There has always been this strange fascination to the garage, almost house-rock styling of bands that gravitated toward the 1960’s harmonies and even surf style. It was something that captured in an essence, a separate time period where the beginning stages of punk rock were starting to form. Habibi cements themselves in this element as a group that feels unique with a focus on creating multiple levels of genre-blending rock into one uniformed package.
Much of the attraction to Habibi is the desert rock that sends the listener into a trance with the primarily upbeat tempos but string sections that reflect some of the sounds of the 1960’s. At times, Habibi is indescribable on their self-titled record where the band unleashes a new wave of dance heavy, movement inducing flow on the opening track, “Far From Right”.
Habibi is gentle in the approach, but eventually starts to cut loose with these percussion splashes that completely resemble one of the greatest ensembles that never was in the age of 1970’s kraut rock. Then with the marching instrumentation that follows as the soft, never-overpowering vocal aspect; there is this two-sided door that Habibi inhabits. At one section, they are stomping along in these neatly cut numbers that are catchy through the instrumentation and overall presentation of the sound. Then as Habibi starts to include the vocalization, it is graceful and has this lo-fi spirit that floats above the instrumentation to capture some beautifully written tracks.
Habibi feels care free as “I Got The Moves” duck walks into frame with the shortest, but one of the more headstrong senses of performance from the band. It features a chorus that uses each member to shout “Hey-Hey-Hey” in various pitches while the guitars and bass bounce around on the fret board in this party-starting display. “I Got The Moves” is one of the more fun tracks on Habibi where the sound cuts loose and can really showcase this more grand level of fun that Habibi can introduce with each track.
As they switch the styles up again and again, Habibi continually is able to provide a solid grasp of musical vigor that breathes new life again and again. There is this love that Habibi has in their sound that really captures the listener, taking them into an 11-level layer of genre-moving entertainment.
Even as they begin to hit some of the lower points of the album, like “Sunsets”, “She Comes Along”, or even the final track, “Wrong To The Right People”, there is this sense of slow, but deserved beauty. The tracks are more melodic and focused on creating these atmospheric blares where the movement instead is pushed onto each instrument and individual member. In most cases, Habibi hunkers down and makes an old sound with a modern swing.
The style that makes a continuous appearance and tries to affirm itself is Habibi’s best weapon. Their garage influence and always adapting style makes their debut self-titled record one of the more progressive in a sea of sound.