Boomkat Product Review:
'Baroque Primitiva' is Alan Bishop's sixth album under the Alvarius B moniker, and finds the Sun City Girl on his first outing since the tragic demise of his well-loved band. Originally released on the legendary Poon Village label and housed in some typically provocative nudey artwork, the album can now be heard by those of us who don't have the time or money to sit on eBay waiting for a copy to surface for less than two hundred and fifty quid. It's worth the hype too; Bishop's lo-fidelity take on Morricone is charming from the first note, and while it retains the edginess usually associated with the Sun City Girls it does away with any unwanted zaniness. The distant, indistinct pop songs sound almost like a precursor to the Olde English Spelling Bee set - these are Bishop's interpretations of his own specific brand of nostalgia, and as he covers 'You Only Live Twice' and 'God Only Knows' it becomes strikingly obvious to make that link. The songs are melted around the edges, haunted with Bishop's careful treatment and pointed style and while they don't necessarily stray too far from the originals they are reframed so beautifully it's hard not to fall for their charms. Like the Autre Ne Veut album or even the offworld hypnotic visions of Julian Lynch or even Vincent Gallo, the shimmering halo around this music is unmistakably compelling, and all the more interesting for it. You won't hear a more engaging selection of homespun songs this year.