Minimalism: Part I
The saying “Everybody is famous in L.A.” has a lot of truth to it. San Francisco/Los Angeles duo Hanni El Khatib’s debut album Will The Guns Come Out features many simple tunes and a lot of guitar fuzz. With only two people in the band—Khatib himself and drummer Nicky Fleming-Yaryan—it makes sense that the songs have been labeled as “minimalist.” It wasn’t a well-thought-out plan to have no bassist, however; it was more like Hanni El Khatib couldn’t find one in time so they just went without and made it work.
All 11 of these songs are noisy and catchy enough to be featured in between waves at the US Open of Surf or on some Nike commercial (oh, wait a minute…). The second half of the album contains three cover songs, although they are all so far from their original versions that they might as well be El Khatib’s songs. You might recognize Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel.” “Garbage City” is sandwiched between the cover songs and unfortunately proves that Mr. El Khabib is not a lyricist, and further proves he is simplistic.
After a few listen-throughs, my roommate said the album was growing on him, but that isn’t convincing enough for anyone in the rock world to move over and save a seat for him. It might be a cool band to get high and party to, but there are a lot cooler bands to party to. I’ve done a lot of things this week to avoid listening to this album (laundry, playing chess with myself, more laundry, etc.). But it is nevertheless a fun and upbeat album.