Rhythm & Views

Apostle of Hustle

The clicking rhythm on "Haul Away," the fourth song on Apostle of Hustle's second album, National Anthem of Nowhere, hints at frontman (and Broken Social Scene guitarist) Andrew Whiteman's love of Cuban music. But then the driving guitar and drums on "¡Rafaga!" hit, and it's clear that Whiteman can jump. Apostle of Hustle can move effortlessly from straight-up indie pop like the title track to more experimental fusions like "Fast Pony for Victor Jara," but it's the Latin-infused songs on National Anthem of Nowhere that leap out.

And that's saying a lot--most of the more straight-up rock songs are nothing to stomp on. The organ on "The Naked and Alone" makes it cool and weird, much like the song's refrain of "naked is as naked does," and the synth on "Cheap Like Sebastien" makes it relaxed and warm. "Chances Are" swings country-rock style, but then the Latin rhythms start to bleed in on "A Rent Boy Goes Down." Both threads weave together best, though, on the very first track, "My Sword Hand's Anger," which begins with atmospheric guitar notes and then erupts into an anthemic chant.

Things start to become less interesting toward the end, with "Justine, Beckoning," once Apostle of Hustle begins to stop blending that Cuban influence into the music; if only the whole album was as diverse and rhythmic as the first nine songs.

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