Review: Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz

Man sollte Mitte März vorsichtig mit Orakeleien wie „Das ist das Punkalbum des Jahres 2018“ sein, aber hey: An Schmaltz von Spanish Love Songs führt bei dem Titel und dieser „Alles mehr als Killer, kein einziger nur ansatzweise Filler“-Glanztat so schnell kein Weg vorbei. Gut, dass die bald mit Schmaltz auf Tour kommen.
Tobi von Idle Class hatte sie auf dem Schirm. Nach gemeinsamen Konzerten legte er schon 2016 hier Spanish Love Songs und ihr Debütalbum Giant Sings The Blues jedem ans Herz. Unter anderem auch seinem Labelcheffe Mirko, der die Band kurzerhand unter seine Fittiche nahm und jetzt Schmaltz, das neue Album von Spanish Love Songs, hierzulande rausbringt.
Und damit hat er eine wahre Perle in seinem Roster. Denn Spanish Love Songs sind inbrünstig, sind  wütend, sind druckvoll, sind witzig. Und auf Schmaltz sind sie mehr als gut. Mehr als verdammt gut.
Erstes Aufhorchen im Herbst 2017: Die als EP vorab veröffentlichten Songs von Schmaltz (Buffalo Buffalo und The Boy Considers His Haircut) manifestieren sich mal wieder in der eigenen Heavy Rotation. Liegt an derbe gutem Songwriting und Zeilen wie „I want to find a haircut that fits me that hasn’t been co-opted by Nazis.“ Probleme linker TwentyThirtySomethings in Zeiten von Alt-Right und Identitären Wichsern mit Augenzwinkern auf den Punkt genau formuliert.
Lyrics dieses Kalibers sind bei Spanish Love Songs` Frontmann Dylan Scolum kein Glückstreffer sondern die Regel. So heißt es im bedächtigen Schmaltz-Opener  Nuevo: „And I can’t help but laugh at these edge kids– I used to mosh with at church hardcore shows.“ Sequels, Remakes, & Adaptations  ist ein wütender 2-Minuten-Hit, der The Menzingers stolz machen würde. Generell denkt man beim Hören von Schmaltz immer wieder an die Grandiosität von On The Impossible Past. Nur irgendwie treibt Spanish Love Songs noch mehr Inbrunst an als Greg Barnett, Tom May und Konsorten. Mehr Wut, mehr Herzschmerz, mehr Verdruss. Die Definition von Schmaltz im Cambridge-Dictionary („artistic works, such as music or writing, that are intended to cause strong sad or romantic feelings but have no real artistic value“) trifft es schon ganz gut. Scolum und seine Spanish Love Songs neigen zum Extrem: wenn das Leben schon Scheiße ist, dann bitte auch richtig Scheiße. Für die romantic feelings bleibt auf Schmaltz dann eher wenig Platz. Die Bandbio Most accessible for fans of: boxed wine, divorce, crushing self-doubt ein Nagel auf den Kopf. Wer keinen Bock auf immer eitel Sonnenschein hat, wird Songs wie Carl oder Aloha To Noone lieben und Schmaltz immer und immer wieder hören. Und sich live bei den anstehenden Konzerten nicht entgehen lassen.

Spanish Love Songs auf Tour 2018

25.04. DE – Köln – Stereo Wonderland
27.04. DE – Münster – Sputnikhalle – Uncle M Fest
28.04. DE – Berlin – Cassiopeia
29.04. DE – Braunschweig – B58
30.04. DE – Hamburg – Gängeviertel
02.05. AT – Wiener Neustadt – Triebwerk
03.05. DE – Burghausen – Mathilda
05.05. CH – Zürich – Obenuse Fest
07.05. DE – Bochum – Rotunde
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Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz
all lyrics by Dylan Slocum

Is there any way to give a shit? Or wake up in the morning without taking a hit? I can’t even walk down the street without someone staring at me like a high school friend that they just recognized. And I can’t help but laugh at these edge kids– I used to mosh with at church hardcore shows-Getting blasted on Pabst, and burning holes into the wall with their Parliaments. It’s a waste of time. Now we don’t dance. We just sit on our hands looking hard in our pleather, as we nod at the chicks, And peck at our phones, holding onto what it means to be alone. Fuck. I’m miserable. Which means it’s me that hasn’t changed, or moved an inch out of this place. That doesn’t mean I want to end up this way.
