Never mind that Hanni El Khatib is half Filipino and half Palestinian: In musical terms, the San Francisco native is an American son. Combining raw, ferocious punk rock with American pop styles including doo-wop, rockabilly, and soul, El Khatib harks back in spirit to fellow Californians X, who shared a similarly broad musicality. Songs such as “Build. Destroy. Rebuild.” and “Fuck It, You Win” are pure adrenaline; a cover of “Heartbreak Hotel” replaces mere mope with bloodshot-eyed desperation.
Have something to say? Send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. This article first appeared in the January-February 2012 issue of Utne Reader.