, and proved quite hard to track down, so you might want to pop off and buy it now before finishing reading this:

It’s always been about new music and sounds for us. Maybe I’m getting old, but in a world of copied patches and shared kits the solo guitar seems to be holding more and more interest, at least in the small handful of artists doing something new with it. Continuing down the guitar line that we’ve been exploring since rediscovering John Fahey, Bill Orcutt and tuning in to Joe Bussard more frequently, What One Man Can Do With An Acoustic Guitar, Surely Another Can Do With His Hands Around The Neck Of God has become more-than-essential listening in the short-time we’ve had it.

Alvarius B. is best known as Alan Bishop, longtime bass guitarist for Sun City Girls from the band’s formation in ’79 up until drummer Charles Goucher’s passing in 2007. In 2003 Bishop co-founded the ever-good Sublime Frequencies label, who we rely on heavily for all sorts of sounds from around the globe. Interesting enough, it’s his duties heading up the esoteric label that seem to have influenced his six-string workings more than anything.

And these influences serve him incredibly well. As Alvarius B. he aggressively attacks his guitar with middle-eastern influences, treating it like a ngoni at one point, creating distortion and chopped rhythm with his finger workings. He hits the guitar hard, and it’s a hectic ride the whole way though, with the majority of the tracks being fast-paced structures sitting well under the three minute mark; enough time for his patterns and rhythms to build frantic repetition before exploding or evolving in to something new, but not long enough fort he core live loops to get boring, predictable or repetitive. It keeps you on edge and listening to whole way through.

The initial appeal here is how unique the playing is. We’ve not heard a great deal like it, but as opposed to Orcutt breaking the rules, Bishop drastically bends them under the weight of non-western styles. On the third listen or so you start to understand more and more how he’s actually creating this music, and it starts to blow you away. Lo-fi and raw, it’s almost impossible to lose attention for fear of missing something.

Great record, get on it quick. Only one track put up online for preview, press release underneath that.

via Abduction

The album title pretty much says it all. Yes we know that’s the same thing we said about last year’s Alvarius B. (Alan Bishop) archival release Fuck You and the Horse You Rode In On LP, but while What One Man Can Do… has a similar approach in attitude, it comes a decade later as solo acoustic guitar instrumentals recorded during the 1990s. Perhaps, if it’s contextualization you are seeking, you could consider this a continuation of the first Alvarius B. album (ABDT 004CD — acoustic guitar instrumentals recorded during the 1980s). Or, you could simply imagine that these are songs about strangling people like you with a low E steel guitar string. This (recorded straight to cassette) acoustic guitar sound has more of a resemblance to a performance on power tools than it does to strumming or picking a Martin flat top. So if you’ve been leisurely waking up on Sunday mornings to sit down, have a cup of tea in your non-smoking kitchen breakfast-nook, staring out into the garden while listening to your old Fahey records, step aside and let someone else own this piece of wax — someone who may take the body of an old fucked-up guitar and start pounding people like you into the pavement with it. Extremely limited one-time pressing of 400 LP copies.

A1. Twister
A2. Mantra Days
A3. Attic Memory
A4. Dead Metal Forever
A5. Lateral Paradigms
A6. Wyoming Twilight
A7. Harsh Shadows
A8. The Delta Stinger
A9. Drunken Patriot
B1. Mean Crossover
B2. Old Orange and His Cousin
B3. Wildcat Regulations
B4. Cedar Point
B5. Where the Murk Flows
B6. Funky Natchez
B7. Nasty Plumage (For Jack Rose)