Sequels, Remakes, & Adaptations
These are dark days. I’m staring at a mirror in the corner and I see both sides of who I should be. A heritage. An excuse. Or, a black spot in my blood like a shooter in a dark room waiting. I don’t want to let him out because I’m afraid of what he’ll do. It’s got me worried:
Am I the one? Hate more than love? Imploding. Killing my brothers.
Please don’t judge me for the failure I’m gonna be. I don’t want to leave this couch. I’m afraid to go to war. So I stay inside and I fuck myself blind. But I want to know if we’ve been promised so much more, then how do I get it? Nothing’s ever really worked out this far. I’m well past the point of giving up. It’s got me thinking that:
I’m the one. Hate more than love. Imploding. Killing my brothers.
I woke up far from home with a pattern on my face. Another night on the couch. TV on, I’m faced away. Another night in the AC trying to find some room to breathe in the arms of a stranger. But it is what it is and all this shit is worthless. Take the five to my name and I’ll buy something frivolous, Like the love I need. Not some pills, a reunion show, or a face to swipe off my screen.
Well, I woke up a year older in a city in the south. Wander room to room like a ghost that can’t get out. But I need to get outside. End the war inside my mind like a march to the ocean. If I stand in the land where my forefathers stood shooting guns at their brothers ‘cause some prick said they should, Maybe I can feel at ease at my eternal lack of peace that this joke isn’t funny. I think someone wants to kill me.
But I don’t think I can fix this if I found god. And there’s no drug in the world that can possibly wash this off. Can’t even go down to the river and stick my fucking head in it. I’ll watch the world spin. I’ll lay around in it. I am a perfect fit.
I’ve been dreaming in languages I don’t understand. I’ve got spirits watching over me. They refuse my filthy hands. I’ve been coming to terms with our life and how we’re all gonna die the same – Forgotten in a year by the ones we love on a Tuesday morning.
I’ll die just how I lived: stealing from some I found great; showing up a year too late. Now, the water is gone. Now the love is gone. Now, the future is gone And I’ll just lay here, but it’s never gonna come.
I’m supposed to be stoic, as I wipe the tears off of my face. Watch the ships off the coast of Mexico. Block it out as they float away. I can still you smiling, even as I’m selfish as I’ve ever been. See you sitting in your chair. See you singing happy birthday.
I got the call in June, but couldn’t bring myself to see you, or even get you on the phone. I wanted you to remember me in perfection, but really I’m just a fucking coward. I couldn’t stand to see you die, and I was dealing with my own shit if I’m being honest. Mom said you’d understand, but I don’t blame you if you didn’t.
I’m on the docks again. Looking out at that awful ocean. Watching the tide take you away. I know you ain’t resting your bones. I know you ain’t made it back home. At least the loneliness gave you a break.
We never held a funeral because of the consequence they bring. Letting go is never easy, even when you’re empty and alone. I hope they played you Otis Redding. I hope you heard me hum along as those arms of yours went down into the dark.
My phone rang a year later with your smile haunting me, and I finally broke at a rental home in Joshua Tree. I tell myself it gets better. But it never gets any easier when your voice ain’t on the other side.
I hope they played you Otis Redding. I hope you remembered I named my guitar after your favorite singer of your favorite song. And I break down every time I see that old Spanish nylon that you bought. It never comes off the shelf anymore.
