Apostle of Hustle National Anthem of Nowhere

Apostle of Hustle National Anthem of Nowhere
With beautifully arranged songs and an infectious array of sounds, Apostle of Hustle’s latest record is genuinely stirring. In his own unique way, Broken Social Scene guitarist Andrew Whiteman strives for a clear connection with the listener via Apostle of Hustle, though this doesn’t necessarily mean his musical and lyrical intentions are particularly cut and dried. The domain is pop but it hovers too close to modifiers like "prog” and "post-punk” to be anything less than innovatively idiosyncratic. It’s a struggle to resist the mystery of "My Sword Hand’s Anger” or the spirited uplift of the title track, which features some stunning guitar parts and a head-turning groove. "The Naked & Alone” is a sultry come-on, with Whiteman crooning convincingly under and over a masterfully inventive soundtrack. On the salsa-inspired "Haul Away,” Whiteman sounds like a disembodied pirate cast away at sea with a distorted, disorienting soundtrack driving him mad. The tone returns for the Calexico-flavoured "iRafaga!” but he flips the mood again for the sweetly innocent "Cheap Like Sebastien” and the unabashed radio pop of "Chances Are.” With its careful use of ambient tones and remarkable twists and turns, National Anthem is an achievement, a lovely studio creation that Apostle of Hustle will be hard-pressed to reproduce live. That said, by the sounds of things, Whiteman and company are up for the challenge. (Arts & Crafts)