Reviews Spanish Love Songs Brave Faces Everyone

Spanish Love Songs

Brave Faces Everyone

I’ve known of Spanish Love Songs for a few years and I’ve liked what I heard in passing without diving in. When I saw them at Fest 18 last year and saw the crowd response, it confirmed it was time to pay closer attention. The band is familiar in style, something like The Gaslight Anthem or The Menzingers, with touches of The Hold Steady and a splash of emo. The songwriting focuses on a storytelling element contained within catchy structures. It’s what happens when punk kids listen to a lot of Cursive and then form a band. And then turn 30.

At their core, Spanish Love Songs is emotional, personal and, frankly, melodramatic as all get out. Brave Faces Everyone isn’t a collection of songs, it’s a collection of anthems about struggling to pay the bills and struggling to get by emotionally. It’s about facing demons – not conquering them, but managing them enough to survive. While the lyrics are all first person, there an unmistakable proletarian “we.” It’s about connection and acceptance. The record itself opens with the lyrics “On any given day I’m a 6 of 10,” which pretty summarizes the tone over the nine songs to follow. Later, in “Losers,” Dylan Slocum proclaims, “We’re mediocre / We’re losers forever,” followed in the very next track (“Optimism”) by a refrain of “So take me out back and shoot me.”

Spanish Love Songs play midtempo anthems for the downtrodden, structured in personal, emotive lyricism and concise three to four-minute frames. The songs build and crescendo with emotion, like the bands of Saddle Creek’s heyday (and with a similar personal touch). It’s epic but with a punk energy and undercurrent: a firm stance amid the struggle. It’s powerful stuff that will speak wonders to a lot of people. Personally, it’s enjoyable and hits hard, but the drama level makes it best suited to certain moods.

7.7 / 10Loren
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