Apostle of Hustle – Eats Darkness
Great name, great LP name, shit liner notes… Why oh why do promo LPs have pompous waffle like the following in them? “…together they create a sound that is incredibly unique, thought provoking, and fuelled by a raw, explosive energy” or this; “Apostle of Hustle once again pushes the boundaries of contemporary indie rock”. Yes, well, we listeners will be the judge of that, Squire. Are journalists that bad nowadays that record company PR types feel the need to spoon feed them?
Anyway, let me try to tell you about this release. It’s great. It’s a restless collection of songs and sounds and yes, you get the feeling the band is trying its damnedest to do something interesting. Funnily enough for all the talk of pushing contemporary boundaries & whatnot, I kept being reminded of two old warhorses, namely David Byrne and Lou Barlow (restless rhythmic section, curious, nervous pop, use of cut ups). Which in my book is fine; Soul Unwind is a lovely thing, and has a great boy – girl refrain, balanced against poppy guitars and funny noises that is very ‘Heads in its feel and outlook.
The cut ups are fairly entertaining, and are very Bongwaterish in that they have (seemingly) been doctored by the band, morphing into tracks in their own right. And they do dovetail with the songs rather than being sonic interludes. The band manipulates these oddments floating around by finding every opportunity to confuse the listener, stylistically speaking. Take the coupling of Perfect Fit (a sludgy angry song) and Xerxes (a pretty summer song with an unexpected surge in the bridge). Is this coupling of different-sounding songs an exercise in pushing the boundaries of contemporary indie rock? I hope not. Don’t think, however, that the LP is choc-full of clever-clever moments and nothing else, there’s great pop on here. The title track is a low key, slightly slobby delight and How to Defeat a Powerful Enemy is a fun jaunt with a lovely refrain. And last track Blackberry with its white soul boy vibe, could be a Prefab Sprout song.
Listen, enjoy, but don’t believe the promo hype.
Words: Richard Foster