EP Review: Good Hustles – Apes

Good Hustles are a Nottingham-based alternative rock band who have just released their new EP Apes. The band’s sound has been described as “consistently exhilarating” by BBC Introducing’s Dean Jackson and they’ve been twice voted as “Nottingham’s best band”, I was keen to check it out. Here’s my track by track review.

By Graeme Smith

The EP starts with its title track, a hard rock confession of idleness. The riffs are big, the chorus anthemic and the lyrics are as relatable as they are humorous. It’s a hell of a statement of intent and leaves you in no doubt of what to expect from the Good Hustles sound. By the track’s climactic conclusion, I was ready to rock.

The energy stays up for track two I Think I’m Having A Heart Attack, and the energy perhaps masks the message of the lyrics, exploring the crippling feel of anxiety. A pop-punk chorus brings lively guitar and driving percussion.

After two blistering numbers, it felt appropriate to move into a ballad. Track three Rent Free provided. It’s a story of love. The energy swerves between soulful verses and hard rock choruses, but the emotion stays turned up throughout.

Track four brings a new element in the form of a collaboration with Conversing With Oceans. Another emotive number, it’s infused with the anger and sadness that comes from heartbreak. “Tell me was it worth it”, they sing, and I’m sure plenty will be able to relate. It’s one for the jilted.

Coffee comes next. The drums are heavy, the bass is dirty, the vocals are contrastingly light, and there’s more heartbreak in the lyrics. It’s followed by Hold On, with a message of hope and an offer of help. It’s a poignantly sweet moment from the lads and has a euphoric finish.

Then, another collaboration. Waking Up In Your Clothes is performed alongside American indie rock artist Kerrin Connolly. It opens with a rare acoustic moment and the vocal harmonies are a nice touch. An unconventional story, it chronicles the opposite of love at first sight through beautifully-realised detail.

Rounding things off is Too Far. It represents yet another aspect of Good Hustles’ sound, with electronic elements mixed in with their pop-punk. The story is told from the perspective of someone dealing with an alcoholic and the pain is well articulated. It’s a bittersweet end for the EP but it’s well-chosen. Its melody will echo in your head long after the last note has been played.

You can listen to the whole of Apes below.