At a time when indie rock is going Beach Boys - lush, vocally complex, sunny - Toronto's Apostle of Hustle, the brainchild of Andrew Whiteman, lead guitarist for Broken Social Scene, strip things down to a sparse-sounding three-piece and sprinkle their third album with machine-gun-fire samples and sound collages about revolutions, war and buildings falling.
Whiteman is a limited, sometimes tuneless, singer. And he's abandoned the tres, a three-stringed Cuban guitar used uniquely on earlier efforts, in favour of a few not-so-good stabs at reggae. But he keeps his songs zippy and focused, and infuses many with foot-tappin' playfulness (Eazy Speaks, Xerses, Soul Unwind). AOH admirably refuse to follow trends, though they're not likely to start any new ones with this album.
Top track: Eazy Speaks
Apostle of Hustle play the Music Gallery Friday (May 29).