Buffalo Buffalo
Lost in the South. My thermostat don’t work. I’m sweating naked on my bed. It’s gonna fade a nasty yellow in the morning. Another blank face staring through me like a chalk outline of dreams that bled out in the night. A post-mortem portrait of loneliness. Some heavy-handed statement like, “I’ve never felt at home.”
And some asshole shot up some kids a week before you left for Portland. I’m thinking about dying again from the worst outcomes of a world that I can’t slow down, no matter how many times I throw my hands into the air and plead with everyone. I know it’s wrong, but I’m thinking about buying a gun.
Would you meet me in the middle? Would you meet me north of Buffalo? We’ll escape into the winter; Build a house where no one wants to go.
That’s not an option-When everything looks like an epitaph staring back at me, I’ll pace this parking lot trying squeeze out from this misery. How do I find you when you’re lost out in the sea of green if the sun won’t come back?
Rather be sheep in a snowstorm, than a lion in the brush in the sights of a bastard who can’t get it up.
The Boy Considers His Haircut
My dad says that I’d probably have more fans if I could learn to sing about some happier shit. Instead of wallowing in my shortcomings, my gross insecurities Be less narcissistic. Maybe show some humility.
Mom sighs “wow” from under her breath. She wonders how the hell I can live like this. My shelf life expired months ago, but I keep tricking the ones I claim to love into these situations.
Like I’m walking backwards. These wasted years. And still nobody knows my name, my shitty songs, or my chubby face. I want to know how to be okay. Do the things that people do to find a home in the end.
I’ve lived my whole life so afraid of getting hurt that I’ve never really been hurt. And the best I can hope is to zone out in a room full of people that I don’t know, On a hospital bed. Is that too obvious?
I can say I want to heal. I can say I want to change. But really…
I want to wake up and maybe be better. I want to come through and not be second guessed. I want to find the money to fix my nose, And learn to breathe without pacing. I don’t want to be depressed. I want to find a haircut that fits me that hasn’t been co-opted by Nazis. I’ll settle for some rest. I want to move on. I want to feel more important. I’m trying to be fine. I swear I’m trying to be my best.
El Niño Considers His Failures
Obsessed with my success and other people’s ages. Don’t need to tell you that I’m jaded, Stopping at a Waffle House off of 85. I haven’t moved an inch since I was seventeen. Maybe my gut’s a little bigger and my shirts don’t fit right anymore. What’s the point of pushing on anymore? I’m always tired, or maybe I’m always bored. I was told that I’d be fine when I got old, but now I’m thinking that’s a lie, so l down these fries before they get too cold.
If I don’t feel love in the places I call home, can I feel anything in general? Is it me? Can I get through this? Is there a way to wash it off, or is this stain permanent?
I watch my double descend into the Echo with me. He’s got a craft beer in one hand and a pocket full of Molly. Everyone’s always a few deep. They mash up pop songs I’ve never heard, but I know the melody. Now his hands are up in the air like everything’s a possibility. Fifteen years on and I still hate this, but I bet even he’d call me a friend. Because I’m the only one stuck living like this – Alone in my own head. I feel like ECT has corrupted my core memory. I’ve been here before, and I’ll be here when everybody goes.
When I’m only waking up because the sun’s too strong for my cheap blinds, I head for for couch and think some day there’ll be a sign. Why can’t I act my age, or find a way to get to work? To pay the rent on this dark space. Spruce it up and put some paint on the walls. Try to clean at least every other week. Unpack the boxes. Put away the mess eventually.
Joana, in Five Acts
Birthday cards on the fridge hung next to pictures of me and you. I set them right the day you died, but couldn’t bring myself to throw them right away. Goodbye.
The day he called: impossible, you’re drifting out inside the room where I was born. I held you up, not strong enough. Said my goodbyes and watched your smile fade away. It’s not right.
I can’t be honest. I’m a bit demolished when I’m picturing holding your body in the room. The white sheets I’m facing; My nervous pacing that you’re just another heart that I can’t bring back to this side of the ground.
