Enamoured with the new album: Spanish Love Songs - 'Brave Faces Everyone'
ORIGINALITY9.5
LYRICS9.9
REPLAY VALUE9.4
INSTRUMENTATION9.3
IMPACT10
9.6Overall Score

SPANISH LOVE SONGS are an LA based quintet whose following has been steadily growing. Composed of vocalist Dylan Slocum, guitarist Kyle McAulay, bassist Trevor Dietrch, drummer Ruben Duarte and keyboardist Meredith Van Woerst, the band has a talented roster. Their punchy, energetic music is vaguely reminiscent of Biffy Clyro and has drawn audiences at underground shows and made fans of festivals attendees. Existential,and with a depth that’s underlined by the riffing guitar and strong vocals, this is a band whose music packs a punch. Lyrically and melodically.

Their latest album ‘Brave Faces Everyone‘ feels like a throwback. The type of music to jump around to at a punk themed house party, drink in hand, the music tells a tale that resonates. Detail rich in its storytelling, the album is a biographical snapshot of their experiences touring their previous album Schmaltz. (And if we’re deeply enamoured with that  album? Well that’s another article all together.)

Depression, addiction, concrete jungle and small town struggles alike – all exist on this album. Deeply personal and showing a vulnerability we’ve come to expect and love from the genre, the honesty makes the songs resonate more. Throw into the mix some social commentary on more taboo topics and the specific-to-them becomes all encompassing. Mass shooting, and climate change are just two of the more macro-cosmic elements tackled. And in a genre stereotypically  associated with small town boredom and anarchy its definitely refreshing.

‘When you’re young you just want to be heard’

Lyrically the album is intense, and forceful. Which makes the rough yet powerful vocals shine all the more. ‘Generation Loss‘ and its chorus are particularly on the nose for so many of us. The fast pace of the song is almost enough to make the song seem upbeat despite it lyrics of ‘We’re just so fucking tired/ Of explaining ourselves/We throw a pill down our throats/Or ourselves into in the ocean/Cause half our friends are dead/The other half are depressed/In this budget rate life’. 

The same goes for ‘Optimism (as a radical life choice)‘ a song where the opening lyrics deal with the issue of poverty and exploitation. The exploration of topics in such a succinct setting and with the backing track of drums and guitar is not new and yet hearing it still feels refreshing. The drumming and bass almost act as a metronome, hammering the message in, hypnotising you into listening to the song more and really letting the message sink in. It’s musically effective and also a sound attempt at imparting messages about societal issues.

But despite the less than sunny topics in the songs, there’s an underlying message of hope. It’s as much an album for the hopeful as it is for the hopeless. A safe haven – blunt and honest but still optimist.

 

‘If you sing something loud enough and long enough hopefully people are able to find some peace in that.’ Says Slocum

 

It’s hard to sum up the album. ‘Really, really good’ seems to be an understatement. But at its core that’s what it is. A thoughtfully put together collection, with songs that we’re going to replay over and over. With chaotic urgency and intense focus, crashing drums and guitar that tails off and softens, the album is one huge juxtaposition. It’s sad and happy, pessimistic and yet full of tentative optimism.

Brave Faces Everyone’, by SPANISH LOVE SONGS is a really, really good album. Buy it here.

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