When handed the Apostle of Hustle CD, I looked at the title thinking that I would be reviewing some cheesy hip-hop album with topics ranging from hardships and hustling to survive on the streets of New York. Something about the word “hustle” makes me think of that.
So I head to my car and rather than listen to A Tribe Called Quest’s The Anthology, I decided to dig into this alternate version of our nation’s anthem and see if it was worth me giving respect and praise.
The tunes begin to flare and no signs of poverty and drugs are found. No deejays or Neptune sounding beats are even close by.
Instead, guitars and violins and maybe an appearance from John Mayer was coming through the speakers. Maybe not John, but it could be possible at this moment.
I realized that I had been a victim of judging a book by it’s cover. Who would have thought that Apostle of Hustle was an indie rock band and Canadian at that? I guess not me.
So a little background on the band of Hustle: the front man and lead guitarist is also a member of another band, Broken Social Scene, and that Hustle included the influences of Cuban style guitars and Spanish lyrics.
National Anthem of Nowhere shows us how the Canadians rock out up north. I’d have to say that their not to shabby and that the hint of Latin flavor adds a bit of intensity to the mix.
“National Anthem of Nowhere” track two on the album is a mellow rock song. The key component of this song is the mild reverb guitar riffs in the song. During the middle of the song, Hustle switches into an acoustic set which is something that always melts my heart.
“Haul Away” contains the same elements as “NAON” but has a darker edge to it. The instruments are heavier and the lyrics are. From the title alone, you can tell that this song isn’t going to be about strawberry fields and bunnies.
“Rafaga” is the album’s showcase of Latin influence. The Spanish lyrics and the very spicy guitars give you this panorama of the movie Desperado and that you’re actually ready for you first showdown.
Now after thinking that this was going to be just another bad hip-hop album, I’m truly embarrass. Apostle of Hustle, if it makes you feel any better, I know a good portion of “Oh Canada” if you want me to sing that. National Anthem of Nowhere deserves a satisfactory and a check plus for incorporating very sexy sultry Latin music and for not being a bad rap group.