Savage Times

Album Review of Savage Times by Hanni El Khatib.

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Savage Times

Hanni El Khatib

Savage Times by Hanni El Khatib

Release Date: Feb 17, 2017
Record label: Innovative Leisure
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

75 Music Critic Score
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Savage Times - Very Good, Based on 4 Critics

Record Collector - 80
Based on rating 4/5

Growing up with a Palestinian father and Filipino mother, Hanni El Khatib started providing a fresh take on life in America with 2011's When The Guns Come Out and 2013's Head In The Dirt (produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach). Previously released as five EPs, the San Francisco firebrand's follow-up to 2015's Moonlight gains chilling new relevance against the US' current climate, especially with the "Muslim ban" gaining steam. Accompanied by Nicky Fleming's pounding drums, Khatib places his highly personal songs in robust settings, including post-punk garage guitars nuzzling Gonna Die Alone, lilting 80s disco in Paralyzed, electronic mutant disco-punk charging Born Brown, bluesy funk on Black Constellation and stealth missile dynamics on the lacerating title track.

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AllMusic - 80
Based on rating 8/10

In the spring of 2016, San Francisco blues-punk eccentric Hanni El Khatib issued the first of what would eventually be five EPs bearing the name Savage Times. More so than on previous releases, these EPs staunchly subscribed to an anything-goes credo that found El Khatib moving further afield from his garage stomp roots. Throughout the year the remaining four EPs were consecutively doled out by the Innovative Leisure label, each offering bite-sized glimpses into the guitarist's rapidly evolving creative process.

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The Line of Best Fit - 65
Based on rating 6.5/10

A San Francisco-based musician with Palestinian and Filipino parents, and a penchant for both classic rock n' roll and rhythm and blues, eclectic sounds and themes make their way into his songs - and his latest 19-track record Savage Times is not free from these contrasts. First track "Baby's OK" crashes in as a Strokes-influenced two and a half-minute, light-hearted clanger, which seems to be about annoying his girlfriend by getting too high. But the album takes a more aggressive, thrashy and serious turn with "Born Brown" and "Mangos and Rice", two tracks that seem to tackle the singer's lack of control over his cultural identity.

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Clash Music
Their review was generally favourable

The American underground multi-instrumentalist, Hanni El Khatib poses a modern blues sprite on his latest album, 'Savage Times'. Taking on multiple guises throughout the 19 track long record, Khatib doesn't shy away from experimenting. 2016 saw Hanni blossom creatively, releasing a series of five 'Savage Times' EPs, which all are included on the record alongside a handful of new tracks.

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