Now I’m scared of what a stranger might say to me. And I can’t keep my demons at bay. I’m paranoid and showing every indication. Talking more to myself each day. I’m paranoid and given every reason for why you had to leave. But why’d you leave without me?
I’m too lazy to leave my home. I’m far too bored to let it go. Like it mattered in the end, or like it did any good while you were still here. I can’t pick up the phone anymore. I won’t pickup the phone anymore. I’m always just stuck missing you now that you’ve disappeared.
Beer & Nyquil (Hold it Together)
I took forty-five steps today: Couch to bathroom to kitchen to couch. Thanksgiving ’15 in a loft across from a cemetery. Drinking beer & NyQuil in this old mill. It’s burnt out from a fire back in ’93, gentrified and standing tall.
I feel like I’m stuck on an island. I’ve been more than selfish. Wishing I could be landlocked again. I want to do something great. Instead I’ll question my age and wonder why I’m such a mess.
And now I want to be more than me. More for my friends and the four people left in my family. I’m so sick of everything always bringing me down. I’ll try not to break my neck. Get my feet on the ground, so I don’t have to be a burden – Some sad kid up in bed.
I’ve resigned my happiness to “lack thereof.” Guess nothing’s perfect in the end. I’ll be alright. I’ll upend every good thing that I’ll find, but I’ll keep pissing in the wind.
I want to be the one. I want to know what I love. I want to hold it together. But that’s not an option anymore.
It’s Not Interesting
I say there’s more hurt than happy in my mind each time my chest aches, like I can’t breathe deep right. But maybe I just don’t know myself that well. Or I’m up on the stage playing up the lies: “Isn’t he miserable?” “Dylan, are you alright?” You’re the only one that I’ve talked to tonight. If I’m being honest, it’s only cause I’m scared.
Maybe I should learn to love myself? It always feels better staying down. Maybe I’ll be happy in the end? Should I hold my breath and wait for it?
It’s the same way that I’ve always been— Talking shit for attention; complaining for the eyes; Telling every stranger I meet the same three stories. It’s not interesting. Feeling more paranoid than motivated. Turning down sex when I’m feeling depressed. And when I think I’m losing my mind I have a chorus of voices who remind me that: “Nothing you do is real. Nothing you feel is real. But it’s full of consequences.”
I’m spending a year out of my comfort zone. I don’t think I’ve ever been comfortable in my life, or my own skin. So I spent a decade painting myself blue. Running from any hint of the truth: I’m far too old to complain about dying alone when I’ve been the way I’ve been. And I don’t think I can fix this if I find god. There’s no drug in the world that could possibly wash this off. I can’t even go down to the river and stick my fucking head in it. The feeling’s gone. Just let me come back home. Let me wash the dark away.
Aloha to No One
It’s me on my old bed— too low to the ground. Each day it’s harder for me to climb out. A yellowed mattress. A deeper indent. I keep flipping it over and over again. Like a fucking film school shot framed in the mirror. Pulling out the two greys in my beard. Shave it off like I can disappear. I’ve done nothing the past ten years.
It’s just like me to take a swing, and disagree with everything. Condescend, but I am nothing. A lesson to be learned. “You might wake up, but you’ll never be better.”
Pushing thirty and still playing house shows. Waking up on beer soaked floors alone. Hoping we’d take it further this time, but I don’t know how to stay in line. I bump my head and come down the same as my shit friends on the bright of a Sunday. Hoping that next year will be better than growing out of another sweater.
“You might wake up, but you’ll never be better. You might come through, but you’ll always second guess. You might breathe free, but you’ll never stop pacing. You might find love, but you’ll always be depressed. You might change your hair, but you’ll always look awkward. Your back might heal, but you’ll never get your rest. You might move on, but you’ll never feel important. You might be fine, but you’ll never be your best.
So when you wake up, and know you’ll never be better – hide under your sheets. Your room will always be a mess.”