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Apostle Of Hustle

Apostle Of Hustle
Folkloric Feel
(Arts & Crafts)

Just in case you didn't think that the whole Canadian music scene was incestuous enough, along comes another side project band that features members of Broken Social Scene, Do Make Say Think, Stars, and Metric. Of course, some of those bands share members with one another already, and given yet other side projects like Junior Blue and Valley Of The Giants, it indeed seems that everyone just sort of hangs out and creates music with their friends, jumping in here and there as they want (or as they're needed). It could be argued that the whole thing will burn itself out, but given the quality of work of all the aforementioned (and indeed, Apostle Of Hustle), things show no sign of slowing down.

The main person behind Apostle Of Hustle seems to be Broken Social Scene guitarist Andrew Whiteman, but as mentioned above there are tons of contributors. Because of that, Folkloric Feel ends up coming off as a slightly more worldly and breezy version of You Forgot It In People (maybe imagine that disc filtered through a bit of Cuban music). The best songs sound like they could have fit right in on that disc and even the not-as-good ones breath with a vibrance that help make the album worth having. The opening, album-titled track of "Folkloric Feel" is sort of a weird organic mashup of tracks, starting out as a strummy instrumental before barrelling through a fast mid-section and finally arriving at a quiet wind-down of an ending.

That ending leads in perfectly to "Sleepwalking Ballad," a woozy track that finds Whiteman laying down his warm crooning to great effect while the track alternately bursts at the seams and drops away to almost nothing. "Baby, You're The One" drops things off into a sweet island duet as Amy Milan (of Metric and BSS) offsets Whitehead while the track gets seriously airy. Although "Kings & Queens" ups the pace a little, the second half of the record brings the outside influences in even more as "Song For Lorea" and "Animal Fat" both dip ever so slightly into bossa nova while "They Shoot Horses, Don't They" swaggers through a sweltering composition of woozy guitars, organs, brushed drums and breathy vocals.

On the other side of things, "Dark Is What I Want / Strutters Ball" provides one last punch on the disc with absolutely huge, overdriven drumming that overpowers the choruses and provides a stark contrast to the quiet verses. While not every track on the disc works amazingly, there's also a major stumble in "Gleaning," an odd little track that feels kind of tossed off with almost beat-boxed vocals and guitar melodies that simply fail to hook. Elsewhere, though, the disc holds up quite well, and if you're a fan of any of the earlier bands, I seriously doubt you'll go wrong here.

Rating: 7.75