Hanni El-Khatib @ Crescent Ballroom
"Fuck It, You Win" has to be one of the greatest, most hate-filled song titles ever penned to an ex who's taken things too far. Add stinging guitars, ripped-from-the-gut vocals, and a driving, in-the-gutter beat (and captivatingly dark video imagery), and it's not just a catchy title but a fucking great song, too. Clearly, Los Angeles guitarist Hanni El-Khatib is not shy about letting emotion guide his songwriting. In many ways, El-Khatib, cracking vocals and all, suffers a fate similar to that of respected songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, who initially took to punk but couldn't keep other determined influences out of the mix. While some El-Khatib songs, like the above-mentioned, throw down a blistering racket of thrashing angst, El-Khatib also rebels in gritty rockabilly ("You Rascal You") and '60s garage ("Build Destroy Rebuild"), borrows from '50s vocal groups ("Dead Wrong"), and wreaks power chord mayhem ("Roach Cock"). He even rumbles solo on the Link Wray-inspired "Loved One." Adding another dimension is the just-released electro-pulsed, fuzzy, skin-crawling version of The Cramps' "Human Fly." It's on a limited-edition eight-inch record, no less. And that's cool, but you still may not want him dating your sister.
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