Always a treat to sit back and relax into a New American Hustle album. In this case, the conceptual undertone intrigues from the offset, and the journey quickly feels like a cinematic dream as these stories and the raw, organic musicianship injects a sense of powerful energy into the room.
Climb and Crawl is all of this, a multi-layered, ever-changing dynamic, with two opposing vocals seeming to communicate and collide all at once. Meanwhile, that guitar riff echoes through your headspace like an indie rock classic. A great way to start.
Creative riff work stands tall throughout this album. The writing style is notably New American Hustle – these melodies fall somewhere between familiar and non-traditional, paving their own way in a fashion recognisable as this act. The guitar play adds a whole new flavour though, and the performance aspect is a huge part of the final appeal – a live show would be where things really come to life. Dizzy Starlust (Love At First Sight) furthers all of these observations in a likeable, bright and colourful manner.
An incoming anthem, Requiem For The Thin White Duke offers space, soulful big-band vocals, an on-and-off bass line, and a brilliantly satisfying drop into full instrumental chaos for the sax-soaked vocal intermission. A powerful, seductively stylish track.
Over on Bandcamp, New American Hustle define their sound as Ian Smith + sexy singers = drinking unicorn blood. It’s a simple yet clever way to encapsulate what listeners are likely to go through when delving into this album. Eclecticism runs wild, but the building blocks hold close to composition as much so as allowing the featured singers to wholly and truly lose themselves, passionately, in the moment. Firewall is all of this, and satisfies brilliantly – layered vocals and a sense of fullness and vibrancy beg for you to turn up the volume.
As the project plays out, the arrangement wins you over as much so as the sheer amount of alternative hits on display. From vocal heavy anthems to delicate ambient trip-hop injected with fuzz (Oblique Strategies), there’s plenty to ponder, and each revisit authentically presents some new and interesting image.
Classic pop kicks in for the sultry and quietly heavy Heroin Chic Supermodels – a curiously tempting topic that proceeds to envelop you in its oddly hypnotic, sci-fi-touched aura. Then we get the equally cinematic, operatic delicacy and mellow drama of Riders from Oz – a welcomed moment of poetic, spacious reflection. Creatively this one evolves in a completely unpredictable manner, from ambient oddness to funky good vibes. One of many worthy nods to Bowie himself. Well worth a listen.
Distorted, electrified Americana swings into view out of no-where for the melodically addictive Ozma. A soulful, expressive song with a simple yet mesmerising, off-centre progression. Diamond Glory afterwards proves blissfully gentle and optimistic – a crisp, clean guitar sounds takes you way back when.
High Step Lover keeps the positivity at the forefront – a bright and pop-rock inspired ambiance accompanies a gritty, infectious vocal style.
Never an act to miss an opportunity to title something with intrigue and appeal, New American Hustle draw back wandering minds more than a few times throughout this playlist. Suffragette Suicide‘s title and style alike prove a striking example. Great guitar work grabs attention later on, and is followed beautifully by the sudden acoustic warmth of a countryside-ready Mountain Nymph Sweet Liberty.
All of these songs showcase a fine example of contemporary production and composition at its most eclectic and skilful. The soundscapes offer an artistic and professionally crafted pathway, along which the featured artists can freely express themselves.
Few others work as hard as New American Hustle. Another crisp and impressive full-length album to submit to.