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Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz (A-F Records)

Spanish Love Songs Schmaltz cover
16 April 2018

On Schmaltz, Spanish Love Songs offer up extremely emotional punk/ hardcore with hooks galore that just screams for audience participation in sing-alongs at a basement venue coming to a town near you. The song structures and style are similar to their compatriots in recent post millennium punk, especially the Menzingers, Make Do And Mend, Motion City Soundtrack, and the Smoking Popes.

Opening track “Neuvo” moves so smoothly into “Sequels, Remakes, & Adaptations” it comes across as one build. “Bellyache” and “Buffalo Buffalo” are two stand-out tracks with driving rhythms, melodic guitar licks, and enough stop-starts to keep it interesting. The lead vocalist screams out throughout both songs [and for most others as well], releasing some internal demons, and asking all listeners to participate in his catharsis. Lines such as, “I don’t think I can fix this is if I found God!” and “everything looks like an epitaph staring back a me” are juxtaposed with songs titles such as “The Boy Considers His Haircut”, “El Nino Considers His Failures”, and “Beer & Nyquil (Hold It Together).” Subject matter as serious as mass shootings, gentrification, and depression make this an interesting LP: the hooks and energy make it hard not to recommend and the subject matter makes it curious to see what this band becomes when they grow up. This is a much deeper record than it appears at first glance, like someone smiling at you as they tell you how much they are struggling through life.