Apostle of Hustle

National Anthem of Nowhere (Arts & Crafts)

SXSW Reviews

Apostle of Hustle

National Anthem of Nowhere (Arts & Crafts)

Like a puppy competing in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, Toronto's Andrew Whiteman careens over hurdles and weaves through obstacle courses. He races up the seesaw, and suddenly the ground becomes unsteady. Fido freezes. Always that damn seesaw. Whiteman's Apostle of Hustle loses focus halfway through the Broken Social Scene guitarist's sophomore release. Intricate pop opener "My Sword Hand's Anger" is just a warm-up for the proud, ecstatic title track, but by the time "The Naked & Alone" nears completion, drone has replaced structure. Apostle's 2005 debut, Folkloric Feel, struggled for identity, but after a stint in Cuba, Whiteman seems lost in the shuffle. Short spurts of brilliance (the Spanish "ÁRafaga!" and "Fast Pony for Victor Jara") can't regain control of this tail-chaser. Maybe too many Scooby Snacks are to blame, but this dog – as cute as he may be – needs more training. (Friday, March 16, Habana Calle 6 Annex, 12mid)

**

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