Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hanni El Khatib Is All Rock and Roll

Talk about living a cross cultural life. Hanni El Khatib is a shining example of the diversity of America. Khatib is a first generation American son of Palestinian and Filipino immigrants who lived in San Francisco and who now resides in the melting pot of Los Angeles. Undoubtedly all this culture has influenced him and when you factor in the fact that he was raised on punk rock, 50's and 60's Americana, garage rock, and soul it only makes sense that he winds up sounding like a trip back in time to some sort of multi-ethnic Sonics experience.

Khatib's album, Will The Guns Come Out, is a raw under produced expression of pure rock and roll unleashed. It is awesome stuff that sounds like the last sixty years of rock and roll rolled up and recorded into one convenient package. The stuff is so classic sounding, by the end of Will The Guns Come Out, you'll be reaching for the Brill cream and a motorcycle jacket. At times Khatib channels his inner White Stripes and gets all raw and bluesy while at other times he finds his inner pop sensibility and writes something that's almost like a long lost doo-wop hit from 1954.

Will The Guns Come Out is so lo-fi and so coarse that it almost sounds as if Khatib recorded this a few decades back and then dug it out of an attic somewhere. The apparent lo-quality doesn't take away from the record though, in fact, it really gives it an air of authenticity and a patina that's keeps it all cool. Hanni El Khatib might have an unusual name for a rock and roller, but the power of rock and roll runs through his veins and you can hear that on every song here. As a result, Will The Guns Come Out is flawed, basic, and brilliant!

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