Spanish Love Songs

Brave Faces Everyone

Written by: PP on 06/11/2020 10:09:31

Every once in awhile a band comes along that defines a particular era in music through either pure innovation or by perfectly delivering genre ideals, otherwise known as improving a winning recipe. We've seen bands like Title Fight, The Menzingers, Torché or Touché Amoré do it in their respective spaces, and within The Menzingers-style emo/alternative/punk scene, that band is shaping up to be Spanish Love Songs. They already smashed through the gatekeepers with the brilliant "Schmaltz" two years ago, and now their third album "Brace Faces Everyone" continues pretty much exactly where that album left off.

With virtually no stylistic changes to speak about aside from slightly more polished production, the album delivers indie-flavored emo with hints of pop punk in pretty much exactly the form it's supposed to be in. Dylan Slocum's earnest, strained vocals are a perfect match for the melancholic instrumental landscape, where excellent care has been taken to ensure a raw enough production value to leave behind a believable soundscape characterized by its raw nature and emotionally-charged atmosphere.

The album is rammed with catch-phrases likely to explode into echoing sing-along moments once we one day return to live venues in the post-Covid era, and more importantly, they cover a wide array of introspective topics about different phrases of life: the teens will find plenty of message about the struggles of growing up, whereas those in their late 20s will be met with lyricism about becoming an adult and dealing with increasing responsibilities in you own lives.

As before, Spanish Love Songs are masters of constructing lyrical universes that subtly criticize the status quo in society, while also channeling emo's core ideals. Consider this passage from "Kick", for instance:

"Just keep your head down and you'll be okay. You're living up to what's expected. [...]

Say keep your head up if you're not okay - but not okay is what's expected, they claim you're a hero, but you died there on the couch"

Or what about "Losers 2" - the intro of which is clearly Title Fight inspired:

"Don't you know you were born to die poor man, don't you know that you're gonna do yourself in? [...] So I'm leaving the city, maybe the country, maybe the earth. Gotta find a place of my own. Where the fuck ups aren't cops, patrolling neighborhoods they're afraid of, and the rest of us won't burn out displacing locals from neighborhoods we're afraid of. Know if we weren't bailed out every time by our parents we'd be dead. What's gonna happen when they're dead?

There are plenty more like-minded passages to highlight here. Common to all of them is their composition of classic quiet/loud dynamics, which channel through explosive vocal segments and loud, crashing guitars during key passages, where plenty of effort has been focused on highlighting a desperate atmosphere of remorse, nostalgia, and uncertainty about the future. And much like The Menzingers, they avoid the whiny side of things but firmly wallow in melancholy and self-pity, drawing from core ideals of emo as a genre, resulting in a perfectly delivered package of relatable, sing-alongable emo anthems. Yes, "Schmaltz" was a tiny bit more special, but "Brave Faces Everyone" is one of those albums where people will jump on each other's shoulders to shout back the lyrics to the band in live environments.

Download: Kick, Losers, Self-Destruction, Routine Pain, Losers 2, Losers
For the fans of: The Menzingers, Iron Chic, Modern Baseball, Tiny Moving Parts
Listen: Facebook

Release date 20.02.2020
Pure Noise Records

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