Hanni el Khatib / Savage Times|
Label: Innovative Leisure
DJ Stace Reviewed: 3/14/2017
Dirty, dogshit, garage blues with a bump in production in some spots, but not overdone this time. That's due to the fact that this albumish thing is actually an aggregate of several smaller projects he's recorded and released instantly, over the last two years. Most of the tracks are single takes, wirtten or conceptualized between his home and studio, on the hour long drive. Lot's of songs (nineteen!) about Grandma, what he ate as a kid, etc... charming and competent garage blues. A refreshing return to the lo-fi sensibilities prior to Moonlight. Lot's of head bobbers, toe tappers and booty shakers.
RIYL JSBX, Honeymoon Killers, Boss Hog, The Arcs, Black Keys.
1. Baby's OK 02:25 (FCC=FUCK)
Driving garage anthem with "I was high as fuck..." repeated about 100 times. Probably best to skip this one.
2. Gonna Die Alone 03:18
Simple bass and drum. Gets kinda chaotic JSBX guitar solo just after 1:10. Reminds me of Boss Hog.
3. Born Brown 01:56
Starts kinda Devo with repetitive synth and drumbeat. Hanni screams about his immigrant history. Relevant, if not a hit.
4. Paralyzed 03:12
Hanni does 70's disco. The rhythm guitar, the breathy backup singers, the wahwah lead, it's all there.
5. Miracle 03:06
Hanni's take on great straight ahead electric blues guitar and voice with no accompaniment.
6. Mangos and Rice 02:56
Wasted sounding vocals, singing about growing up eating mangos, rice and sardines. Think I'm gonna start feeding my kids that, if this is the result. More JSBX batshit crazy guitar solo. Straight up garage blues. Nice little toy piano accomp toward the end.
7. Come Down 02:44
"If Gods gone come down, he/she better come now 'cause if he/she ain't gone come now, I'm gone do what I want."
8. No Way 03:37 *
Nice stoney loping beat. Loads of loose background vocals create that party sing-along feel. Good one.
9. Mondo and His Makeup 02:38
Kinda gives me a Cramps feeling. Distortion on the vocals, upbeat, tinny, a little chaotic.
10. Gun Clap 04:26 **
More 70's movie theme song about a bad guy. Cool "Shafty" strings and a nice little twangy guitar riff with a great beat. "He did it all for the Bang Bang..."
11. Black Constellation 03:31 ***
Love this one. Great piano bar intro, slow shuffling but sharp beat, bar noise, killer guitar work and vocals that remind me just a little of Leon Russell in his prime.
12. So Dusty 03:24
Fuzzy, slow tempo head bobber.
13. Till Your Rose Comes Home 02:32
Fast drum machine beat with Bo Diddleyesque rythm guitar and keyboard and fuzzed out echoey vocals. Stays pretty simple throughout.
14. Hold Me Back 03:48 (FCC=FUCK That)
This one feels like a number from a musical. Very narrative and a little goofy. Like the song they dropped from the Grease Soundtrack because it had a curse word. Not my favorite, but it's got an FCC, anyway, so there you go. Weird shift in pace at about 2:15 gets all slow and keyboardy to the outro.
15. Savage Times 03:16
Driving, medium tempo with screaming vocals and hard rocking guitar work. Cool modulating lead guitar
16. 1AM 02:08 **
Acoustic blues about gun play and chickenshit muggers sneaking up behind. Good straightforward blues work. "God Damn" repeated if that bothers you. Not an FCC, though.
17. Peep Show 02:46 **
Weird little highhat rythm going on is a little infectious. Falsetto and muffled vocals. More 70's exploitation film rhythm guitar work. Gets a little spacey with some sound effects at the end.
18. This I Know 02:37 **
Keyboard intro leads into a low temp plodding beat with bells and a pretty cool vocal rhythm. More 70's superfuzz goodness. Someone's been listening to alot of Curtis Mayfield, lately.
19. Freak Freely 05:22 **
Nice toe tapping ender. "Be Yo-self..." repeated ad infinitum... "...even if it kills you." Dancey, fun with cowbell and trying to put my finger on the sound. A bit David Byrne, maybe? Narrative about hiding at Alcatraz in the 60's and seeing "freak freely" painted in the ruins. Actual lyrics begin about 2:50.